EY Sleep-Out 2016
On December 9th 2016 EY Partners and Staff made a commitment to sleep-out to raise funds for the homeless. The charities that we supported were Peter McVerry Trust and Focus Ireland. To date we have raised a massive €76,000 between the charities. However, what we gained from the experience of sleeping outside is even more valuable. Jim Ryan a Partner in our Tax practice wrote a piece for the people who donated that captures our experience perfectly.
There were 73 EY’ers sleeping out. We gathered at 9pm, had a bowl of a soup and huddled for a few hours. Spirits were high until it was time to settle down with cardboard and plastic sheeting in hand.
Reality kicked in as we attempted to get to sleep. Despite the overnight temperature being plus 6 and the lack of rain, the cold emanating from the concrete through the cardboard and plastic was relentless. I am not sure that any number of layers could have reduced the intensity of the cold.
The battle to achieve comfort was in vain. I had to resign myself to the fact that this was an impossible task. The noise on the streets was overwhelming. Sirens, traffic noise, party goers, late night venues and bright lights all joined forces to create a cacophony that can only be rivalled by my 5 year old daughter’s violin recital the previous day. One thing I can attest to is the frequency of the late night Luas, whose drivers got endless pleasure from clanging the electronic bell each time it passed…..no doubt in support.
The last of the clubs closed their doors around 4am, to the sound of “Do They Know Its Christmas”. By then the morning dew was lingering in the air before conducting an early morning sortie on our sleeping bags.
The next 2 hours is when it really got tough, hoping against hope that I could manage to gain a few hours’ sleep, but to no avail. Tossing and turning, anxious and frustrated, knowing that within a few hours I could return to the comfort of my home and family created further challenges in my mind…………..but most of all it struck me how lucky and grateful I am for those friends and family who have donated so much to make the night worthwhile.
At 6am we were all disturbed and told to move on (by our own gate keeper rather than the Gardaí). We duly folded up our cardboard and plastic beds with no complaints and headed back to our reality.