12801413_10154003592419252_2788988911338076214_nYou probably know its International Women’s Day today (8th March), thus I think it appropriate as ever to talk about local women. Local women in my city, Galway are homeless, some with their children and they are trying to seek refuge, right now.

COPE Galway work to temporarily house and help the homeless, women & children experiencing domestic violence, and older people. They are a local Galway charity, not even as big as Cancer Care West, they look after the people in YOUR community.

COPE Galway Osterley Lodge is a women’s refuge in Galway. This service is a 12 unit hostel which provides emergency and short term accommodation for women on their own and women with one or more children experiencing homelessness.

Support local women this International Women’s Day. Donate today via their website – Every little bit helps, even €5 – www.copegalway.ie

“In 2015 Waterside House could not accommodate 288 individual women with 405 children who were seeking refuge. While all attempts are made to assist women to access safety when they call, refuge spaces need to be available on an ongoing basis for women at risk.”

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Like last christmas day and the one before that, I spent the morning at Blackrock in Salthill, Galway. The christmas day swim is a huge Galway tradition. For swimmers and beach-dwellers alike, the swim is always a great event. Not unlike last year, in the run up to the 25th, the weather here was awful. It was stormy, wet and windy here in Galway and didn’t look like it was going to break. Then, out of nowhere and just for those two festive days, we were blessed gorgeous, golden sun. The tide was out so far so the sun reflected and danced on the wet sand. Four or five hundred people must have donned coats and joined us that morning – the buzz was truly electric!! A huge well done to everyone who took part and raised money for this very worthy cause.

This year was homeless charity, COPE’s 25th year doing the swim. COPE are a charity who work with the homeless in Galway and also women and children who are effected by domestic violence. The COPE swim was sponsored by Castle Print this year too! To help COPE, you can’t still do sp by texting SWIM to 50300 to donate €4.

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Some shots I took while volunteering at the recent COPE Galway ‘Give it Socks 5k’. This event was all about raising money for COPE and of course wearing the funkiest socks while running! Even though the morning was dull and misty, the turnout was unbelievable and the positivity and sense of fun amongst the runners was great! Starting at the Claddagh hall the run route followed out the prom from Southpark to the Western House (Carpark) and back. Young, old, pro runners and first timers, mums with buggies and people with dogs, everyone was here to run and have fun! 
You might remember I volunteered at the COPE Christmas Day Swim also, cheek it out here. COPE work with the homeless in Galway and also women and children who are effected by domestic violence. COPE are local to Galway City & County.

I woke at 6.30am on Christmas, I couldnt sleep. After two hours of Lyric FM’s kids christmas movie music, I donned my santa hat and went down to Blackrock to help out at the COPE Charity Swim. I have been attending this event since I was a kid and this year I worked with COPE to raise money. After two weeks of a code orange storm battering the Irish coastal towns, I thought it was going to be a brutal morning but I couldnt be more wrong. Unlike the day before, collecting money in the city centre in the wind and rain, Christmas morning was perfectly calm. Cold, bright, sunny and calm. There must have been five hundred people passed through Blackrock, all ready and willing to jump into the freezing sea. Heros!
COPE work with the homeless in Galway and also women and children who are effected by domestic violence. COPE are local to Galway City & County.