Saturday, 18th August 2018
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Celebrity Chef Clodagh McKenna launches Focus Ireland's "Grand Bake Fest"

TV presenter and chef Clodagh McKenna recently launched Focus Ireland's ‘Grand Bake Fest' supported by Siúcra, in Clodagh's Kitchen, Arnotts Dublin.

Focus Ireland is calling on everyone to get involved and whisk up a Grand Bake Fest between the 27th of May and the 2nd of June by baking and selling cakes to raise vital funds for people who are homeless and those at risk of losing their homes.

The award winning chef and TV presenter, who is getting ready to open her second Clodagh's Kitchen restaurant in Blackrock, was just back from another working trip in New York city where she has quickly built a strong following from her recent series on American television.

Clodagh said: "I'm thrilled to lend my support to this campaign. Who doesn't love cake? I love to bake and have a great respect for the work that Focus Ireland carry out. It really is upsetting that one in seven people using homeless services is a child. I would urge everybody to please get baking and do lend your support."

"Now more than ever before these services are vital. Whenever I am walking about Dublin I'm always shocked to see in this day and age so many people out on the streets with no place to call home. Events like this national baking festival can really make a big difference to the up to 5,000 people who are currently homeless in Ireland."

Last year Focus Ireland worked with over 8,000 people who were homeless or at risk of losing their home - an increase of seven per cent on 2011.

Meanwhile, our Coffee Shop in Temple Bar provided a total of over 70,000 hot meals for people who are homeless or at risk. The service in Temple Bar also provided advice and information to over 2,500 in 2012.

With more families at risk of losing their homes, Focus Ireland need the help of fundraisers like this more than ever before to support these lifeline prevention and support services.

Focus Ireland's Waterford Services Manager, David Niblock said: "We're aiming to raise 300,000 euro this year through the Grand Bake Fest to help us to continue our essential work with families and individuals. Our services include childcare, temporary accommodation, providing information, support and access to permanent housing. We helped nearly 400 households to secure a home and to move on from being homeless last year."

"We can help more families to find an escape route from homelessness but we need the help of the public. We are challenging you and your friends to host your own Grand Bake Fest between 27th May and 2nd of June to raise €1,000 or as much as you can to help prevent families losing their homes. You could organise your event at home or in your canteen, club or local community. Every single euro makes a difference and can make life better for children and families trapped in an awful situation. Please register to support Focus Ireland today. Log on to our website ."

He added: "We are more reliant on fundraising now than ever before to help support our lifeline support services and allow us to provide homes for over 650 households across Waterford, Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick, and Sligo. It is great to see how even in these difficult times so many people are willing to make the effort to take part in events like the Focus Ireland Grand Bake Fest to help charities like Focus Ireland continue our important work.

Our services here in Waterford are helping people to move on from being homeless and they are helping others by preventing them from becoming homeless in the first place. The money raised will help support our childcare services here in Waterford, providing a place of learning, development and fun for young children of families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

People can contact our Waterford office for advice and Info at Grange Cohan, St John's Park, Waterford or call us on 051 879807."

The national baking festival is being kindly sponsored by Siúcra and dozens of corporates, cafes and bakeries have already signed up to lend their support.

Joanne McAllister, Siúcra's Trade Marketing Executive, said at this morning's launch: "Siúcra are delighted to sponsor Focus Ireland's Grand Bake Fest. It is a truly worthy cause - so we encourage everyone around the country to have fun baking with Siúcra and create some delicious sweet treats to raise money for families in need."

For more information log on to to register today or check us out on facebook or on twitter - @FocusIreland.


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