GMIT Mayo students organise 'Sleep out' fundraiser for Focus Ireland

Thursday, October 15, 2015 Press Office
Press Release

Social Care students raise awareness of ‘Shine a Light Night' (16 Oct)

A group of students from GMIT Mayo are holding a ‘Sleep out’ night on Friday, 16 October, in Castlebar, Co Mayo, in aid of the homeless charity Focus Ireland.


The students, who are studying degree programmes in Nursing and Social Care as well as Business, are aiming to raise awareness and funds for the ‘Shine a Light Night’ for the homeless taking place in towns and villages across Ireland on Friday, 16 October; The Castlebar ‘Sleep out’ takes place in the Mall, opposite the Court House and Garda Station.

The GMIT students have set up a webpage so that people can make a donation if they wish:…

The students taking part are members of the GMIT Mayo Student Mental Health Promotion Team , a sub-branch of the Mayo Mental Health Association, which was set up last year (2014).


Sharon Lohan from Cloonboo, Co Galway, who is a third year student on the Bachelor of Science in Applied Social Care Studies programme, says the ‘Sleep out’ is their first event of this academic year. In partnership with Focus Ireland’s Shine a Light Night, the whole team along with a few lectures will be sleeping out to raise awareness of the plight of homeless people.”


“We invite members of the public to join us and even come to support us for an hour or two, or to donate whatever they can afford,” she says.


The GMIT Student Mental Health Promotion Team is a student-led association which promotes mental health awareness within GMIT Mayo and the wider community, providing support through information sharing.


Sharon says “Our group encourages everyone to speak up and speak out and we host a range of activities and events to promote our messages.  Last year’s events schedule consisted of talks by high profile people such as Cork GAA personality Conor Cusack, Maria Walsh, Rose of Tralee 2014, and Tom Meagher, the worldwide spokesperson for the White Ribbon Campaign.”


“Our group has been awarded the White Ribbon Campaign and more recently the Amber Flag which will be raised on campus on 20 October by Dr Fergal Barry, President of GMIT.”

“Panty Bliss, also known as Rory O'Neil, and Same Sex Marriage referendum spokesperson, is one of the acts lined up for another event taking place on 10 November.”