Local homeless charity The Welcome Organisation has benefitted from a massive £30,000 fundraising boost following its tenure as George Best Belfast City Airport’s official ‘Charity Partner of the Year’.
Established in 1997, The Welcome Organisation provides potentially life-saving services to more than 1,400 people affected by homelessness across the greater Belfast community every year.
As a responsible business with the community at the heart of its operations, Belfast City Airport has championed The Welcome Organisation for the past two years and has raised vital funds to ensure the charity can continue its services, which include a drop-in centre, a street outreach team, crisis accommodation for women, and floating support vehicles.
Speaking of the partnership, Stephen Patton, HR and CR Manager at Belfast City Airport, said:
“When it came to choosing our Charity Partner of the Year, we looked for organisations with an ethos that reflected our own and a passion for making a real difference in our local community.
“That made The Welcome Organisation, which delivers round-the-clock assistance to some of the most vulnerable people in society, the perfect choice.
“Whether it be a hot meal, a shelter for the night, or just a listening ear, the charity works tirelessly to ensure their service users are supported, while treating them with care and compassion.
“That is something truly admirable and something we are extremely proud to support.”
During the partnership, Belfast City Airport employees collectively organised clothes donations, food banks, delivery of essential items, charity lunches, quiz nights, and in-terminal collections.
Staff also volunteered time to assist at the drop-in centre and workshop to alleviate the pressure and demand on Welcome Organisation volunteers.
Some of the biggest fundraising efforts came through flagship campaigns, including The Big Sleepout, which saw representatives from numerous businesses in NI spend a cold night outside the airport to raise awareness of and money for The Welcome Organisation, and most recently the Secret Santa campaign which ensured all service users at the drop-in had a gift to open on Christmas Day.
“At Belfast City Airport, we pride ourselves in doing all we can to help our community and the efforts of our staff to get behind The Welcome Organisation are testament to that.
“Whilst the organisation’s term as our official charity partner is concluding, we know the funds and awareness raised will have longevity for The Welcome Organisation and the greater Belfast region, and we will continue to support the charity’s efforts moving forward.”
Kieran Hughes, Fundraising and Marketing Manager at the Welcome Organisation, deemed the partnership a flying success and said:
“Unfortunately the number of individuals across Northern Ireland affected by homelessness is on the rise and the problem remains prevalent in our city.
“The COVID-19 pandemic put extra strain on our services, but continuous fundraising and awareness generated by Belfast City Airport during that period have crucially allowed us to continue delivering potentially life-saving services to those who need it most.
“It has been an absolute pleasure working with the airport as its official charity partner and we would like to extend our sincere thanks to the staff and passengers for their truly invaluable support.”
For more information on The Welcome Organisation and how you can support the charity in the fight against homelessness, visit www.homelessbelfast.org