Southill Hub is a dynamic social space for parties, get-togethers and a weekly Bingo night, organised by a group of very committed community members pictured above.
Southill Hub offers offer space to other community-based organisations who are working with the Southill community
Southill Hub enhances the lives of local residents by providing them with a new community centre where local groups meet and plan their activities. They provide an open and safe space for the community of Southill to develop educational, recreational and social opportunities in a healthy environment. The Hub is a vibrant and lively centre in the heart of the community, a place for the community to gather and enjoy the support on offer.
Their high-quality community café provides breakfast and lunch each day in a welcoming environment, where neighbours and families can come to meet up and have a bite. Southill Hub Manager, Karen O’Donnell O’Connor describes the cafe as “kind of the heart of the place”.
“The cafe is the first one of its kind in Limerick City, and that’s a space where people can come and have good quality low-cost affordable meals,” said the Southill Hub Manager, she continued, “The cafe is open five days a week we serve an afternoon hot meal to the young children of South Hill after school, and we also provide catering for organisations across the city so that’s kind of the heart of the place.”
The Hub also has a busy youth work service which works with young people in the area, running both youth clubs and programmes every week, along with summer camps throughout the summer. They also provide a teen café once a week where young people from 3rd to 6th year can come and hang out in a safe and comfortable place in their community. The youth work team also incorporates a family support programme to give broader support to the wider family and offer programmes and one-to-one support to parents and caregivers in the area.
Manager of Southill Hub, Karen O’Donnell O’Connor said, “the South Hill Hub is a community centre right in the heart of South Hill. It came about because the community identified a need for a safe social space within their Community; to come together, to do things, to have a bit of craic, to have meetings, things that really support a strong and vibrant Community.”
They also offer space to other community-based organisations who are working with the Southill community such as Southill Afterschools, Extern and Le Cheile, who work alongside the Hub in providing for the community. The group also provides meeting rooms and recreational spaces such as the sports hall and newly opened kitchen space and hybrid training room. These spaces are available for rent from organisations who are providing things like training on the Southside and are looking for a clean, bright and easily accessible, good-value location.
Karen says from The Hub’s perspective, the community wanted a centre which would “support them”, saying, “it’s our job to run programs based on what we think would be of benefit but primarily what the community identify to us as a need, or which come to us as a need through the work that we’re already doing.”
The community uses the large hall for sporting purposes, things like workout classes, dancing, and gymnastics. It is also a dynamic social space for parties, get-togethers and a weekly Bingo night, organised by a group of very committed community members. Throughout the year, Southill Hub holds community events such as a Halloween Disco, Easter festival and our ever-popular Santa’s Grotto.
Assistant Manager, Aisling Lohan said, “We have the largest hall in the community centre in Limerick so having such a big Hall gives us the space to bring the community together through having tea dances, community bingo which happens each week, or the larger scale family-friendly fun discos and events when we do an event we will have you know 200 people in in the sports hall and it’s a greater chance for all the community to get together to meet each other.”
Southill Hub prides itself in catering to people of all generations, whether that be within a family or within the community, saying with everything made available “there is something for everyone”. Youth Work Team Lead, Suzi Cronin says Southill Hub works hard to make sure the community is a place where people enjoy growing up, “you know our tagline here is Southill is a great place to grow up and grow old,” she said, continuing, “and I’m a firm believer in that, and part of our project wants to make sure that that continues to be the case.
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 www.socialenterpriselimerick.ie #SocialEnterpriseLimerick