21 March 2017
Simon Community’s Young People welcome Brian Kennedy for an afternoon of music & chat ahead of 2017’s Red Nose Day!

Singer and songwriter Brian Kennedy took time out from his busy schedule to meet some of the young people involved in the Simon Community’s three projects which have been supported by Comic Relief’s Passport to Participation programme.

Brian listened as the young people shared with him their experience of how the Simon Community is making a difference to lives across Northern Ireland, and the difference the support from Comic Relief is making. Following the discussion, the guitars were brought out and the young people, led by Brian, enjoyed an impromptu jamming session!

Northern Ireland has some of the worst homelessness rates in the UK, with half of homeless people under the age of 25. Comic Relief’s Passport to Participation Programme supports vulnerable young people, giving them the opportunity to improve their education and skills while helping to stabilise their lives. By granting access to employment and training, the project aims to end homelessness through personal growth, skills development and an Open College Network qualification. This enables participants to live independently whilst providing a voice for hundreds of vulnerable young people who often have complex needs

Brian said: “Thanks to Comic Relief, The Simon Community provides vulnerable young people who have nowhere else to go with somewhere safe to stay. It was fantastic to visit the charity and speak to some of the young people about how The Simon Community was there for them when they had nowhere else to turn to.

“Having seen the impact the money is making, I urge everyone to make your laugh matter and raise as much as you can this Red Nose Day. It really makes a huge difference to people’s lives right here in Northern Ireland.”

Karen McAlister, Head of Service at The Simon Community said: “We were delighted that Brian was able to hear, first-hand, the experience of some of the young people we work with, and even more thrilled when he joined the group in a sing-along! The Simon Community and Comic Relief is making a real difference to the lives of vulnerable and young people in Northern Ireland.”

Comic Relief is calling on Northern Ireland to once again fundraise and help change lives across the region. A host of comedians and celebrities are supporting this year’s Red Nose Day on Friday c March 2017. Red Nose Day will culminate in a night on the BBC as a host of comic favourites from Joe Lycett to French and Saunders preside over a mammoth night of live comedy, sketches, music moments, fundraising films and much more.

To find out how you can get involved and make your laugh matter visit Rednoseday.com.

Pictured with Brian Kennedy are Karen McAlister, Head of Service – Young People and Amy Hunter

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