Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A whirlwind tour of Waterford with ‘Good man Jack’


By Robert McNamara
The sun gleamed pink on the new River Suir Bridge as ‘Changing Ireland’ scuttled along on our journey toward the Ireland’s oldest city.
Not even a debate with the toll lady about her aversion to accepting coppers as legal tender could sully that sight.

Jack Walsh of Waterford



On arrival, I found that the Waterford Area Partnership (WAP) was ingrained in my guide Jack Walsh’s fibre and, everywhere we went, people knew him and greeted him fondly.
“Hi Jack”, “Well Jack”, “Good man Jack”.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How Cooleen’s Close forged a new community pride


By Hilary Dilworth and Phil Shanahan


Residents of Cooleen’s Close in Clonmel town, Co. Tipperary, have banded together and forged a new community pride in the area by retaking waste ground, entering organic gardening and opening the door to outside support.
  Upon getting organised, the residents realised there were many more agencies and supports available to them than they had been aware of.  

Ex-prisoners turning their lives around in Ferrybank


Kenny Colfer displays one of U-Casadh's awards

By Robert McNamara
The place is bustling as ‘Changing Ireland’ comes through the door unannounced and seeking a story. We immediately get the impression that there are plenty here.
The warm vibe is instantly striking and we are greeted heartily by everyone who notices our arrival - a constant theme of our recent visits to LDC supported projects.
There’s an air of confidence about the place and while everyone is busy, there’s a distinct lack of stress and a steely concentration about the men carrying out the painting, woodwork and other jobs around the place.

Hormone therapy for transgender people



'Transgender Healthcare’ was the focus of the Transgender South-East Conference 2013. Held in February, it aimed to de-mystify the healthcare needs of transgender people and their families.
Participants heard that 32% of health and social care workers had provided treatment to a transgender person, but only 10 per cent of them had any training in the issues involved.*
REPORT BY ROBERT McNAMARA.

Speed dating for community groups


L-R: Susan Power, Waterford City Childcare Committee; Eilishe O’Keeffe, Brothers of Charity; John McDonald, Waterford Disability Network; Fiona Lewis, South East Simon; Paul Murphy, Waterford Warmer Homes.

Might a replacement have been found for C&V sector “open days” held at local level where every organisation has a stall in a hall? 
ROBERT McNAMARA REPORTS:

Kerryman’s ‘Penrelief’ idea


Ger Collins, founder of penrelief.com



A new ‘get-it-off-your-chest’ website set up in March has got people from Ireland and around the world writing about their mental health challenges, REPORTS ALLEN MEAGHER.
It’s attracted the attention of two major suicide prevention agencies which are in discussions with the founder, while a cancer support group are going to take the idea and adapt it for their own use.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Kerry village wins unique prize


Mary McEvoy with Dan O’ Connor, development manager with Kerry Mental Health Association, in Ballyduff on March 14th. Photo by Oskars Krastins.

A village in North Kerry has won an unique prize, courtesy of North East Kerry Development working with an inter-agency committee.
Ballyduff won a programme to become a ‘Community of Excellence’ in promoting mental health awareness and well-being. It involves bringing as much training, talks and fun events to the village as possible, all tailored to the village’s needs and requests.