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Posted on Monday 18 February 2013 by Shelter NI

Local band donates all iTunes proceeds to Shelter Northern Ireland 

Shelterni pic 

Local band High Flying Words has chosen homeless people to be the beneficiary of funds raised from their single release ‘We Who Have No Flags’.  Available on iTunes from 18th February, the High Flying Words will be donating all download profits to Shelter Northern Ireland. 


High Flying Words is a Belfast-based band formed by Colin Hassard and Ashley Manners. The debut single from Colin Hassard was released in January 2013. Colin has been writing and performing poetry across Ireland for a number of years and he describes this song as an anthem for peace.


The band recognised the dire situation of homeless people here and is pledging the profits from the sale of the single to Shelter NI to assist us in our work with and on behalf of homeless and badly housed people in Northern Ireland. Shelter NI is delighted to have been selected by High Flying Words and is privileged to accept this donation.


High Flying Words – We Who Have No Flags


About Homelessness:

Shelter NI is concerned that homelessness is not a high priority for government. The most recent government statistics show that more people are coming forward and being confirmed as homeless.1


We are particularly worried about these trends as we believe that the impact of Welfare Reform has already just begun to affect homelessness. Welfare Reform will affect thousands of households here and we believe will make a major addition to the over 12000 homelessness households who are already waiting a home on the official NIHE waiting list at the end of September 20122.

Some 4500 of these are single people2.More single people are declaring they are homeless1.

- more -

In addition to all other changes Welfare Reform discriminates between single people under 35 and other single people of working age who need financial help to meet their housing costs.

Welfare Reform will impact on and threatens homelessness to

  • Some 5000 single people less than 35 year of age already living in private housing whose housing allowances were reduced by up to 50% from last October 2012. The official figures do not include these yet.
  • Over 32000 households of working age from 1st April 2013 who will face a ‘bedroom tax’. Their housing allowances will be reduced and they will have to find the funds to pay for an extra one or two bedrooms


About Shelter NI:

Shelter NI is a charity working in NI and it was formed in 1980 and is run by a Voluntary Management Committee. Its mission is to secure housing rights for all. We campaign and provide services to alleviate homelessness and poor housing conditions.  We receive no core funding from government.


Shelter NI provides direct housing and support services to 20 or more young people between the ages of 16 and 25 every year in Omagh. We deliver a Home Improvement Agency service in the North West which has assisted thousands of people living in private housing for more than a decade to get their home modified with a grant from the NIHE. The service is free to the user and works with over 500 older and disabled people at any time. Both services are funded by Housing Related Support, supplemented by income from rents and fundraising.


Our latest project is where we are beginning to work with local communities to renovate vacant and derelict properties in their area and housing people in need.  We have based the design of this project on proven self-help models where they have generated work for employed and unemployed skilled tradesmen; provided opportunities for apprentices to get real experience and provided affordable housing for homeless people and those in housing need.


Ends:                                                                                            18 February 2013


Media Contacts: Pieter A. Bell, Campaign and Public Relations Officer, Shelter NI – Tel: 028 9024 7752 or 07546 412518 (mobile) Email:


Notes to Editors:

1     The Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin, for the period July to September 2012 DSDNI

2     Welfare Reform Bill: Northern Ireland Housing Executive Briefing; Committee for Social Development 25/10/2012 (Hansard)

3     More information about us is available from our Website and Facebook and we can be followed on Twitter

4     Accompanying photograph, left to right: Tony McQuillan, Director Shelter NI; Ray Cashell, Committee Member Shelter NI and Colin Hassard, High Flying Words 

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