• 30 Mar 2021

RIAI Architects Launch Annual Charity Initiative with RIAI Simon Open Door

30 March 2021: RIAI Simon Open Door is back and ready to make a virtual impact on your real-world living space. Ireland's architects are ready to offer professional advice on your home improvements and it is all in aid of the Simon Communities.

The RIAI and the Simon Communities are calling on members of the public to support the annual RIAI Simon Open Door campaign. Now in its 17th year, the campaign will run from Tuesday, 4th May to Friday, 14th May.

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 consultations take place online and all funds raised go directly to the Simon Communities to support their work in tackling homelessness.

Registration for the event is now open and people are encouraged to book a consultation with a RIAI-registered architect in their local area by visiting www.simonopendoor.ie   

One of Ireland’s best-known architects, Dermot Bannon MRIAI, helped us launch this year’s virtual campaign with a short video, in which he explains how people can get involved and support the RIAI Simon Open Door campaign.

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Commenting on this year’s campaign, Ciaran O’Connor, RIAI President said: “RIAI Simon Open Door is the perfect opportunity for homeowners to get professional advice from a Registered Architect on how to achieve a more flexible home for the times we live in. Over the last twelve months, we have spent more time than ever in our homes. From working to working out, our homes are being used in so many different ways. Now is the time for planning, this is a unique opportunity not to be missed. Registered Architects are standing by in every county to donate their time and support the Simon Communities. The RIAI and its members are proud to partner with the charity across Ireland to support its vital services at this time.”

Jennifer Kitson, National Partnerships Manager for Simon Communities said: “The understanding that ‘home’ is the foundation of our lives is more pronounced than ever as we continue to face the challenges of COVID-19 in 2021. Homelessness, already a deeply traumatic and isolating experience, has only been heightened by the pandemic. Shockingly, in the midst of this health crisis the number of single homeless adults increased 7%. The generous support of the public and architects through the RIAI Simon Open Door campaign will help Simon Communities to continue to respond to homelessness during this COVID crisis, ensuring the safety of our clients and that we can continue the work to support people into a home of their own.”

Registered Architect and RIAI Simon Open Door Ambassador, Dermot Bannon, MRIAI, said: “Lockdown has taught us all the value of our homes but also highlighted the issues within them. We have all struggled with space and functionality over the last 12 months. Our homes have become not only the place we live but the place we work, teach, exercise, entertain ourselves and get some head space. The RIAI Simon Open Door Event connects homeowners and Registered Architects up and down the country. Over the years, people have got so much from the consultations, getting advice on everything from storage solutions to building a new house.  All money raised goes to the Simon Communities to support them in tackling homelessness. Consultations are limited, so don’t miss out.”

The support received from the RIAI Simon Open Door campaign in 2020 enabled the Simon Communities to provide essential resources to respond to COVID19, most critically by helping to fund supplies of PPE and to address the increased demand for Simon Communities services across the country.

RIAI Registered Architects can pledge to donate an hour of their time by signing up at www.simonopendoor.ie/architects

Please feel free to spread the word about the RIAI Simon Open Door campaign by using the hashtag #RIAISimon


About the Simon Communities of Ireland
The Simon Communities support over 18,000 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.

Our services include:

  • Homelessness prevention, tenancy sustainment and resettlement.
  • Street outreach, emergency accommodation and harm reduction.
  • Housing with support and Housing First services.
  • Homeless specific health and wellbeing services (counselling; addiction treatment and recovery; and mental health supports).
  • Personal development, education, training and employment services.
  • Foodbanks, drop-in centres and soup runs.

About the RIAI
Founded in 1839, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland supports and regulates the architectural profession and promotes the value that architecture brings to society for everyone’s benefit. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for regular updates: @RIAIonline