Sleeping Flags Appeal 2023 to support homeless veterans

Sleeping Flags Video

Today we launch our annual Sleeping Flags appeal to raise public awareness and funds for the Irish Defence Forces’ veterans we support. The appeal uses symbolic and specially-created, tricolour sleeping bags to highlight the fate of many of Ireland’s ex-servicemen and women, who find themselves homeless.

The Sleeping Flags appeal challenges protocols around the treatment and image of the Irish flag. Many of the veterans who use ONE’s services, sacrificed their physical and mental well-being, serving both at home and abroad, in UN peacekeeping missions as far away as the Congo and Middle East to maintain stability yet found little support at home when they left active duty. Many suffered PTSD, disability, addiction issues, familial breakdowns and eventual homelessness.

Sleeping Flags serves to highlight the severity of the real-life situation for many Defence Forces veterans. ONE offers housing and support to homeless veterans across the country, with the ultimate goal of helping the ex-personnel access permanent accommodation, improve their mental health and prevent future homelessness. All funds raised throughout the week will go directly towards improving support centres, funding the vital veteran homes, increasing mental health outreach and supporting the people at the heart of the charity.

To date, ONE has helped over 1,000 veterans get back on their feet. The charity provides accommodation and meals for 51 veterans, who would otherwise be homeless, in its four residential homes and is currently developing a further home in Cork to bring its homeless accommodation to 57 bedrooms. ONE also has a network of 15 Veteran Support Centres and 37 Branches, but the cost of running these facilities is increasing all the time. The charity has an annual operating budget of approximately €1.2 million for current services in 2022, excluding capital spending associated with the new home in Cork. While the organisation is grateful for the state funding it receives, there is a significant deficit that must be raised by the charity to support its vital services. This is achieved through fundraisers, membership subscriptions and donations, with Sleeping Flags being one of the main campaigns each year.  

CEO of ONE, Cormac Kirwan, said:
“ONE’s annual Sleeping Flags Appeal aims to improve awareness and provide funding to support the needs of Irish veterans, through the provision of accommodation, mental health outreach and addiction counselling. All of this is done through our nationwide network of branches and veteran support centres and we would appeal to the public to donate to Sleeping Flags. Donations can be made via text and on our website.”

To donate text ‘FLAG’ To 50300, or visit our fundraising page with Payzone

Texts cost €4 – ONE will receive a minimum of €3.60

Service Provider: LIKECHARITY – Helpline: 01 481 9311

More about this appeal here.
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