As Cork Simon’s first paid administrator, Glenys Spray’s work in the late 70s and early 80s involved campaigning and fundraising. Glenys recalls this period in Cork, when the Ford and Dunlop factories were closing but goodwill endured, and her experiences with residents, fellow workers and the community of Cork.

”The memorable moments for me, well not good memorable, would have been going into the night shelter on Lower John Street and seeing the conditions, you know, because the conditions were really bad then. But I encountered such friendship, and people genuinely cared, and that knocked me for six. I mean it was very humbling to see, in the night shelter for example, genuine across-the-board affection to the residents, who were fantastic characters, and the rougher and tougher they looked, the softer they were, often.
I remember the Christmases were brilliant; the goodwill, the musicians and the volunteering for fundraising was brilliant. We used to wheel out a piano into Patrick Street and there'd be five or six people busking and someone playing the piano. The money was flowing in but the good wishes were flowing in too and I remember that being a really great experience. 
So, I remember Simon with great fondness. It changed me, as well, getting to know homeless people more intimately, listening to their stories. It certainly sharpened my awareness of people who are homeless and their needs, but it also sharpened my awareness of the injustice of it all.
I think the whole world, not just Ireland or Cork, is still divided into haves and have-nots, and I am very worried that the have-nots are sinking even lower on the scale of importance. On the other hand, I believe in hope and I believe in trying and I believe that if enough pressure is put on, change can come. I'm hopeful for change. I'm always hopeful.”

Glenys recalls the atmosphere and the relationships in Cork Simon in the late 70s and early 80s...