Green Gown Awards 2020 - University College Dublin - Finalist

Tags: Green Gown Awards 2020 | benefitting society | University College Dublin

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Hope Fest - a wellness and music event for Dublin’s homeless community 

Hope Fest is an annual wellness and music event for those experiencing homelessness in Dublin City, the first of its kind in Ireland. It is a collaboration between two community organisations, the Dublin Lions Club and Dublin Simon Community, and staff and students from University College Dublin (UCD).  

Hope Fest began in May 2018 after the need was identified for a summer event for clients of Dublin’s homeless services. This event would not only offer a hot meal, but would also provide wellness services, music, entertainment, and a welcomed break from the norm. Chiropody, hairdressing, mindfulness, massage, and beauty therapy were all part of the services offered, while musicians provided entertainment and guests were provided with a hot meal. 

This event challenges the stigma associated with homelessness and looks at how the isolation and loneliness that is experienced by the homeless community can be addressed through collaboration, integration, and community spirit. 

Top 3 learnings:

  1. People experiencing homelessness enjoy social events like Hope Fest and “feeling like everyone else”. 
  2. The least we can do is treat people and families experiencing homelessness with dignity and respect. 
  3. There is a wider housing crisis issue at play, and we must lobby and advocate for housing for all those who want it. 

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