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

30 September 2020

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Threshold’s Bedtime Stories will help to protect families from homelessness

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.

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 the current and four previous Laureates taking part alongside Ireland’s best-loved children’s authors and illustrators.

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.