July 21st saw the first Gray School of arms fencing for charity event, held in Dublin at the Sean O Casey community centre. The event was in support of the Dublin Simons charity helping to raise funds for the homeless.
The event began on the Saturday afternoon with an opening talk and explanation about the event and the Dublin Simon community.
This was quickly followed by demonstrations of fencing with different types of weapons performed by Gray School of Arms students and teacher. The demonstrations performed where with a range of weapons from empty hand kickboxing and wrestling to swords, sword and shield, sword and dagger, spear, longword and montante.
After the demonstrations the guests and participants at the event had the opportunity to look at and talk about each weapon and the school itself. This was followed by introductory lessons on the usage of each weapon by the schools teacher Nathan Gray and the senior students Drew Armstrong and Matt O Brien.
By 1:30 it was time for lunch after which the hall was opened up for free fencing in which the fencers began their assaults (sparring) the sparring lasted for another hour before the event came to an end at 3pm
A Final talk and thank you to all who attended and to the generosity showed by the students and spectators in raising funds for the charity.
The Simons community
Dublin Simon Community was founded by a group of Trinity and UCD students in 1969, who began by providing much-needed soup and sandwiches to people who were sleeping rough in Dublin city centre.
In addition to the Soup Run, which still goes out 365 nights of the year, Dublin Simon Community provide many services which aim to help those who are sleeping rough on the streets, people who are in their own accommodation but at risk of homelessness and those who are at any of the stages in between.
We offer a range of services to help aid the homeless some of these services are: homeless specific Community Employment Scheme, with opportunities for placements across our services.
The Hub beside our treatment services at Ushers Island, transforming a derelict warehouse into exercise and creative rooms for our health, wellbeing, education and creativity services
Our new 30 bed emergency accommodation at Longfields opened its doors in December.
It was a real pleasure to help raise funds to combat the crisis Ireland is facing today, with the numbers of homeless rising each day, more needs to be done. It is with small steps and the help and support of local communities that we will one day hopefully be able to give everyone a home.
We will be holding this event once a year and look forward to the next fundraiser.