Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright and more than 50 literary voices of Ireland donate readings of Bedtime Stories in support of Threshold

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Wednesday 30 September: More than 50 Irish writers, actors and
celebrities are collaborating with national housing charity Threshold
on a collection of bedtime stories for adults and children as part of
a new fundraising initiative. This comes as the charity revealed it
dealt with more than 4,000 cases in Dublin between January and August
this year.

Colm Tóibín, Stephen Rea, Eoin Colfer, Anne Enright and The Den
favourite Bosco are just some of those taking part Threshold’s Bedtime
Stories. Subscribers will be able to listen to these voices and many
more in return for a donation to Threshold. The full collection of
stories will be available on subscription through Patreon, the online
platform for sharing artistic content.

The project has the support of Children’s Books Ireland and the
Laureate na N’Óg with five previous Laureates taking part alongside
Ireland’s best-loved children’s authors.

The launch of this initiative has come at a time when Threshold has
never been busier. So far this year, Threshold has already supported
over 18,736 people living in the private rented sector, putting 2020
on course to be one of the busiest years since its establishment in
1978. Dublin was the worst-affected county with a total of 4,091 homes
in need of Threshold’s services so far this year, followed by Cork
with 2,128 and Galway with 1,610.

CEO of Threshold, John-Mark McCafferty said: “The number of people and
families in need of our services is already more than three-quarters
what it was in 2019. If the demand for our services continues at this
rate, for 2020 Threshold will be looking at a 19% increase on the
number of cases we saw last year; and this is in spite of the
moratorium on evictions being in place for more than a third of the
year. It doesn’t bear thinking about how much worse the situation
would have been without those protections in place.

“Having a home has always been vital, but this has never been as
acutely clear as it has this year with the Covid-19 pandemic. The
calls to our Freephone helpline are coming from every single county
across Ireland. It’s staggering – our advisors have already carried
out 73,524 actions on behalf of our clients so far this year.

We receive a certain amount of funding annually, but as the number of
cases we are dealing with continues to rise year-on-year, we seriously
need the support of donations to allow us to keep people safe in their
homes. And that’s why we’re asking people to subscribe to Threshold’s
Bedtime Stories.”

Between October and December, subscribers to Threshold’s Bedtime
Stories will be able to listen to the collection of stories and poems
at anytime for just €10 per month.

Contributor and actor, Niamh Cusack said: “Threshold is a charity that
is doing essential work to keep families together with a roof over
their heads. We all deserve a home. No one should be homeless and
without hope. To have people living in destitution is a reflection on
us all. Threshold is part of an essential solution.”

McCafferty continued: “We are so grateful to the more than 50
contributors who have lent their voices and their time to this
project. No one living in Ireland’s private rented sector is immune to
the risk of homelessness, and the housing crisis hasn’t gone away.
This year has shown us all how our lives can be turned upside down in
an instant, but we have also seen how communities can come together to
help those who need it most.

“Storytelling is an integral part of Irish culture, and a powerful
tool for connecting with others and sharing and learning from our
experiences, good and bad. For just €10 a month you will have access
to a truly wonderful, diverse collection of stories which can be
enjoyed by adults and children alike, while helping us to keep people
safe in their homes.”

Threshold’s Bedtime Stories are available at
thresholdbedtimestories.com. Stories will be available from 1 October
until 31 December and you can subscribe any time until 31 December.

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