June’s December dips in ocean keeps homeless charity afloat

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Atlantic swimmer June Curtin

A MOTHER-of-two who struggled to cope after losing her husband to suicide has raised nearly €56,000 for people struggling to survive without a home.

June Curtin (49)  braved the icy waters off the West Clare coast every day throughout December to raise funds for homeless services charity Mid West Simon Community, which provides supports to people across Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary.

The charity said it was delighted that €55,782 was raised by Ms Curtin “who bravely went for 63 dips in the sea from December 1 to 21.”

Ms Curtin dipped herself in the Atlantic Ocean at Spanish Point beach three times a day and more than quadrupled the €13,000 she raised for the homeless services charity last year.

The woman who formed the free-to-all Snámhaí Sásta (Happy Swimmers) club in 2019 said sea swimming has helped improve her mental health following her husband John’s death in 2013.

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Mid West Simon Community chief executive Jackie Bonfield said she was in awe and humbled at Ms Curtin’s fundraising efforts.

She said that all the funds raised will go towards hiring an Activation Officer to help people in emergency accommodation and who are homeless to find a job.

“Last month there were 377 people, including 308 adults and 69 children homeless in the Mid West, and we are doing what we can to assist as many homeless people through both our emergency and long term accommodation services,” Ms Bonfield added.

Ms Curtin, whose family have run the Armada hotel for the past 50 years, said she was thrilled to have surpassed her fundraising target of €50,000 and plans to fundraise for Simon again next December.

“When I help others, my life flourishes. There is no greater joy, nor better reward than to make a fundamental difference in the lives of others and most especially those less fortunate,” Ms Curtin said.

“I know for certain that the money will be well spent and will make a huge difference to so many vulnerable people this year and that’s down to every single person that donated”.

Donate to Mid West Simon at: www.midwestsimon.ie/donate