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RIAI-registered architects open their doors for annual partnership with the Simon Community

Published: Monday, April 08, 2019

Pictured at the launch of #RIAIsimon are: RIAI CEO Kathryn Meghen; Architect Dermot Bannon, MRIAI; and Simon Community National Spokesperson, Paul Sheehan

[Pictured at the launch of #RIAIsimon are: RIAI CEO Kathryn Meghen; Architect Dermot Bannon, MRIAI; and Simon Community National Spokesperson, Paul Sheehan]


The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Simon Community are calling on members of the public to sign up to the 15th annual RIAI Simon Open Door campaign. In return for a €95 donation, homeowners can receive an hour-long consultation with an RIAI-registered architect to discuss building, rebuilding or renovating their homes. All funds raised go directly to the Simon Community to support their work in tackling homelessness.

This year RIAI Simon Open Door runs from Saturday, 11th May until Sunday, 19th May. Due to demand in previous years, the initiative has been extended to run for 9 days including two weekends, giving lots of opportunity to find a consultation time that suits. 

Booking is now open and people are encouraged to book a slot with an RIAI-registered architect in their local area by visiting www.simonopendoor.ie

One of the country’s best-known architects, Dermot Bannon, was on hand to launch the campaign, and to encourage his fellow RIAI architects to take part and raise funds to help tackle the housing and homeless crisis.

Last year’s event was the most successful yet, architects across Ireland held a total of 1,820 consultations with homeowners to discuss renovations, rebuilds and new homes with a record sum of €163,800 raised. For 2019, sights are set on reaching a grand combined total of €1 million raised over the 15 years of the RIAI Simon Open Door initiative, and the RIAI and the Simon Community are calling on homeowners to get involved.

Speaking at the launch, Kathryn Meghen, RIAI CEO said: “Architects design houses that build lives and sustain communities. We would like to thank all our RIAI-registered architects who get involved every year in this great cause to support the Simon Community in assisting people move out of homelessness and on their journey home. Building is complex, and this event allows RIAI registered architects to give homeowners some sought after advice and explore the different building options available to them. We’re encouraging people to book early to avoid disappointment as the slots tend to fill up quickly.”

Paul Sheehan, National Spokesperson for the Simon Community said: “Unfortunately, in Ireland, homelessness continues to be a challenge with almost 10,000 men, women and children in emergency accommodation and many thousands more experiencing housing insecurity. RIAI Simon Open door is a unique fundraising opportunity which raises much needed funds for the Simon Community to address the housing and homelessness crisis around the country. We are delighted the RIAI are partnering with us for this great initiative again this year. Since RIAI Simon Open Door began in 2005, over €850,000 has been raised and we are really hoping that we reach the grand total of €1,000,000 this year.’

RIAI-registered architects can pledge to donate an hour of their time by signing up at www.simonopendoor.ie/architects.  Architects who have queries relating to registering their practice for the RIAI Simon Open Door campaign are asked to email Emma at egilleece@riai.ie 

Please feel free to spread the word about this event by using the hashtag #RIAIsimon

ENDS

For media interviews, images or further information, please contact:
Grace Cooney, Drury| Porter Novelli – grace.cooney@drurypn.ie / 086 153 6886
Fiona O’Connor, Drury| Porter Novelli – fiona.oconnor@drurypn.ie / 087 694 9601 

About the RIAI
Since 1839 the RIAI has been the professional body for architects working and practicing in Ireland.  The RIAI provides support and information services to its 3,100 members in all categories.  The RIAI engages with Government, the professions, with industry, clients and the public to promote the value of quality in architecture to deliver attractive and sustainable built environments, to enrich Ireland’s distinctive culture and heritage, to contribute to the Irish economy and to improve the quality of life for the people of Ireland for generations to come.

About Simon Community
The Simon Community support over 13,000 men, women and children. We have 50 years of experience providing homeless, housing and treatment services to people facing the trauma and stress of homelessness. We are a network of independent Communities based in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East, responding to local needs and supported by a National Office in the areas of policy, research, communications and best practice. We share common values and ethos in tackling homelessness and, informed by our grassroots services, we campaign for more effective policies and legislation regionally, nationally and at European level. Whatever the issue, Simon’s door is always open for as long as we are needed. For more information, please visit www.simon.ie

Categories: Press Releases | RIAI Simon Open Door


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