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Northside Family Resource Centre provides essential support and services for Limerick’s northside community



Northside Family Resource Centre provides essential support and services for Limerick’s northside community

Northside Family Resource Centre provides a safe, welcoming and supportive environment, located on the border of Moyross and Ballynanty and caters for the Northside of Limerick City

Northside Family Resource Centre Limerick
Social Enterprise Limerick is a practitioners’ network of Social Enterprises in Limerick City, supported by PAUL Partnership under the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (known as SICAP). Picture: Kris Luszczki/ilovelimerick

Working in the heart of the community since 1987, Northside FRC aims to enable the community to reach its full potential based on principles of equality, empowerment and justice.

The Family Resource Centre has a large professional staff team including community development workers, family support workers, youth workers and early-year professionals.

Mark Ryan, Northside FRC coordinator explains, “We’re one of 122 Family Resource Centers dotted right across the 26 counties as part of a national program. We would have over 70 staff, and aside from highly qualified staff we have a range of volunteers that provide essential supports across five departments and also we have student placements and employment scheme supports.”




This professional approach ensures the Northside FRC is more than service provision, it is responding to and meeting the needs of individuals, families and the community in which it serves.

 In 1994, the International Year of the Family, Northside Family Resource Centre was one of a small number of Centres which was funded for the first time under the Department of Social Welfare.  The rationale for this funding was “the perception of a possible gap in the statutory support for Community Development activities focused on support for family…”

The FRC coordinator says, set up almost 35 years ago, the centre now has three levels “including child care facility and kitchens on the ground floor, we have supports counselling rooms and training groups and on the top two floors”. Mr Ryan went on to explain that even though “it is one of the larger” centres in the country, “really we haven’t enough space in the facility here”.

Due to the life-cycle approach, from the very young to the very old, it means a whole family approach can be taken with many needs being met under the same roof of the centre.

Providing childcare services such as Sunshine Childcare, Kings Island Creche, afterschool services, creative therapies, and parent and toddler group, Northside FRC has a range of services on offer to support happy and healthy childhoods.

“The early years’ department provides services to approximately 200 children from six months to five years of age,” Mark said, continuing, “The Youth Department provides support to young people from 5 to 21 years of age these include after schools clubs, homework groups, and then there’s music art and dance therapy. There’s generic well-being classes and one-to-one, therapeutic supports and family supports based on individual children’s needs. We also have continuing and adult education and then right through to the older persons department”

Northside Family Resource Centre Limerick provides a daily Meals on Wheel service

Northside Family Resource Centre provides a range of services to Older People in their own home and local community supported by a range of measures from partner stakeholders including the HSE, Local Authority, POBAL, the wider Statutory and Community & Voluntary Sector in Limerick and, most importantly, Older People themselves.

“The older persons department focuses on people over 65 or those over 55 and with a disability and included in those services will be our daily Meals on Wheel service and we have alongside the meals and wheel service a range of wraparound supports to older people,” Mark said. 

He continued, “At the moment the club’s running on a Monday and a Thursday, they get collected on a bus they come from one o’clock to three so they come in have tea, sandwiches, biscuits, have a chat with the people they haven’t seen all week. Then of course there’s Bingo, we have to have Bingo. Then we have our Meals on Wheels service that is five days a week, people get double drops on a Friday if needs be, and there’s roughly 90 to 100 dinners gone out every day.”

One of the main aims of the FRC is to constantly progress, addressing new challenges within the community and working with local residents, service users and stakeholders to constantly improve.

Northside Family Resource Centre Limerick
Northside Family Resource Centre Limerick

Mark explained, “One of the key elements of the resource centre here is the vision of always moving on to new challenges in working with the community as to what they see as the local needs and we will put significant effort into local consultations with residents, service users, stakeholders, and our funding agencies and sources to look at having a joined up, strategic, Five-Year Plan where the project will go over that 

period so some of the new areas that we’re looking at is that here on the North side, we would have a particularly aging community and even within that there are a lot of older people now living alone so there are some of the responses that we will have to put in place.”

The FRC coordinator spoke about the centre’s need and vision to plan for the future and the needs that may arise in the areas on Limerick’s nortshide:

“We have a very strong vision of working with the King’s Island and Child Care Facility to assist in addressing needs in Saint Mary’s Park area because it will be identified as one of the most disadvantaged and deprived areas of not only here in Ireland but in Western Europe. So we’re also engaging with the community there and there’s a great sense of cooperation across the department.

“As well as being a Family Resource Center amongst the staff volunteers and the service users, there’s a great sense of almost being one large family itself. So whether it’s with the staff and service users in the child care right through to family supports, the Youth Department youth workers, project workers and the older persons Services, there’s a great sense of solidarity and joined up thinking. I think that peer support reflects the sense of family in Family Resource Center also,” he concluded.

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About Social Enterprise Limerick

Learning Hub Limerick is a member of Social Enterprise Limerick, a practitioners’ network of Social Enterprises in Limerick City. The overall objective of Social Enterprise Limerick is to provide a local platform for social enterprises to meet, network, share their experiences and learn from each other. The network encourages collaboration and the sharing of resources to help members to advance their community, social and/or environmental goals and is involved in a range of training, development and promotional activities.

In 2022, Social Enterprise Limerick was approved for funding under the ARISE programme, which is a Dormant Accounts funded initiative for the promotion of Social Enterprise. The ARISE funding was utilised to develop a range of promotional materials for network members and to highlight the activities of the SEL network, with a particular focus on the development of digital media/video content.

Social Enterprise Limerick was initiated by Paul Partnership under the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (known as SICAP). SICAP provides social inclusion support to individuals and community organisations and is co-funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of Rural and Community Development and the European Union.

For more information on the SEL ARISE project contact Michael Gleeson, Social Enterprise Officer at PAUL Partnership or visit #SocialEnterpriseLimerick

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.