We Are So Proud of Our Meerkat After Schoolers After Their Interview with the Irish Independent

We were so proud of our children and parents in the Meerkat After School class last week when they were visited by the Irish Independent and asked what the after school meant to them, what was important about Christmas and what we could give to others this Christmas. Well done to everyone, you are amazing. View the link here

Oh So Special! Summer 2018

Youth Programmes

This year we had 236 children and young people engage in all of our summer projects. The last day of the project is always bittersweet and this yearwas no different. We had tears and hugs. Children pleading to come back…. Parents lining up to inquire about the registration day for our youth programmes. As short as the summer is, it makes an enormous impact on the children and the holidays we are able to give them. The handmade thank you cards from the children will surely make it to the volunteers’ memory boxes for a very long time.

As we were about to close the side door for One last time, we noticed that one of the children stayed back with his mum after everyone left, crying his little heart out. When we asked them what was going on they told us that he was crying because he didn’t want to lose all the new friends he had made in this two weeks. It is at times like this that we get to fully appreciate the impact the summer project has on the children’s life.

In many ways, the Summer Project brings the whole community around Ozanam House together for the duration of the summer to make a difference in the children and young people’s lives. All this is only possible with the huge contribution and dedication from our volunteers who take time out from their summer holidays and help us make the children’s Summer happen. This year was amazing, we engaged 61 volunteers, 38 of whom came to the centre for the first time, all contributing to a truly incredible summer.

 

 

Community

-Active Retirement Group

The weather was very kind on our days out – except for the first trip when it was really hot, the temperature was very pleasant. The general atmosphere in the group is very pleasant and positive – appreciatively making the best of everything that comes their way and set out with an intention to enjoy the day and have fun. Our bus driver – Liam – was so pleasant and so helpful – above and beyond the call of duty. He knows the group very well at this stage and they think the world of him. Food and service were always excellent. Having a good meal out is very important for members and really makes it a good day out.

-Men’s Group

The summer Outings Programme is a key aspect in the overall personal development of the members in the Men’s Group at Ozanam House. Members gain educational, social, historical, physical and cultural skills by attending the programme which is an extension of the weekly club they attend. The men are very interested in Irish history, a fact they shared with us on an earlier outing to Kilmainham Gaol. We therefore decided to bring the men on trips with substantial Irish cultural and historical significance. It worked very well as the tours were in chronological order, starting with the earliest rebellions of the 15th century and continuing up until the rising in 1916. The summer programme began with a trip to Athlone Castle, followed by trips to Meath, Wexford, Kildare, Wicklow and Cavan. It culminated with a trip to the Padraig Pearse Museum which brought everything together very nicely.

Some of the guys spoke about how important the trips were to them and that it would have been a long and lonely summer for them if the trips were not on. That highlights how vital the Men’s Group is to its members. It is, in essence, their family and they enjoy being a part of it.

 

 

Childcare

Ozanam House Childcare Centre has had a very busy summer. The childcare centre staff are delighted with the result of our makeover during the summer months. With new flooring, furniture and a fresh lick of paint the classrooms are looking bright and fresh and are an inviting space for the preschool and afterschool children to spend time learning and exploring. While the centre was busy having a makeover the children were equally as busy having fun, the pre-schoolers enjoyed trips to Wooly Wards Farm, Imaginosity, Malahide Castle and Howth beach while the afterschoolers went swimming in a local pool and enjoyed trips to St Annes Park and the Phoenix Park. We are now settled back into our new term, we have welcomed some new preschool and afterschool children and look forward to welcoming more to our new and improved centre.

Our Remarkable Volunteers’ Amazing Experiences

Kevin (Youth)

How long have you been volunteering?

Two or three years now with the Summer Project and then I continued on into the Youth Groups and I’m doing the Summer Project again.

 

How did you hear about Ozanam House?

My sister told me about it. She did it for a week or two. I was starting college and she told me about Ozanam House, it would be a bit of experience for me because it kind of tied in with what I was studying, which was social work.

 

What was been your favourite moment so far?

I don’t know if I can pick one. There has been so many so far. I suppose getting to know kids and building a relationship with them.

 

Rachael (Youth and Childcare)

How long have you been volunteering?

This is my second week now and I will be doing three weeks of the Childcare project as well.

 

How did you hear about Ozanam House?

Through college. I was doing some of the Homework Clubs with the Saint Vincent de Paul Society through college and they sent out an email about Ozanam House and the Summer Project and I thought it sounded like a great idea.

 

What has been your favourite moment so far?

Probably the first time they played Bingo. They love it. Most of them are about eight. You call out a number, say 66. They all start screaming “oh, I’ve 67” or “I’ve 65” and they just get so into it. You look around and see all these little faces outraged that a certain number has not been called. That has been my favourite moment so far.

 

Alannah (Childcare)

How long have you been volunteering?

I actually volunteered two summers ago for a week. This my first time doing the full three weeks of the childcare project.

 

How did you hear about it?

I heard about it through my college, St. Patrick’s, now DCU. They sent an email, I think it was the Student Union.

 

Have you any favourite memories so far?

Probably St Anne’s Park. We went there yesterday and they really liked that.  They played on the swings and stuff. I think the trip days are they best. They really like that. They get so excited when they see the bus. They know they are going somewhere.

 

Keena (Youth and Childcare)

How long have you been volunteering?

This year is my first year. I did three weeks of the Youth Summer Projects and two weeks of this.

 

Do you find there was much difference?

With the Youth Summer Project is just more hectic. There is a lot going, but it is definitely very fun. This is more calm and you get to spend more time with the kids, which is nice.

 

How did you find out about Ozanam House?

Through college as well. One of the lecturers sent out an email, in St. Pats’s as well.

 

Any favourite memories so far?

I enjoyed all the trips. we went to Skerries and Marlay Park and places like that. They were all fun. It was great to spend time with the kids and experience new places I had never been before.

 

 

Our Childcare Centre is Getting a Lick of Paint

Our childcare centre is the beating heart of Ozanam House. Many memories are made here, friendships started and love shown. We try to interact with the children in a way that will benefit them not just now but as they go forward into school, their teenage years, adulthood and beyond.

Because this all takes the hard work of our dedicated staff and volunteers, the Dolphin, Koala and Meerkat rooms are starting to show some wear-and-tear. So the children can get the best out of their experience here, we are revamping the rooms. Many more memories will be made, laughs heard and stories told in the new look rooms. As always, we will keep you posted of any updates.

Our pre-schoolers took a train trip to Dun Laoghaire

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.

What Our Childcare Centre have Been Up to Recently

 

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.

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Easter Traidtions

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!

 

JOIN OUR TEAM

We are currently recruiting for a new post in our Childcare Team:

EARLY YEARS EDUCATOR – FLOATING SUPPORT

Part-Time Permanent Contract 

Monday to Friday 10.00am to 2.00pm

20 HRS PER WEEK

 

To be based in Ozanam House Community Resource Centre, Mountjoy Square West, Dublin 1.

 

The successful candidate will be a support Early years educator in all 3 pre-school classrooms and will assist in the implementation of all aspects of our childcare pre-school programme contributing to the children’s development socially, emotionally and intellectually.

 

Applicants should possess the following:

 

  • Applicants must have a minimum QQI Level 6 in Early Childhood Care & Education or relevant equivalent qualification up to QQI Level 9 in Early Childhood Care & Education.
  • At least 2 years of experience working directly with preschool children in an early years setting
  • Experience of working with this age group in a similar setting
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills
  • A good team player
  • An interest in supporting and empowering young children and their families.

 

This position is Part-time, Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm (20hrs per week)

& Permanent.

 

Interested candidates can avail of an application form and full job description by visiting www.svp.ie/jobs . The closing date for all applications is Friday 13th April 2018.

 

All appointments are subject to satisfactory references and Garda Vetting

St. Vincent de Paul is an Equal Opportunities Employer

Website: www.svp.ie