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.

Active Retirement Group – Day out at Airfied

The Active Retirement Group recently visited the Airfield Estate. We all met early in the morning to get the Luas from Parnell Street to Dundrum. Airfield is a short five minute walk from Dundrum. We started the day collecting eggs and then went to watch the milking of the jersey cows. Following our mid-morning cuppa, we joined the tour of the house and the cars. We had wonderful walks around the spectacular urban farm and hung out with the goats and the cows. It was a wonderful day out and we had our lunch in the Overend Kitchen which cooks fresh organic produce from the farm.

Active Retirement Group on the Shannon!

The Active Retirement Group have spent the summer visiting some amazing places and having some great days out, enjoying the sun and each others company. One of the highlights was a day trip on the Shannon.

On 20th July, we had an early morning start for our outing to the West – visiting Strokestown House and Carrick on Shannon. After a welcome cuppa and snack upon arrival in Strokestown, we had a very informative and engaging tour of the House and the Famine Museum. Following our drive to Carrick on Shannon, we had a wonderful lunch in Cryans Hotel. Our day ended with a leisurely and relaxing cruise on the Shannon with the Moon River Cruise during which we were entertained with music and jokes.

 

 

What has the Active Retirement Group been up to so far this year?

Every month, our aim is that the Active Retirement Group goes on an outing. Since Christmas, we have had some great trips.

 

January

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.

 

February

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.

 

March

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.

 

April

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.

 

Everybody Sings

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

 

camera and stand

cameraman

group and camera group and set-up

overlook

talking

 

The Active Retirement Group – in partnership with ‘Fighting Words’

We are extraordinarily lucky to work in partnership with Fighting Words. This organization works with people of all ages to promote creative writing and story-telling. A volunteer from Fighting Words works with some members of our group on a monthly basis and currently that volunteer is Sheila O’Flanagan, the renowned author.

The Active Retirement Creative Writing Group participated in the “Dublin in the Coming Times” project. This involved a number of creative writing workshops and culminated in a city-wide publication which was launched in December 2017 in Pearse Street Library. This publication included one piece from our group – Granny’s New Toy – written by Eileen Quinn. The project, which was a partnership between Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin City Public Libraries, Dublin City Arts Office and Fighting Words, was intended to enable Dublin’s citizens, both adults and children, to participate in illustrating a vision of the city as a place that, although it might change and adapt to new circumstances, will continue as a living, creative environment and a place for the storyteller and poet.

In addition, Fighting Words produced a smaller publication – Dublin in the Coming Times – Short Stories – Ozanam House, of the writings and stories from our own group. The photos include some members of the creative writing group pictured with Roddy Doyle at the launch of the city-wide publication in Pearse Street.

 

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