Picture L – r back row Olliver Creighton, Deborah O Holloran (Befriending), Tracey Lynch (CEO) Celline Mc Cormack (Befriending), Front row l – r : Pat Begley, Mairead Mc Cormack, Michael Purcell, Michael Jones
The 2015 Pride of Place Awards, which is run by Co-operation Ireland in conjunction with local authorities north and south of the border, aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that community initiatives make to society. This year Tait House Community Enterprise (THCE) located on Collins Avenue on the Roxboro Road, Limerick City has been nominated for this prestigious community award for the recent achievements of their Outreach to the Elderly Befriending Service.
THCE recognised a need for a Befriending service within the local community and in line with Limericks’ Age Friendly Strategy proceeded to establish this service for the people of the Southill area and beyond. The main objective of the service is to generate social inclusion and equality by engaging older people in positive and supportive relationships. The Service operates in collaboration with other services provided by Tait House such as The Action Centre which provides assistance with grant application, form filling, information on rights and entitlement with local Estate Management thus creating a centralised services hub. THCE have formed partnerships with local supportive services such as Social Services, Primary Health Care Team, HSE, An Gardaí Síochaná and LCCC office of Regeneration. By ensuring that the service provided will be delivered through a person centred model of care in a collaborative way with shared responsibility between other service providers, services users and the staff of THCE, We can help to improve both physical and mental health and the overall well being of people as they age.
THCE recently collaborated with An Gardaí Síochaná to deliver a Safer Community Presentation. The Presentation which was held each Wednesday for the month of May informed, educated and assisted older people to ensure greater public awareness of prevention methods on how best to live and support a safe living environment. The attendees were offered a free lock and chain for their door (which Tait House also installed), were provided with information on panic alarms and were given assistance with Grant assistance forms whilst enjoying a beautiful afternoon tea in the relaxing setting of The Mr Tait Café which is located on the grounds of Tait House. Chief Superintendent David Sheahan stated that “We are delighted to be partnering with THCE once again after the success of our work with them on the Team Limerick Clean-up. We work to the same agenda which has community at its core in line with the objectives of the Age Friendly Strategy.”
THCE aims to generate enterprise, employment and training opportunities through the provision of services for the people of Limerick. Tracey Lynch CEO of THCE stated that “we are delighted to be nominated for a ‘The Pride of Place Award 2015’ amongst other great community initiatives. It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the collaborative approach achieved by Tait House Befriending Services and how this approach can make a real and practical difference to society, by identifying and responding to the needs of the community we ensure that the people within the community are at the heart of each of the services provided by THCE”
THCE have recently presented The Befriending Programme to Limerick Senior Forum in City Hall and to The Probus Association of retired and semi-retired professional and business personnel. Oliver Creigton of the Senior Forum stated that “LSF the voice of the Senior citizens of Limerick welcome the opportunity to work with Tait House in promoting our services to the Seniors of Limerick” Through their work over the coming months THCE hope to engage with many more Community Groups across the City and County.
Limerick City and County Council has announced that Limerick will be represented in the all-island initiative by the Tait House Community Enterprise in Category 5 (Age Friendly Initiative) and also Kilteely in Category 1 for population centres of up to 300 people, Bruff-based BGM Community Council Ltd. in Category 4 for population centres over 2000 and Scanlon Park in Castleconnell in Category 8 (Housing Estates).
The various projects will be aiming to emulate Limerick’s recent success in the competition when Castleview Park in Newcastle West claimed the top prize in its category in 2013 and in 2014 the Community Wellness Empowerment Leadership & Life Skills Project, St Mary’s Community, King’s Island, Limerick scooped one of the Special Awards in the Cities Competition. Radharc na Cille Housing Estate in Kilmallock, Co Limerick also picked up a prestigious runner up prize in the Housing Estates Category last year.
Congratulating the four Limerick projects nominated to participate in this year’s competition, Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr Kevin Sheahan said the selected projects reflect the “depth and breadth of voluntary activity underway in communities across the Limerick.”
Mayor Sheahan added: “It is very evident from the applications received on foot of the Council’s call to community groups and organisations to participate in this year’s competition that the communities in question are wholly committed to making a really positive contribution to their localities. A key factor in the success of our participating projects this year will be the continued support of the wider community particularly when it comes to Pride of Place judging during July.”
Josephine Cotter-Coughlan, Director of Services, Limerick City and County Council, commented: “The competition offers communities the opportunity to showcase the positive contribution that local groups make to the overall enhancement of their localities. This year, we received expressions of interest from towns and villages all over Limerick. We now look forward to cooperating with the nominees with their preparations ahead of the judging season.”
The 2015 Pride of Place award ceremony takes place in Ennis, County Clare, in November.