Foundation Christmas Appeal spotlight: Women’s Aid, Dublin and Belfast & Lisburn

Foundation Christmas Appeal spotlight: Women’s Aid, Dublin and Belfast & Lisburn

We begin our spotlight series on this year’s Christmas Appeal beneficiaries today, with a look at two organisations which are closely linked, Women’s Aid Dublin and Women’s Aid Belfast and Lisburn.

Following the success of the Foundation’s recent Sleep Out event in Ballymote, Co Sligo – the hometown of Brother Walfrid – which raised a tremendous total in excess of £15,000, we now highlight some of the wonderful organisations in Ireland which will benefit from funds raised.

Women’s Aid is a national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. It has been at the forefront of shaping and coordinating responses to domestic violence and abuse through practice for over 45 years. It aims to empower survivors by keeping their voices at the heart of its work, by listening to them and responding to their needs.

Christmas can be a time of fear and isolation, rather than one of peace and joy for those experiencing the effects of domestic abuse. It is the most dangerous time of year for many women and children. Support through Celtic FC Foundation’s Christmas Appeal in the past, has helped both Women’s Aid Dublin and Women’s Aid Belfast and Lisburn to make the festive period a more positive one, for many of the women and children they work with.

Although the past 18 months have been challenging due to the added pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, the work of Women’s Aid has continued and there has been an increased need for support in these areas.

Eavan Ward, of Women’s Aid Dublin spoke of the support received, she said: “Woman’s Aid has been operating for over 45 years and could not continue to operate without supporters like Celtic FC Foundation. The thanks we get from families makes it really rewarding and we can see that it makes a real impact.”

Eavan shared a quote from a woman who benefited through last year’s Appeal: “I just wanted to say a huge THANKS to you and Women’s Aid for all your fantastic support in every way in 2020. I really appreciate all the kindness shown to me, it really made a difference.”

Liz Johnston of Women’s Aid Belfast and Lisburn also spoke of the invaluable support received through the Appeal, saying: “Christmas this year will offer no respite for women and children experiencing domestic abuse. They are feeling the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic – trapped with their abuser during lockdowns, unbearable familial tension and heart-breaking isolation from the friends and family who could’ve helped them. The pandemic has thrown many diverse issues into the mix.”

Liz has seen at first-hand the difference made to the lives of these women and children thanks to those who’ve contributed to our Appeals and she added: “Support from Celtic FC Foundation has helped these women put food on the table, pay for gas, electricity, school uniforms, winter coats, boots and put presents under the tree.”

We simply could not continue to work with charities such as Women’s Aid through our Christmas Appeal without the help of the Celtic fans and Liz was quick to highlight the importance of your support.

Liz finished by saying: “Because of Celtic FC Foundation in the past, we have been able to fulfil our promise that no woman or child engaged in our services goes without at Christmas. We extend a sincere thank you to everyone involved in the Appeal because it does really change lives for the better.”

Through the Appeal we want to give hundreds of families in our communities the Christmas they deserve, making sure there’s food on the table and gifts under the tree.

We also wish to help pensioners, women and children in refuge, the homeless community and refugees – as well as a whole host of others facing poverty and hardship.

Charity, and the generosity and compassion of the Celtic Family, will always be our past, present and future – it’s our heritage, our responsibility, our lifeblood.

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