The Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mary Hanafin T.D. today (
Friday, 16th October 2009) visited a number of family and community facilities in Counties Carlow, Kilkenny and Waterford. These Centres offer families and communities a wide range of supports and activities from back to education and training programmes to childcare and after school services.
Minister Hanafin began her visit to the South East in Ferrybank Community Development Group in County Waterford which provides a number of services and opportunities to the local community. Minister Hanafin said
"local people, young and old, can avail of services at Ferrybank Community Development Group from childcare and an after school club to the IT room and active retirement."
Minister Hanafin also visited Droichead Family Resource Centre (FRC) in Callan, Co. Kilkenny. Speaking with the assembled staff and guests Minister Hanafin said,
"Droichead FRC is proving to be a tremendous support to the people of Callan. The new childcare centre is a huge support to working parents and families, while the Moving On Programme supports people seeking personal development and second chance education. The Centre is keeping pace with current trends by supporting a horticultural project which has a number of educational, nutritious and delicious benefits."
Minister Hanafin also met staff and participants availing of services in Newpark Close FRC which has been operating in Kilkenny City since 1998. Minister Hanafin said,
"Newpark Close FRC is a fine resource for the local community providing a multitude of supports including a new childcare extension, a community playground and community garden, a computer room and a 'nifty 50' group for up to 15 women. The Centre also facilitates other community services and supports such as a women's group, a men's group, a residents association, the Citizen's Information Centre and the Money Advice and Budgeting Service."
At Fr. McGrath FRC, also in Kilkenny City, Minister Hanafin saw at first hand how staff and volunteers at the Centre provide a range of services and facilities to the local community. Minister Hanafin said
"Fr. McGrath FRC has opened it doors to all members of the local community, young and old, men and women, unemployed people, lone parents, travellers, people with disabilities and many other besides. They use the meeting rooms, the community savings bank and the community playground and can get information and advice on a wide range of issues as well as education, training and counselling."
Minister Hanafin finally visited Bagnelstown FRC in Co. Carlow which offers computer classes, a homework club, a community playschool, a mother's and toddler group and men's and women's groups. Minister Hanafin said
"initiatives like Bagnelstown FRC are invaluable in helping people who are experiencing difficult times. The services provided are a practical response to the real and local needs of the community. Of course, this and the other Centres throughout the country would not be the successes that they are without the dedication and commitment shown by their Management Boards, staff, volunteers and local people."
There are 107 Family Resource Centres located throughout the country and these are funded by the Department of Social and Family Affairs under the Family and Community Services Resource Centre Programme. The Centres visited by Minister Hanafin today are receiving in the region of €620,000 this year for their day to day funding.
PRESS RELEASE ENDS
Note for Editors:
The activities supported by the Family Resource Centres are designed to meet the needs of the local community. They include the provision of:
- information, advice and support to target groups and families in the area,
- practical assistance to community groups such as training, information and advice,
- education courses and training opportunities,
- child-care facilities for those attending courses provided by the project, and
- after-school clubs.