The children love trains so we visited Connolly Station and to take a train journey to Dun Laoghaire;
Recently, the Meerkat and Koala preschool classes have been really interested in trains. They began by building train tracks to play with and looking at trains in books. Because of this interest, we visited Connolly Station to look at the trains and the tracks and how we buy tickets.
The following week, all of our children and their parents came with us for a trip on the train to Dun Laoghaire. It was so exciting we even thought we saw a shark as we passed through Sandymount! We spent a lovely couple of hours in Dun Laoghaire and then travelled back to Connolly Station, tired and happy.
We’d like to thank Iarnrod Eireann and the staff at Connolly Station for their help in making our day out so much fun and such a success.
Every month, our aim is that the Active Retirement Group goes on an outing. Since Christmas, we have had some great trips.
On the last Friday of the month, 22 of our group met in the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar for their monthly Wild Strawberries movie – for a very generous €4.75 the IFI offers a cinema ticket and a tea/coffee to senior citizens on Friday mornings at the end of every month. We started our morning with a beverage at 10am accompanied by a finger of lemon drizzle cake and took our seats before the movie started at 11am. The film this month was ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’, a quirky warm hearted tale from New Zealand – highly recommended if you haven’t seen it.
We met at 10am in the Silk Road Café in the Chester Beatty Library for a cuppa and a scone before our pre-arranged guided tour of the collections in the Chester Beatty Library. Afterwards, we strolled to the Powerscourt Centre and attended a lunch time play in Bewleys Café Theatre (currently residing on the top floor of the Powerscourt Centre). The play was called ‘Looking Deadly’ and told the tale of two feuding funeral directors.
Our starting point was Ozanam House at 10am. We strolled to the new Luas stop on Parnell Street and took the tram all the way to the Dundrum Shopping Centre. We then had a cuppa before some browsing in the shops. This was followed by a game of crazy golf in the Rainforest Adventure Golf venue. We had a small bite to eat there after our game, a toastie with a cuppa. We had some time for more window shopping before meeting up at 3pm to get the Luas back to the city centre.
Once a year, the Active Retirement Group join with groups from other areas to attend a social event organized by ‘Third Age’ in Summerhill, Co. Meath. The afternoon started with a tasty two course lunch after which the Frank McDonnell band (ex Joe Dolan band) took to the stage. They played and sang an eclectic bunch of old favourites. The dance floor filled quickly and was hopping until finish time. An enjoyable and active afternoon was had by all.
Chinese New Year
In February, we celebrated the Chinese New Year by having a meal in Lee Kee restaurant on Parnell Street. The people there were so nice and welcoming. Our preschool class made the journey down to bring in the Year of the Dog.
This is part of our community learning. We like the children to engage with their local community and make it their own. A big part of what we do is exploring. This involves visiting shops and restaurants and getting to know what is around them. Luckily, the North Inner-City is a vibrant place and there is plenty to explore. It’s all about getting out there and embracing what it has to offer and at the same time having fun. It also builds confidence in the children and it is important for them to know they are part of their community.
Afterwards, we joined the other gclasses and had a party celebrating the Chinese New Year and heard a story about a young boy from China. This is all part of embracing all cultures in the centre. The parents are an enormous part of this and we try to involve them as much as possible.
Our Active Retirement Group and our Childcare PreSchool Classes come together to share an Easter tradition in Ozanam House:
One of our traditions in the centre is the knitting of the Easter chicks. The Active Retirement Group spend a lot of time making these and much care and attention goes into the process.They then present these to our other chicks – our childcare pre-school children. This is a great way of getting our most senior and most junior members together. The joy on the children’s faces as they collect their chicks has long been one of our highlights of the year. The Chocolate Egg’s inside probably have something to do with this!
After the children received their chicks, we had a sing-song with Old McDonald’s farm ringing through the hall. A truly great morning for all of us.
Health and Food Awareness
We have been learning about our bodies and how to keep them healthy and happy. Part of taking care of our bodies is healthy eating so we decided to prepare our own dinner.
The children chose veggie burgers as a healthy dinner to make. We learnt a lot from preparing our vegetables and making dinner! Some of the areas covered were numeracy, science, turn taking, independence and most importantly how our bodies work!
Last week, we competed in a Scavenger Hunt around the building, but first, we had our traditional circle time. We discussed our energy levels, our moods and what our favourite activity at the beach was. Some of our favourites are counting crabs, throwing stones into the sea and snorkelling.
After learning the rules of the Scavenger Hunt, the children were on their way exploring. The Scavenger Hunt took place in many different rooms in this old Georgian house. The goal of the game was to crack the code and count the number of objects hidden around the rooms. These were pictures of slush puppies, ice creams, etc. They had to be quick though, they had five minutes to count all the objects and break the code.
This activity helps develop a number of skills in the children. The groups have to cooperate as a team to complete the different tasks. It also creates healthy competition as they had to complete the objectives within the time-frame, although everyone was a winner. Something that is very important and something we always try to do is to get the children familiar with Ozanam House itself. Using the entire house for different games is a great way of getting the children comfortable with their environment and their community.
Our Active Retirement Group were delighted to participate in the making of Everybody Sings.
Everybody Sings is a project that looks at the “candid and poignant examination of the relationship between intimacy and aging.” The project is a mixture of documentary, testimony and live performance. The project is led by artist, and former Ozanam House drama teacher, Shaun Dunne with film designer Luca Truffarelli on board.
Some of our members met with Shaun for one to one interviews and others participated in a singing class and dancing session for the project. In addition, there was some filming of the group engaging in their activities. The Pictures of which can be viewed below.
Bealtaine Festival Commission Everybody Sings
The Bealtaine Festival is the national festival celebrating the arts and creativity as we age. It takes place each May and is run by Age & Opportunity, the national organisation which promotes active and engaged living as we get older.
As part of the festival ‘Everybody Sings’ will take place in Dublin’s Smock Alley on 15th and 16th of May at 7.30 pm. The tickets can be bought here
Ozanam House is now recruiting volunteers to work with the Men’s Group on Tuesdays and Fridays, 2pm – 5pm.
Overview of the Volunteer Role
We organize activities like computers, exercise, cookery, relaxation and regular outings. But perhaps the most important function of the group is offering its members a social outlet, a place to come and make or meet friends, to develop their confidence and sense of self-respect and self-worth. To reach our full potential and to achieve our goals in the group, we are constantly seeking new volunteers to support the men’s group co-ordinator deliver a qualitative and professional programme to the members.
- Welcome members and ensure they have a seat and a tea/coffee
- Provide a listening ear to members, particularly those who are vulnerable for various reasons and in need of company.
- Develop supportive relationships with the men
- Assist the co-ordinator with the organisation and delivery of activities
- Take responsibility for the group from time to time when the co-ordinator needs to be away from the room.
- Provide cover for the co-ordinator from time to time due to unavoidable absences
- Attend outings and trips to provide support to co-ordinator, if requested and if available
- To attend meetings and training days if/when possible.
- To follow the policies and procedures of Ozanam House which can be found in the induction pack or in the office.
- Other general responsibilities in the context of the role as agreed with the co-ordinator.
Skills, Experience & Qualities Required
- High motivation and engagement to be a volunteer over a longer period of time
- Ability to relate well to people and enjoy dealing with them
- Self-confidence and general ease with other people
- Assertiveness, teamwork and self-reliance
- Openness to supervision and working in a team way
- Intermediate level of English
- Commitment to the ethos of volunteering and community based initiative
- Previous experience is desirable but not essential
Training & Induction
- The volunteer will receive an induction/information night in the centre prior to his/her first inset and will get a general information pack to become familiar with the centre and our procedures
- The volunteer will have an initial meeting with the co-ordinator to receive a role-specific induction and to agree a timetable and schedule of duties in line with the volunteer role description
- Ongoing individual training programmes will be provided if necessary
The group takes place each Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 2:00pm to 5:00 pm
Volunteers are expected to attend for at least one afternoon per week (the exact times and dates of working will be agreed between the volunteer and the programme co-ordinator). The volunteer should commit to a minimum period of nine months.
In addition, we welcome applications from potential volunteers who have specific expertise or skills which they can contribute. The time commitment for these volunteers will vary and be agreed in advance with the co-ordinator.
- Personal development
- The change to contribute towards the social environment of the men to learn new skills and practice old ones
- To be part of a progressive team supporting others to improve their lives
- Opportunity to work in and learn about a community resource centre
- Opportunity to build up valuable work experience
- Tea and coffee will be provided for all volunteers.
If you interested in this role, please contact us now!
Eugene O’Leary is a Cork-born, Dublin-based adventurer. He was kind enough to share some of his stories with us this week. He spoke about his many adventures all around the world, his charity work and how he became involved with it all in the first place.
He used to work on the lighthouses, but his time spent away from his family was becoming too difficult so he packed it in and started working in the shipping industry. One of his daughters was born with a heart complaint and spent time in Crumlin’s Children Hospital. This is when Eugene started his extensive charity work. He started raising money through marathons, which also helped him to stop smoking.
His daughter unfortunately passed away due to heart difficulties at the age of 19. At this stage, Eugene’s commitment to charity greatly increased. He took part in cycle events around the country and then abroad like the 500km cycle in five days in South Africa. Then came cycles in Italy, Hungary and further afield. Eugene showed us his pictures from these journeys and his shots of the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls.
He has represented many charities like Crumlin Children’s Hospital and the Chernobyl Children’s Trust. This is a charity set-up in Ireland, but works with many community groups in Belarus, as well as the Children’s Oncology Centre. At the age of 75, Eugene is still going strong. He hopes to complete one of the caminos, he has already completed several, later this year.
Thank you Eugene for coming in to share your stores and inspire us all.
Our Centre Administrator and Adult Education Development Officer Kim attended the ‘Love Education’ Event in Liberty Hall last week.
This was an event organised by ‘The City of Dublin Education and Training Board’ to showcase the benefits of adult education in our community. Some wonderful stories were shared by members of the local community who have grown and developed so much from attending courses in Ozanam House and in other services in the area including LYCS, DALC, HACE and the Larkin Centre.
There are so many great courses and supports on offer in our centre and in our community and it was great to see and hear about the benefits adult education plays in people’s lives.
Keep an eye out for our new ‘Love Education’ taster courses coming in September.
Last week we added an extra dimension to our new parents morning that we host once a month in our centre.
Parents in our childcare centre come together once a month for an informal breakfast, a chance to meet each other, have a chat and explore what additional supports we can offer.
This month we were joined by ATD 4th world (All Together in Dignity) who gave us a presentation on the ‘Poverty Stone’ which is located beside the famine memorial in Dublin’s Docklands. 2018 marks the 10-year-anniversary of the Human Rights and poverty Stone being laid in Dublin.
The original stone was placed in Paris in 1987 near the Eiffel Tower. The idea was the brainchild of Fr Joseph Wresinski, a man who grew up in poverty, and was to commemorate those that suffered and died in silence due to poverty.
This presentation lead to some really interesting conversations about poverty, justice and how best we can support one another.
In the pictures below, our staff and parents write a word or name associated with basic Human Rights or poverty on a small stone which will then be placed in the Docklands with many others on October 17th (International day for the eradication of poverty). These stones will serve as a reminder to Dublin’s citizens that poverty knows no borders, is timeless, enduring and is a global issue.