Laois Architects Celebrate Ten Years of Fundraising for the Simon Communities in Ireland

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Simon Communities have launched their tenth annual RIAI Simon Open Door. Architects in Laois and nationwide will offer one hour consultations to the public for a donation of €50.00, every cent of which goes directly to the Simon Communities in Ireland. To date, €300,000 has been raised by the Irish public and architects.Log on to to book your one-hour consultation with an RIAI Registered architect in your area.  All architects give their time and expertise for free.  The RIAI Simon Open Door will take place over Saturday and Sunday, 10th and 11th May 2014.


The message of the tenth anniversary campaign is ‘Don’t be afraid to renovate’. Engaging an architect in your project will save you time and money. A consultation with an architect can open up a range of options and give you the chance to discuss the most economic and appropriate design for your requirements.


Commenting on the launch, Robin Mandal, president of the RIAI said, “Currently, we are seeing increased activity in the construction industry and the domestic sector, in particular, is blossoming.  RIAI Simon Open Door gives the public a great opportunity to sit down with a registered architect and get ideas for house extensions, new builds, creating more space to suit a growing family, and making your house more energy efficient. Architects can provide advice on potential renovations if you’re thinking of buying a house. There is no project too big or small- architects can give advice on anything from extensions to insulation, boilers, storage, windows and lighting.” We are proud as an institute to continue to raise money to combat homelessness throughout Ireland.  We are encouraging people to visit their local RIAI registered architect’s office to get the best advice on building a home for the future and in turn to help the most worthy of causes.”


Also speaking at the launch was Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities, who said, “RIAI Simon Open Door is a wonderful initiative which raises a significant amount of money for the Simon Communities. We are delighted to again partner with the RIAI for the Simon Open Door tenth anniversary this year. We want to thank each and every person who has supported us over the years.


“Homelessness was a serious issue in Ireland before the economic downturn and it still remains one. The prolonged economic crisis means that more of us have little to protect us when something goes wrong. Funding cuts hurt those who are already in crisis; those at risk of homelessness, those who have no choice but to sleep on the streets and those in emergency accommodation. Homelessness is more than not having a roof over your head, or a set of keys to a home; it can often mean having many related needs such as poor mental and physical health, problem drug and alcohol use, broken family relations, poor education and training. Homelessness can only be addressed effectively if both housing and these needs are addressed at the same time. We in Simon know what works; we just need the support to do it.”




About the RIAI


The RIAI is the regulatory and support body for architects in Ireland. Since 1839, the RIAI has been committed to upholding the highest standards in architecture and providing impartial, authorative advice and information on issues affecting architects and the built environment. Our main roles are promoting, supporting and regulating architects and protecting the consumer.


Although the RIAI carries out a statutory function as the Registration Body and Competent Authority for Architects in Ireland, this is carried out on a self-funding basis. It does not receive any Government Funding or aid for this function.


About Simon Community:

The Simon Communities throughout Ireland provide the best possible care, accommodation and support for people experiencing homelessness and those at risk. Together, with people who are homeless, we tackle the root causes, promote innovative responses and urge the government to fulfill their commitments. Simon delivers support and service to over 5,000 individuals and families throughout Ireland who experience – or are at risk of – homelessness every year. The Simon Communities of Ireland is an affiliation of local Communities in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East.


Services range from


Housing provision, tenancy sustainment & settlement services, housing advice & information services helping people to make the move out of homelessness & working with households at risk;

Specialist health & treatment services addressing some of the issues which may have contributed to homeless occurring or may be a consequence;

Emergency accommodation & support providing people with a place of welcome, warmth & safety;

Soup runs & rough sleeper teams who are often the first point of contact for people sleeping rough.

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