Bord Gáis Energy has extended its partnership with Focus Ireland for five years to help tackle family homelessness, pledging €2 million to the cause.
It brings the total commitment to €4.4m since Focus Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy joined forces in 2015.
The partnership has already directly supported over 7,000 families experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their home, and will further assist families through advice, information, and support programmes.
Bord Gáis Energy will also sponsor a new initiative called the Lived Experience Ambassador Programme which will enable people who have lived experience of homelessness to share their stories and help raise awareness of the issue.
Dave Kirwan, Managing Director, Bord Gáis Energy, said the company is proud to be a partner of Focus Ireland. "Over the years all our colleagues have played their part and whilst we have seen the positive impact this partnership can have on people's lives; we also believe there is more for us to do, together."
Pat Dennigan from Focus Ireland said, "The support from Bord Gáis Energy is not just financial; they have embedded their organisation into ours, helping us with skills sharing, engagement with staff, and advocacy work.
Kelly Byrne, LEAP Ambassador said, "Focus Ireland supported me in moving my family to our forever home, which we absolutely cherish because we know what it's like to go without the basic needs in order to live. We are not just surviving anymore we are all thriving.
A key element of the partnership is the Bord Gáis Energy Empowerment Fund, which enables vulnerable children to have normal moments of childhood in the midst of the chaos of homelessness. From basic items like new school uniforms to family outings or more critical interventions such as medical assessments, the fund has already helped thousands of children and will be expanded in the next phase of the partnership.