Cllr Sarah Kiely pictured with Lisa O’Donoghue as they delivered the baked treats donated for the Community Bake initiative this Wednesday evening. Picture: Deirdre Power
Community Bake organised by Cllr Sarah Kiely provides three Limerick Nursing Homes with deliveries of baked treats
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Mary Doyle
This Wednesday, May 6, Cllr Sarah Kiely along with her friend Lisa O’Donoghue organised a Community Bake initiative which resulted in enough baking donations to grant three Limerick nursing homes with an abundance of baked treats to enjoy. A simple but effective way of spreading kindness, ample donations meant that hundreds of nursing home residents and workers could enjoy the home baking and know that the outside world are thinking of them.
The idea for this community initiative came about during conversations between Cllr Sarah Kiely and Lisa O’Donoghue surrounding the difficult circumstances that nursing homes are experiencing during this COVID-19 pandemic, and the pressure that they are under. With restrictions on visiting, and strict social distancing and cocooning measures in place, it is these unusual circumstances that may leave residents feeling isolated, alone, and helpless.
Cllr Sarah Kiely told us, “People in the community are mad to help. We had an amazing response, and we just want the nursing homes to know that we are thinking of their residents and workers during this time, even though we can’t show this in the usual ways. This was our way of showing that we care.”
With the original plan of delivering the delicious baked goods to just one nursing home, the volume of generous donations which amounted to two carloads of sweet treats meant that Good Counsel Nursing Home, Athlunkard Nursing Home as well as Corbally House Nursing Home could all benefit from this initiative, and enjoy the home-baked cakes, buns and pies. This act of kindness brightened the days of both the residents and employees of the nursing homes, as they enjoyed seeing new faces and having a chat with Sarah and Lisa who delivered the goods, even if it was from two different sides of a window while social distancing.
Cllr Sarah Kiely said, “It was a great way to bring the community together. Originally myself and Lisa were just going to bake, but we thought why not create a bigger response and invite whoever wanted to help to do so. Three nursing homes have benefited from their kindness and were absolutely delighted to be given such beautiful treats, more importantly, the staff and residents know we are thinking of them. We are in this together.“
Cllr Sarah is no stranger to baking with a previous career as a chef, and she says she never thought she would return to her cooking background, but isolation during this pandemic has led to a surprising turn of events. Having established a following to her daily cooking Facebook Live Streams, she said, “I know people are finding it difficult to have structure and routine so I decided I’d like to share some of my recipes on my Facebook page. It took off from there because food brings people together and sharing knowledge is definitely something positive too. So lots of people now contact and connect with me because of the cook along. There are people watching from Italy, Spain, the USA and all parts of Ireland. Its really uplifting and technology often gets a bad reputation, in this pandemic it has enabled us to be together. I was a chef for 20 years and that’s how I met my late husband Damien O’Shaughnessy so it has fond memories for me ”
This Community Bake initiative was so successful that there are plans for another one in the coming weeks. Follow Cllr Sarah Kiely’s Facebook Page for updates and information to see how you can get involved in the next Community Bake, and for her cooking Livestreams Monday to Friday at 6 pm!
For more information on Cllr Sarah Kiely, click here.
For more community stories, click here.