Friday night saw the first of three Celtic Sleep Out events this festive season, as over 30 participants took part in our inaugural initiative in Derry.
The event was our third in Ireland, following the wonderful success of Sleep Outs in Sligo and Donegal in 2021 and 2022 and, as was the case on these occasions, net proceeds raised from the Celtic Sleep Out, Derry will be devoted to our Irish Christmas Appeal beneficiary charities.
The group was a mix of individual supporters and representatives from CSCs across the country including Derry No.1, Buncrana, Laois, Lurgan No.1 and Tyrone No.1.
Collectively, participants are on course to raise a phenomenal net total in the region of £15K for our 2023 Christmas Appeal. However, fundraising is ongoing and there’s still time to support the Derry Sleep Out team by making a donation HERE.
The event took place at Derry’s very own Celtic Park, which is now synonymous with Gaelic sports in the city but owes its origin and name to its footballing past.
It was first developed as the home ground of Derry Celtic FC in 1894, at a time when football had become the dominant sport in the area. As Derry Celtic’s star began to rise, prominent clubs came to play, not least the famous Glasgow Celtic in 1896.
The GAA took over the ground in the early 1900s and Celtic Park has since been the home of Gaelic sports in Derry.But for Friday night, it played host to our Sleep Out participants.
After registration and a short briefing, the local Mayor and Derry City’s Ciaran Coll both paid a visit to wish participants well before the Sleep Out officially began at 9.00pm in what felt like monsoon conditions. But it certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of the group, as they headed out into the main stand for the obligatory group photo, before setting up for the night ahead.
We were joined once again by award-winning country and folk music artist Sina Theil, and, just as she had done at our Sligo and Donegal events, Sina brought along her guitar and entertained fellow participants with an array of Celtic favourites, as well as a few of her own original songs.
Despite some challenging conditions faced throughout the night, our participants continued to remain upbeat until the event came to a close at 5.00am.
We offer special thanks to our friends at The Association of Irish Celtic Supporters’ Clubs, the Derry No.1 CSC and our fantastic GAA hosts, whose unwavering generosity, advice and assistance were instrumental in the organisation of the event.
And of course, we thank all of our Sleep Out participants for their incredible efforts, and also all of those who very kindly supported them.
The proceeds from this event will play a vital role in helping to deliver this year’s Christmas Appeal, and every penny raised will be devoted to supporting those most in need within a number of communities in Ireland, through Women’s Aid Dublin, Women’s Aid Belfast & Lisburn and Foyle Women’s Aid in Derry.
Each of these wonderful organisations play a vital role in supporting women and children who have suffered domestic abuse, and who face an extremely challenging time over the festive period.
Marie Brown of Foyle Women’s Aid spoke of their gratitude for those who’ve supported this year’s Appeal, saying: “We would like to thank everyone who participated in the Derry Sleep and have supported the wider Christmas Appeal. The women and children will benefit greatly this Christmas because of your generosity.”
Eavan Ward of Women’s Aid Dublin highlighted the importance of the contributions made, saying: “Economic abuse means that the women we work with struggle to pay their bills and keep food on the table, irrespective of how resourceful and resilient they are. Being able to offer women some financial help, to make their Christmas costs easier to bear is really affirming. We see the real difference this help makes in the lives of the woman and children and we are very grateful to everyone who supports Celtic FC Foundation’s Christmas Appeal, thank you.”
Elain Smyth of Women’s Aid Belfast and Lisburn added: “We are very busy here in Women’s Aid as the demands on our services just seem to be endless. The donations received via the Foundation’s Christmas Appeal make such a difference to the lives of the women and children we support, it can really be life changing! One of our women told us last year that she had no money to buy food for Christmas and presents for the children were just not an option. However, support from the Foundation offered her the chance to have a proper Christmas with her children. Your support is invaluable, and we are so thankful for your generous giving!”
Our 2023 Christmas Appeal aims to bring comfort and light up the lives of many who would otherwise struggle over the festive period.
This includes local families facing poverty, so they can enjoy the type of Christmas that many of us take for granted.
As well as pensioners, women and children in refuge, the homeless community and refugees and a host of others experiencing hardship.
Together, we can Light Up Someone’s Christmas this festive season.
To get behind this year’s Christmas Appeal, you can also:
- Donate online HERE
- Donate via PayPal HERE
- Donate via Facebook HERE
- Donate by text – text ‘CELTIC’ followed by ‘£1’, ‘£5’ or ‘£10’ to 70085*
- Donate in Cash – there are collection boxes located in all Celtic Stores
- Donate by Cheque – payable to ‘Celtic FC Foundation’ and sent to Celtic FC Foundation, Celtic Park, Glasgow G40 3RE
- Make a donation and hang an item on our Virtual Christmas Tree HERE
- Provide support through your Christmas shopping in Celtic stores or online by purchasing an item from ‘Walfrid’s Wishlist’ HERE
- Provide support through your Christmas shopping via Give as you Live HERE
- Enter our Christmas Appeal Prize Draw, which will kick-off today – further details to follow.
- Come along to the Ghirls for Good event on Friday, November 24 HERE
- Support our Christmas Appeal Bucket Collection on Saturday, November 25 – to register as a volunteer collector, call 0141 551 4321 or email [email protected]
- Sign up for the Santa Stroll 1 Mile or 5K on Sunday, December 17 HERE
Thank you for your magnificent support.
*Texts will cost the donation amount, plus one standard rate message.