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St Andrew's College Dublin St Andrew's College Dublin

Transition Year Walk-in-my-Shoes Sleepover

In aid of Focus Ireland and Merchants Quay Ireland

Last Thursday evening, 4 May, more than ninety students and twelve staff members took part in a Walk in my Shoes event in support of Focus Ireland and Merchants Quay Ireland. The aim of the event was to raise awareness and funds for homelessness.  The students' efforts raised €651.15.  This figure includes a donation of €200 from SACA (the Alumni Association).  

Here is an account of the night written by Transition Year Student Shane Hynes:

This year was the first year of the ‘Walk in my shoes’ event. It was the brain-child of a few of the Transition Year students, who were inspired by a guest speaker who came in from Focus Ireland. Almost all factors of the event were created and organised by the Transition Year Year populace, with a significant amount of help from Ms King.

It occurred on Thursday  4  May.  We left  school at 4pm, with strict instructions not to go home or to eat a huge meal. This was to try to simulate what homeless people experience.  Some people went to the park, others to Blackrock Village.  We returned to the college around 7:30pm and were given our dinner, simple soup and simple sandwiches. These were generously donated by Sodexo. After our humble meal we went to the hall for activities, including card games and Pictionary. Our sleeping areas were assigned to us, we had the option to sleep in or outside. The predominant number of the year decided to sleep outside, in dusty doorways and tucked behind windproof walls. After a painful night of sleeping on ice cold concrete, with the wind whipping our faces, we arose as if from the grave in the morning. With drooping faces and aching spines, all of us were not ready for a day of school.  Many of us got breakfast in the local shop Clarks, which ran out of all hot food, to the dismay of the students.

Even though it was a tough and chilling experience, all of us were glad we did it and we were more aware of the difficult life faced by those less fortunate than ourselves.

Presentation of cheque to Elizabeth Smith of Focus Ireland