Galway Simon Community’s Bridge Resource Centre in Ballinasloe, will receive a new library worth €1,500 through the Bord Gáis Energy Donate a Library programme. The Bridge Resource Centre was selected as the winner out of hundreds of nominations from all over the country. The judging panel included campaign ambassador Lisa Duffy, Gert Ackerman from charity advocacy group The Wheel and TV3 Ireland AM presenter, Sinead Desmond.

The Bridge Resource Centre is a drop in centre that provides varying levels of support to people who are experiencing homelessness, those who are at risk of homelessness and street drinkers in the area. The centre offers advice on rights and entitlements, assistance with application forms for housing, medical cards, or social welfare payments. It is a safe, non-judgemental, warm place where food, showers and a change of clothes can be availed of. The centre also offers support to clients searching for accommodation, referrals to more appropriate services such as addiction services, mental health, probation and or counselling services.

Speaking about the win, Aisling Higgins, Coordinator at the Bridge Resource Centre said, “The joy of reading books can offer an escape from life’s everyday challenges. A library in the centre will bring excitement to staff and clients as we discuss the new books we have won. It’s our plan to establish a book club that includes all literacy levels which will help with the self-esteem and confidence of all involved. Many cannot afford books or lack the confidence to enter the public library, so a library in the centre will make books and reading more accessible.”

Speaking about Donate a Library and in recognition of the Bridge Resource Centre, Claire Smith from Bord Gáis Energy said, “The services offered by the Bridge Resource Centre are absolutely invaluable to all that attend there. We’re delighted to be able to help in some small way with this library donation and hope it helps the team realise their book club plans and all that they may bring”.