At SSE, we’re committed to doing the right thing and making a difference. That’s why in 2019, SSE Airtricity entered into a three-year partnership with the Simon Community in Ireland and Northern Ireland, supporting the charity in its mission to provide care, accommodation and support for people affected by homelessness.
The decision to partner with The Simon Community came after a company-wide vote, in which SSE Airtricity employees chose to put their energy into fundraising and volunteering for the homelessness charity.
On Friday 15th November 2019 Over 50 SSE Airtricity employees swapped their warm beds for freezing temperatures and sleeping bags as they completed a charity sleep out for the Dublin Simon Community. The 12-hour event took place outside SSE Airtricity’s HQ in Dublin and helped raise €15,000 in support of those who are most vulnerable to the effects of homelessness.
The sleep out event was complemented by an SSE Skill Swap which took place on the same day. Hundreds of our colleagues attended the swap shop in Dublin where they donated to Simon in return for a crash course in a number of skills, including: origami, playing the ukulele, juggling, first aid, make-up application and learning languages.
Klair Neenan, Director of SSE Airtricity, said: “We’re all proud of our partnership with The Simon Community and delighted to support the great work they do in tackling homelessness. I was heartened by the efforts of everyone involved and to see people from across our business come together in aid of such an important cause. I was also very impressed that our number one value, safety, was ever present throughout the night.
“The experience was very humbling and provided us all with a moment to realise how lucky we are. A big thank you must go to Graham Wheeler and Caitriona Melia for organising the sleep out and to every member of the team who took part. Going home the next day, I was very mindful of the harsh conditions faced by people and families who are experiencing homelessness. The sleep out really emphasised the importance of the services provided by the Simon Community.”
SSE Airtricity provided €1,286,088 in cash donations; €11,275 was contributed through in-kind donations and €28,800 was raised through employee fundraising. Employees also contributed 2,490 hours of volunteering with local groups and projects during the year.