As the restrictions and preventative measures are easing across the country, it means our members can start returning to Ozanam House. Obviously, numbers will initially be contained and social distancing guidelines will need to be respected. Below is the latest news regarding the Men’s Group, but also some information on the centre as a whole. Also, there is a fun television below. With answers in the link; https://www.kensquiz.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/CTVA.pdf
Our Men’s Group is still very active despite the measures in place. Although it has been tough on all of our members, we are getting through it together. And remember, these restrictions are only temporary.
We have loads of activities for the men this month and this can be viewed below. Our Group Coordinator Glenn, contacted the members this week by post and that letter is below should you want to view it. If you have any questions or just want to chat we are still available and Glenn can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org
While Ozanam House is closed, we endeavour to support all members of the Men’s Group during this difficult time. The Men’s Group exists, in no small part, to combat social isolation. The restrictions in place mean that this is made much more difficult. Having said that, we are happy that the provisions we put in place at the beginning of this pandemic are enough to help sustain the men’s physical and mental health.
Some of the measures we have in place include:
- Calling the men at regular intervals throughout the week to make sure that they are availing of additional services in the community such as meals on wheels and the Garda Community Service. The men call also call the coordinator if they just want to have a chat anytime.
- Posting out some invaluable information to each member regarding best practice while isolating. Tips on healthy eating to keep the body’s nutritional levels up. Tips on exercise and mindfulness techniques to keep the body fit. Ideas for activities to keep the brain stimulated such as crosswords, jigsaws and other types of puzzles.
- We are continuing to plan for our summer programme even though it might be pushed back by several weeks. We are in constant contact with the men giving them updates and exchanging ideas for trips during the summer. I believe this will give the men something to look forward to when this finally blows over.
Going forward, we strive to minimise the effect that isolation has on our members. We are liaising with management and other senior coordinators on a weekly basis and exchanging ideas on how best to continue to support our members.
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!
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.
-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.
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.
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.
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Our Men’s Group is back this 4th September. The lads had a ball this Summer. Check out the gallery to see how they got on
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.
Last week in the Men’s Group, we got out our cooking hats on and made the biggest pot of Coddle in Dublin. It didn’t last too long, it was a freezing cold day and it was just what the doctor ordered. We made lots and lots of pancakes and the men had a rare day of not so healthy eating!
On Thursday, the Men’s Group went on an outing to Kilmainham Gaol. It was a fantastic day! We are all very interested in Irish history, particularly the history of Dublin, so this was a real treat. The guide was brilliant, he really knew his stuff and seemed happy that he was giving the tour to a group of “mature locals.” It was absolutely freezing but the cold did not dull our enthusiasm for the history of the Rising and the events which followed.
Afterwards we rambled across the road to the Patriot’s Inn for dinner. It was beautiful, hot soup, stews, casseroles and fish and chips was the order of the day. We will definitely be returning to Kilmainham next year.
Continuing with the cooking theme, on Friday we gathered in the cookery room for tea/coffee, sandwiches afterwards and to bake something delicious. Others preferred to play Polo/ Bingo. Nicole will gave us a helping hand at baking.
There’s a real buzz around the Men’s Group at the moment, the weather certainly isn’t dampening our spirits!
This week at the men’s group was fantastic. On Tuesday, we watched the remake of The Magnificent Seven! While the lads didn’t think it was quite as good as the original, they nonetheless really enjoyed it, even though some thought it was a little bit violent. Everybody, of course, enjoyed the hot buttered popcorn!
The Yoga returned on Thursday after the Christmas break. The lads really enjoy their yoga and were put through the paces by our amazing teacher, Johanna.