Turning 200 years old this year, Ireland’s oldest charity Mendicity was originally set up to eradicate begging, to offer food to those in need and to provide employment. In addition to these services, the organisation sees the production of crafts including Christmas trees and flower boxes made by Mendicity’s service users. At GCN HQ we were delighted to get our hands on this fabulous “Gay as Christmas” pallet tree, all in support of an excellent cause.
Mendicity offers valuable services to Dublin’s rough sleepers. Their busy food centre sees anywhere between 60 and 80 people per day and serves 20,000 meals a year.
Additionally, Mendicity offers employment and integration services to Ireland’s homeless community. The schemes are operated in English, Polish, Russian and Romanian as many of Mendicity’s service-users are foreign nationals.
Through their workshop programmes, Mendicity offers employment to Ireland’s rough sleepers. Those using the service are able to work for 19.5 hours a week, for which they receive payment and gain experience, making them employable.
The workshop sees the upcycling of pallet boxes to make beautiful crafts including flower boxes and Christmas trees. The crafts are sold at markets, with the profits ensuring that Mendicity can continue to provide their incredible services.
Mendicity’s head of operations, Katie Fitzsimons spoke to GCN about how the ‘Gay as Christmas Tree’ came into existence:
“All the staff were given our own pallet tree, and we were told to decorate it whatever way we wanted. I was looking at mine and saw that there were six slabs on it, maybe I could do a pride tree? And then I remembered the saying “Gay as Christmas”, so I thought I’d put it on in glitter, and added the Santa hat. Then it turned out that the top slab was broken and tilted, and I thought it looked better that way.”
For more information on Mendicity, check out their website here.
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