NORTH INNER CITY OLDER PERSONS’ GROUP
According to the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland, ‘‘Social engagement is key for the health, well-being and independence of older people’’. Further, ”Community projects that cater to the needs of diverse groups of older people are important in encouraging social engagement and interaction’’.
The North Inner City Older Persons’ Group is a voluntary organisation that holds a biannual day out in the summer and in the winter. Every year, around one hundred and fifty older people from the tight-knit community of the north east inner city descend on the Waterside Hotel in Donabate, North County Dublin. Over the years the group fund-raised amongst themselves and small local organisations. Through collections and raffle tickets the group funded each event themselves. This year, they would like to get funding through sponsorship.
“One of our biggest fundraisers – the late Paddy Behan – he’s gone.”–Tony Dunleavy
Each event costs in and around seven thousand euro. With transportation, food, drinks and entertainment for the evening, it works out to about 40 to 50 euro per head. A staggering amount for those only in receipt of the O.A.P. These are people who are mostly living in isolation, with little to no family. A lot of the older people in the community have lost their families to drink and drugs. All they have is themselves and their neighbours. Subsequently, for most of these older people, this is their only form of social outing!
Committee Member, Maggie O’Dea, describes how the wheelchair bound are brough up for a dance.
We would like to close with a great big thank you to everyone that has supported the group’s event in the previous years. Through the hard work and dedication of the community, we have been lucky enough to host this biannual event. This year, however, the hard work of the community is not enough and we need to go further to ensure the older people of this community can still have their day out.
The North Inner City Older People’s Group are looking for direct sponsorship or donations to help fund the biannual day out for the older people of the North Inner City. Donations can be made out to ‘The North Inner City Older People’s Group’, AIB Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1. NSC: 931136. ACC.: 04486042. No amount is too small, and remember, a little help can go a long way.
Joe Dowling; Treasurer, N.I.C. Older People’s Group. 018 878 404
If you or anyone you know (older persons) is at risk of isolation or loneliness, there are a number of organisations that can help.
The Senior Help Line is a confidential listening service run by older people for isolated or lonely older people for the price of a local call anywhere in Ireland. The lines are open every day from 10am to 10pm, Lo-call: 1850 440 444
ALONE supports vulnerable older people providing temporary or permanent housing and combatting isolation and loneliness in society. Volunteers and staff work with older people in ALONE’s dedicated housing projects and in the community. 016 791 032
Friends of the Elderly is an Irish charity that brings friendship and social opportunities to the elderly, especially those who live alone. Its volunteers visit the elderly in their homes in the Greater Dublin area. 018 731 855
Life, inevitably, goes on. So too does the fear and anguish fostered by the recent criminal fatalities suffered by the community of the North Inner City. Our own Joe Dowling tells the Irish Times how the community has become uneasy. Further, Irene highlights how this sudden media spotlight could move on very quickly, while the high levels of social inequality suffered by this community will remain.
This article in the Examiner quotes the North Inner City, specifically the area between Croke Park and Busarás as a ”no-go zone”. Irene, the manager here at HOPE provides insight as to why the area is considered a no-go area.
“We’re more interested in looking at the root causes. For me there are three main ones. There are the poor Garda relations with people in this community, they’re not developing relationships with the young people, the guards are often seen as the enemy.
“The other thing is about recovery. There is no supply without demand. The reason drugs gangs take effect is because there is demand. We feel the only way to get rid of supply is to get rid of demand.
“The third one is opportunities for young people, youth clubs are very under-resourced. There needs to be counselling for kids, proper drug and alcohol prevention, youth clubs that offer training for kids and better access to third-level education,” she says.
The Drugs.ie ‘Let’s Talk about Drugs’ National Youth Media Awards is an annual competition which encourages discussion of drug-related issues by inviting young people to produce a piece of original content relating to drug and/or alcohol use.
Every year community youth groups produce videos that promote an understanding of the effects of drug and alcohol abuse. Here are the winners from the 2015 competition. Each video hits hard on at least one aspect of drug or alcohol abuse.
It’s always a very popular course with our client group, as many of them would have limited contact with their children and this program makes them more aware of their rights around access, and also how to make the most out of any access visits with information on constructive playing, managing challenging behaviour. It also provides a great forum for people to share their own experiences and knowledge. It’s only a short 6 week program so if you have anyone interested please tell them they need to contact Noel as soon as possible on 01-8786658, extension 2. It’s part of our summer courses and as such we will not be able to run the course again until much later in the year.