Help's never been needed more than now

Focus' Rachel Murphy talks to Dan O'Neill

Rian Gallagher

The Vhi Women's Mini-Marathon has raised millions of euro for charities since its inception. We look at the work of Focus Ireland and how you can make life better for children, families, men and women who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless.

Rachel Murphy, public fundraising manager at Focus Ireland, tells us about the organisation.

"Focus Ireland was founded in 1985, and now has over 70 services and projects nationwide that work to prevent and end homelessness.

"We have a particular focus on working with vulnerable families and young people, preventing them from becoming homeless and helping those who lose their home to move on as quickly as possible.

"We provide support, advice, and advocacy and help them rebuild their lives. We work with young people leaving state care.

"In 2014 Focus Ireland helped over 11,000 people, which is more than ever before. We couldn't do this without the support of the public and companies, who help make our services possible by supporting our fundraising initiatives..

"This will be the 15th year that Focus Ireland has had a team of women supporting our work by running the Mini Marathon. It's a wonderful day as so many causes are supported by these amazing walkers, joggers and runners, and Focus Ireland are so grateful to all those who share our vision.


"In 30 years, we've never seen things as bad, with family and youth homelessness challenges increasing so significantly in 2014 and no signs of easing.

"We are calling on women from around the country to join Team Focus to help us celebrate our 30-year anniversary of the work we do in changing lives.

"Every €100 can help provide support to live independently for families who are experiencing homelessness. And 89c of every euro spent goes directly on providing our services for people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home.

"Team Focus can set up online sponsorship pages at our website to register and receive our full support pack, t-shirt and sponsorship forms."