St Munchins Community Centre – staff and volunteers are an energetic, motivating and developing group who assist the community to develop a sense of pride and reach its full potential
St Munchins Community Centre offers many services to the local area and the wider Limerick community
St Munchins Community Centre is a community enterprise centre in the heart of Limerick, that offers many services to the local area and the wider Limerick community. They identify and respond to local needs, support development, and provide a central accessible community hub accommodating local service providers.
The aim is to be an approachable, energetic, motivating and developing group who assist the community to develop a sense of pride and reach its full potential. They achieve this through networking, supporting development within the community and identifying and responding to the needs and issues of the people.
Manager Linda Ledger said, “We have had an active role in promoting and developing community involvement within the Parish since our establishment in 2005 and we have developed a broad representative base from within the community and try to cater to everyone who needs us.”
They offer a huge range of services including an exemplary Meals on Wheels service catering to 500 people. All the food is sourced locally with local suppliers with a real focus on health.
The centre took over the Ballynanty allotments over a decade ago and have been helping and educating the local community to grow their own vegetables.
Recently they teamed up with Corpus Christi Primary School in Moyross which sees them provide 210 hot lunches for primary school children.
School Principal Hilary McAlea said, “We are so indebted to Linda and her team who have provided a warm, nurturing environment and children are coming to school earlier and it’s one of the greatest examples of social enterprise I have ever seen.”
The centre provides a central accessible community hub accommodating local service providers and local community/voluntary groups. One major goal is to address isolation and social exclusion for the older members of the community.
Linda explains, “We have the edge over others in the sector as the only Age Friendly building in Ireland. This stems from our passion and commitment to make the lives of our local community as good as possible. Our amazing team of over 125 staff members come from all over Limerick, plus we have over 65 amazing volunteers who dedicate their time to help the community. There is a wide variety of people working in the centre so you’ll always feel at home here.”
They have two main buildings in operation every day, the community centre itself which is home to the majority of the services and the St. Lelia’s Age Friendly Community Education Campus which plays host to our community development and education classes.
Currently St Lelia’s School is hosting over 45 Ukrainian refugees. When they first arrived there were no proper facilities and Linda worked to feed them and offered to take them to her own house for showers and to do their laundry. Linda has now ensured that the Ukrainian refugees have all the facilities they need as well as running the community centre.
Linda added, “We are built by the community and run by the community. We have 12 locations across the city and cater everything towards the wants and needs of the community. Our job is to get people employed and educated and we work in conjunction with the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board to achieve this goal through community based classes, core education and QQI higher level classes. Literacy, numeracy, horticulture, hairdressing and care of the elderly are all courses we run. Normally our staff come through community employment and schemes to get them in employment and keep them in employment by supporting them every step of the way. We also work with people with disabilities and people on probation. Everyone knows they can come to us for help.”
Linda concluded, “Every enterprise we have here, grew organically from a need and the amount of money we keep in the local economy is massive. Every penny we make goes back into the community. With the continued support of our staff and the general public we are constantly building on the programme and services we provide and I consider it a great honour.”
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