Liberties charity hope to win €1000 in the ‘Better Together’ competition

A local Liberties charity has entered the “Better Together” video story competition in the hopes of winning €1000 to help homeless people in Dublin Inner City.

The Mendicity Institution, based on Island Street, created a video for the competition which shows the history of the organisation and what is being done on a daily basis to “disrupt and prevent the cycle of homelessness.”

The video also tells the story of a man called Robertas who moved to Ireland in 2004 to find work, but soon became homeless.  Through the workshops ran by the Mendicity Institute, Robertas managed to turn his life around, detoxing from his alcohol problems and returning to work.

A still from the Mendicity Institution's video for the Better Together Competion

A still from the Mendicity Institution’s video for the Better Together Competition

The Better Together competition is for Irish community and voluntary organisations, Non-Government Organisations & clubs to drum up support for their cause, as well as share the work they do.

Simone Sav, workshop manager with the Mendicity Institution, says that the organisation entered the competition in order to raise awareness for the charity. “Even though we have been around for almost 200 years, we underwent a period where we were functioning as a food centre primarily,”  shes says.

“Under the leadership of our current manager, Charles Richards, we have significantly expanded our services,”

The main programme ran by the institution is the Mendicity Workshop Programme.  This programme allows homeless people an outlet to build things such as waterproof sleeping bags, rope and cork decorations, flower window boxes and cards.

Other services offered by the organisation include a food centre, an employment and integration programme, a migrant prison in-reach programme and English language classes.   

The institution also offers a “Mendo Shed” programme, which offers homeless people and those who are recently housed afternoon activities to ensure they have sober and safe activities to take part in that keep them off the street.

If the Mendicity Institute win one of the six €1000 cash prizes, Ms Sav says that the organisation will buy materials for the Mendicity Workshops.

The Mendicity Institution was originally founded in 1818 and is Ireland’s oldest working charity.  Set up as an alternative to workshops that were prevalent in Inner City Dublin at the time, the charity offered men and women an opportunity to learn a trade and find employment.

The organisation’s 5 full time staff members, along with 6 part-time workers, aim to help the homeless living on the streets of Dublin and provide support services to other charities such as Focus Ireland, the Peter McVery Trust and Care After Prison.

The Mendicity Institution are asking Liberties residents to vote for their entry for the Better Together competition (, liking and sharing their Facebook page and buying their Christmas cards and decorations (available soon at

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