Full Time Volunteer Training Programme
Since commencement of its CSR programme Positive Impact in 2004, EBS has established a strong and proactive working relationship with the Simon Communities of Ireland.
In 2010 EBS joined forces with the Simon Communities of Ireland to support 20 of our full time volunteers on their unique training programme. The announcement builds on a six year partnership between EBS and Simon Communities of Ireland.
The Simon Full Time Volunteer Training Programme supported by EBS, welcomes volunteers from all over the world come to live and work in Simon Communities around Ireland for a minimum period of six months. Over the course of the six months the Simon volunteers are given the opportunity to achieve a third level certificate during their placement. This is a unique prospect for volunteers as Simon are the only Irish organisation that provides this offering. The certificate is CPD (Continued Professional Development) at level 6 (Fetac & Hetac). This programme has been developed in partnership with DIT and is now entering its third year.
Speaking about the EBS/Simon partnership, Aidan Power, Head of Marketing at EBS, said: “EBS has been a long time supporter of the work of the Simon Communities of Ireland. Volunteers are the people who impress me the most. I know that all of the volunteers working full time for the local Simon Communities have made long term commitments to Simon and continually demonstrate that when people need their help most, they are there. I want to congratulate all volunteers on their ongoing work. It is this spirit of volunteerism that will make a significant contribution to our society and I wish all the volunteers starting the programme today the very best of luck.”
Since 2004 the EBS partnership with the Simon has been embraced by EBS staff, with a variety of fundraising and volunteering events undertaken each year. For example, EBS staff get involved in the Simon Fun-Run, the Electric Picnic, help with post opening at Christmas time and participate in carol singing..
From 2004-2007 EBS provided capital support for the EBS/Simon Independent Living Initiative. This programme has provided to over 100 housing units to those who are homeless or living in emergency accommodation. EBS helped in a very practical way by providing the Simon Communities of Ireland with the necessary 5% funding requirement to purchase and develop homes under the Government’s Capital Assistance Scheme. This EBS investment has levered €11,789,977 of Government funding under the CAS scheme for housing for people progressing out of homelessness.
In 2008 Simon working in partnership with EBS, developed the Close to Home Post Primary School Enrichment Programme. This is a vital awareness raising and educational tool which is now used throughout the country by the local Simon Communities. The Close to Home DVD and resource pack comprises a 20 minute film on homelessness and the work of the Simon Communities around the country. The resource pack contains eight colorful information sheets on a range of topics such as ‘Homelessness in Ireland', ‘Health and Homelessness' and ‘Pathways out of Homelessness'. The pack encourages students to play their part in bringing an end to homelessness by organizing a fundraising activity for their local Simon Community.
During 2008 and 2009 EBS supported Simon Week, Seven days of Action on homelessness. Simon Week represents a unique opportunity for the Simon Communities of Ireland to raise awareness of homelessness, to urge all sections of Irish Society to understand the causes of homelessness in Ireland and to take action to bring homelessness to an end. The Week also celebrates the work of Simon's staff and volunteers throughout the country. Without the support of EBS, Simon would not have been in a position to run the awareness initiative during 2008 & 2009.
Simon Week aims to:
Increase awareness of homelessness and associated issues in Ireland.
- Create greater awareness of the Simon Communities of Ireland and the work that the Communities engage in.
- Remind people that everyone has a role to play in ending homelessness and to encourage people to get involved by volunteering, participating in events and donations.
The Simon Communities of Ireland would like to extend a most sincere message of thanks to EBS and its staff for their support over the last 6 years. Simon has benefited in many ways as a result of this support and we hope that this support carries on into the future building on an already very successful and innovative partnership.