The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Simon Communities of Ireland have launched the eighth annual RIAI Simon Open Door Weekend.
People in Tipperary can log on to www.simonopendoor.ie to book a one-hour consultation with the local RIAI architect of their choice, in return for a E50 donation to the Simon Communities of Ireland. All architects give their time for free and every cent raised goes directly to the charity. Over 4,000 people have taken part in the initiative and almost E300,000 has been raised to date. This year, the Simon Open Door will take place over Saturday and Sunday, 12th and 13th May 2012.
One of the themes of this year’s campaign is maximising your space on a budget, and getting professional advice on how to make the most out of your home using the skills and abilities of architects. The Simon Open Door Weekend gives the people of Tipperary the opportunity to meet with a RIAI registered architect in their local area and get creative, practical ideas to suit their needs for only E50, whilst helping to tackle homelessness in Ireland.
Paula Murphy from Paula M Murphy architects is one of the participating architects in Tipperary. She has been an architect for 26 years. She is taking part in the Simon Open Door Weekend because “It allows us to meet local people and help provide practical solutions to their property problems. More importantly, the campaign allows architects and the people of Tipperary to come together and make a difference to the lives of those who are experiencing homelessness.”
Donal Ryan from DH Ryan architects added “At your hour long consultation, you can expect to get realistic advice on any project both big and small. Advice that can help maximise your current space from inventive storage designs tip and renovations to fit your growing family needs, to projects such as designing new windows to breathe new life into that dark, dreary room. You decide what advice you need, in your quest to turn your house into a home”. Other practices participating in Tipperary are Kenneth Hennessy Architects and O’Neill Architecture.
Speaking at the launch of the Simon open Door Weekend was Niamh Randall, National Research & Policy Manager, Simon Communities of Ireland who said, “The Simon Community is about believing in people; believing in the people who turn to the eight local Simon communities around the country every day, believing in the thousands of volunteers and Simon supporters, and believing that with the appropriate housing, care and support people can and do leave homelessness behind. The current economic crisis is impacting on us all, but most heavily on the margins of our society; people who are homeless, people who are at risk of homelessness and people with many support related needs. At this difficult time The Simon Communities around Ireland are heavily reliant on the support from campaigns such as the Simon Open Door “.
She added, “We are delighted to partner with the RIAI on the Simon Open Door Weekend for the eighth year running. Over the years we have had a fantastic response from the public and the architects involved. On behalf of the Simon Communities of Ireland, I want to sincerely thank all of the architects who have signed up to give their services free of charge and to the public whose donations demonstrate their belief in the work that Simon does. Now, more than ever, we need the support of the public to ensure that we provide the best possible care, accommodation and support for some of the most vulnerable people in our society”.