Lyit, Civic Engagement & Simon Community North West

by Grainne Blaney

Lyit, Civic & Community Engagement, and the Simon Community

Co-ordinator: Grainne Blaney

Simon Co-ordinators: Claire Mc Tiernan, Collette Ferguson

As part of Civic Engagement 2013 in the Lyit we have joined with the North West Simon Community to make homelessness and awareness of being homeless an issue for students and staff.

North West Simon Community is a not for profit organisation working with those at risk of homelessness in counties Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo.

Its mission is:

· To prevent people from becoming homeless

· Develop and facilitate services that respond to individual needs and enable people to live in their own home

· Inform, advocate and campaign for each person’s right to a home and appropriate services to support this

With this in mind the students took part in an Awareness Day on the corridors of Lyit on Wednesday 2nd October, at which they collected over 500 signatures, objecting to making cuts in the budget 2013 for homeless charities, which have already seen their budgets cut last year.

Thirteen students have elected to become involved in a formal capacity within the college in Civic Engagement.

Claire and Collette from Simon North West have given the students a taste of what it is like to be homeless, the causes of homelessness and the issues for homeless people and the students have responded by giving up their time to make fellow students and staff aware of these.

On the day, as well as collecting over 500 signatures the students took part in making a vine and using Social Media to further the cause.

Wednesday 9th October sees the same students taking part in Volunteer Day - manning the Simon table and getting as many volunteers as possible to help with all the amazing work of Simon in the North West.

Civic Engagement students are also having to utilise the skills from the Business Course that they are doing such as management, marketing, organisational skills and working with people. This develops and embeds the skills, which they are practising, in real-life settings. It also gives the college, and the students themselves, the opportunity to develop an on-going relationship with the Simon Community and creates networks and friendships that will hopefully last well beyond college years.

Watch this space for an update during the year on other events with the Simon Community and students from Lyit.

 
Discipline: Business Studies
Institution: Letterkenny Institute of Technology
Activity: Community Engagement/Outreach