Tuesday 23 July 2019

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Cork Independent

Home & Property

Open Door campaign returns for 15th year

Wednesday, 17th April, 2019 4:16pm

Open the door into a world of architecture for a worthy cause!

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 11 May – Sunday 19 May. Due to demand in previous years, the initiative has been extended to run for nine days including two weekends, giving lots of opportunity to find a consultation time that suits. One of the country’s best-known architects, Dermot Bannon, helped to launch the campaign, and to encourage RIAI architects to take part and raise funds.

Last year’s event was the most successful yet with architects holding 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. Registration for the event is now open and people are encouraged to book a slot with an RIAI-registered architect in their local area by visiting simonopendoor.ie.

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 €1m this year.”

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