Number crunchers hit the streets for Simon

 Starting off this year's CSO lunchtime fun run in aid of Cork Simon, from left, Eimear Coughlan, Rachel O'Leary, Cork Simon, Pádraig Dalton, director general, CSO, Dermot Kavanagh, Cork Simon, and Mary Murphy, CSO. Picture: Dan Linehan

They’re normally running the numbers and crunching statistics. But they were pounding the pavements yesterday to raise money for a homeless charity.

Staff at the Central Statistics Office (CSO) national headquarters in Cork staged a Christmas lunchtime fun run in aid of Cork Simon, their nominated charity this year.

A group of about 30 statisticians braved the rain and set off on a 5k route along the old Blackrock railway line, taking in a loop of the Atlantic Pond, before heading back to their desks.

CSO director general, Padraig Dalton, who took part in the run himself, said the CSO was delighted to help the charity.

“In Jan 2014 the CSO will be celebrating 20 years in Cork,” he said.

“As part of the community of Cork City, the CSO and our staff are happy to play their part in helping the less fortunate in our city.”

The staff also organised a Christmas jumper competition, and a cake sale to boost their fundraising efforts.

Separately, cloud security firm, Trend Micro, has donated €12,500 to Cork Simon to support its clients who need and want to get back to work.

The staff raised €8,500 during the year, and the company also donated and implemented more than €4,300 worth of cloud security software for the charity.

Cork Simon supported 1,026 people last year.

Despite increased funding pressures, the charity was able to maintain its level of services, and even introduce new initiatives.

Demand for services continued to increase this year and its emergency shelter was full every night, operating at 110% capacity.

It costs more than €6m annually to run Cork Simon’s services, with €2m coming from fundraising.

A Christmas Day swim in aid of Cork Simon takes place at noon at White Bay in East Cork.

Now in its 20th year, the event has become one of the charity’s biggest festive fundraisers with up to 60 swimmers set to brave the elements this year.


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