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!
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.
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.
Ozanam House is now recruiting volunteers to work with the Mens Group on Tuesdays and Fridays.
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!
“ Members of our active retirement group are pictured outside the Dail on Wednesday, 24th May. We had a lovely scone and cuppa in the visitors bar before starting our guided tour which included time to watch and listen to proceedings in both the Dail and Seanad. We then ambled up to Stephen’s Green for a visit and guided tour of the Little Museum. It was a very enjoyable day out.”
The National College of Ireland recently had a Digital week which included an excellent class given to our members on digital skills. Eileen and Sean Quinn from our active retirement group entered a photograph into the competition that NCI held during the week and won first prize – a Samsung tablet and beats headphones! They are pictured here receiving their prizes from the NCI team.
We had a very special day on the Wednesday before Easter – the active retirement group gathered with the children from our childcare pre-school classes in Mountjoy square Park and the little ones chose their favorite Easter Chick – all knitted by our members in an array of different colors and filled with a creme egg! It was a lovely morning event and ended with a few songs. We returned to Ozanam House for a session of games in the hall including a yellow plastic duck race before adjourning upstairs for a festive lunch.
We always celebrate birthdays, when we know they are coming up, with a card signed by the group and our favorite cake – a Victoria Sandwich. Sean Quinn is pictured here blowing out his candles.