Summer Sessions Poetry

Summer was a testing time for our teens in the Summer Sessions given the social restrictions in place. They turned to poetry to help express themselves. Their words can be viewed below;

Social Life in Quarantine 

Life is great, I have a week off

I really hope I don’t get a cough 

I’ve just downloaded this app called zoom

I meet all my friends in this small old room

It also helps me do music classes online

They gave us another month off, which was good at the time 

The days went slowly but now its August

Some shops are still closed and full of dust 

I wish things could go back to normal

I’m glad this will pass because 

Life back then was awful 

In This House During Lockdown 

There is too many people in here

Wherever you are, there’s always someone near 

Wreaking my head all day 

My younger siblings always want me to play 

“Fortnite, whats that, don’t care”

This new reality is becoming a nightmare

Every day feels the same 

I’m sick of hearing my name 

“jerry get out of that fecking room”

“Mum shut up I’m on a call on zoom”

Each month another two weeks added on

I should have been out of here, gone, 

Sitting next to the pool cold drink in hand

Listening to the live band. 

I wish they’d fast forward the clocks

But no

Still stuck in this box. 

Another Day Inside These Walls

No School 

I’m stuck in bed all day 

My parents always have something to say 

I get up for school but 

Not any more

I wasn’t really bothered doing it before

“get your PlayStation off the floor”

I’m so paralysed I just want to roar

It started when everything closed

There is nowhere to get my clothes

I cant even get a burger

I was left looking for a cow to murder

Fighting with my friend all the time

My sister keeps taking what’s mine

A vaccine hopefully soon

And walk all over the moon

Masks for now will have to do

No hugs or handshakes, Its cruelty! 

People don’t care any more 

Most did before

The Summer Sessions 2020; Different, but Still Fun

Earlier in the summer, in midst of uncertainty and anxiety, we asked our past and current volunteers to brave the challenges this year has thrown at us and help us provide small Summer Sessions for children and young people in our community. More than ever before, our volunteers’ commitment and care for our centre have blown us away!

It has been so fantastic to see familiar faces coming back in the centre and slowly and surely filling the building up with warmth and laughter again. With volunteers’ help and support, we were able to make the best of a very challenging summer and provide the children and young people with a place to get away and have fun. They have needed this break even more so this summer. 


We may not have gone to our usual summer destinations but this didn’t stop us packing in as much fun as we could; we made our own ice cream, turned Mountjoy Square park into our own water fighting zone, went kayaking in the Liffey, made friends with tons of puppies in the park, everyone got their own bowls for cooking and what a delight it has been for the younger children, learned some Ukulele, learned all the Tic Toc dances, some were better than others at this! Community scavenger hunters made friends with our local Garda, wrote heartfelt poetry, did some cool graffiti art and so much more!  


For all us, this year has been underlined by the personal and social challenges of all sorts. However, this year has also shown us the strength of our community spirit and the continued trust and passion of our volunteers and community alike. While the months ahead may continue to be filled with challenges we know that no matter what we can rely on each other to support our communities. 

Summer Project Assistant

A safe place where people learn and grow,

   that serves our needs and enriches our lives

   in a supportive, fun and caring environment

                                    Summer Project Assistant Position

Ozanam House Resource Centre is a community centre based on Mountjoy Square in the north inner city and operated by the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, one of the largest charitable and voluntary organisations in the world.

The centre offers various educational (adult and youth), community, youth and childcare programs that are aimed at addressing social exclusion as well as the many needs of the local community in Dublin’s north inner city. The centre now offers 600 programme places to 500 people per week where our youngest member is 2 and our eldest is 96. We also engage 80 active volunteers who share their time and skills each week for the benefit of others.

One of our biggest and most successful programmes is our summer projects where we engage up to 200 children and young people on an action-packed activities programme throughout the months of June, July each year.

We engage as many volunteers as possible to facilitate this activity programme, mentoring the children, facilitating activities where skills allow and acting as role models to the children throughout.

Key Roles and Responsibilities are:

1. Coordinator Assistant

  • Assisting the Coordinator with all aspects of planning and preparation for the summer projects in the weeks leading up the start date in July and throughout the 4 weeks of the project in July
  • Working as part of the summer project team with volunteers, students and managers, Assisting the Coordinator with identified tasks and roles throughout the 4-week project in July 
  • Working directly with the children and young people supporting them in all aspects of their daily activities and routines while aiming to build a bond with the young people and the volunteers
  • Utilising and sharing your skills to ensure that the time you offer the programme is quality time
  • Acting as a role model to the children and young people, supporting them in all areas of their learning and development
  • To learn about youth work and good youth work practices with the help and support of the team through development meetings with the team
  • Using policies and procedures in working with the children
  • Taking part in daily briefing sessions and end of day debriefs with volunteers  Continuous on-going supervision as agreed with the coordinator

Skills, Experience & Qualities 

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to establish good relationships with children and young people 
  • Strong commitment and enthusiasm to children and young people and an understanding of the factors affecting their lives 
  • Interest and commitment to developing the capacity to provide reliable support to children and young people in times of stress and act with integrity, respect and support 
  • Good organizational skills & Admin skills for admin assistant role 
  • Good level of energy and fun as well as an accepting and non-authoritarian approach 
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team 
  • Reliability, patience, resilience and flexibility  Ability to treat children and young people’s concerns with respect, tact and sensitivity 
  • Ability to be aware of own limits, to admit it and to ask for support  Previous experience is desirable but not essential

Training & Support 

  • Volunteers will attend an induction/information night in the centre prior to starting and will get a general information pack to become familiar with the centre and our policies and procedures 
  • A Child Protection (safeguarding vulnerable children) Training session will be provided. This training will inform the volunteer of the protection and welfare of children under the Children’s Act 1997 and best practices when working with young people in this environment. 
  • The volunteer will attend specific summer project training focusing further on the details of the project itself and the role of the youth leader/mentor with lots of practical tips and guidance on all areas of the summer project 
  • Daily and ongoing individual supports will be provided throughout your time on the project

Support & Supervision

Daily de-briefing meetings occur throughout the placement where the volunteer will have an opportunity to review the day and get support and advice from training and qualified staff members in the centre. More formal supervision will be provided weekly if and where necessary.

Benefits  

  • Personal and professional development in terms of confidence, patience, adaptability. 
  • Learn new skills (decision-making and finding alternatives, leadership skills, communication skills, organizational skills, behavioural competencies …) 
  • The chance to contribute towards the development of children and young people to enhance the sense of self-worth and belief 
  • Opportunity to use and develop skills and talents  Opportunity to bring ideas on board and develop the centre 
  • Opportunity to develop friendships and meaningful relationships with like-minded peers 
  • Opportunity to build up valuable work experience  Opportunity to be a part of a dynamic and progressive team

Contact

Kim Haugh

Email; admin@ozanamhouse.ie

Phone; 087 1836978

Gallery

Happy Christmas from our Youth Groups

This gallery contains 14 photos.

We have had news of a Santa’s Sleigh sighting over Mountjoy Square! Even the little elves have appeared out of nowhere! Be aware of the special one with an extra creepy laugh! Here at Ozanam House, Santa’s elves have been hard at work … Continue reading

Summer Project Training

As our Youth Summer Projects are about to begin, we are doing lots of training before our volunteers can start. This is just a small sample of the work that goes on behind the scenes in preparation for the Summer Projects that our highly committed volunteers are involved in.  Our programme coordinators, Nino and Eireánn also put in a lot of planning and resources to make the projects run efficiently.

Our Wonderful Volunteer Leaders – What a Difference they Make

The young people are not the only ones full of excitement and joy for the summer project. This year we have had the highest number of returning volunteers coming back as youth leaders for the duration of the project. This is thanks to the success and pure enjoyment from the previous years. The volunteers can see the positive impact they are making on the lives of these children.

Both our returning and new volunteers bring their dedication, time, energy, skills and experience to each and every day they are in Ozanam House. They make a lasting impact on the lives of the children and young people and even through some of them are only taking part in the project for few days or a week,  children and young people see their energy and the positive attitudes they bring. They are the ones who take part and lead activities each and every day, they facilitate the fun and joy the children and young people are having and look forward to every summer. None of what we are trying to do in Ozanam House would be possible if we didn’t have our amazing volunteers.

With the help and great work of the volunteers, so far we have been able to give a fantastic experience to 235 children and young people this Summer.

 

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.

Saying Goodbye

On the last day of the Youth Summer Projects, we had a parade around Mountjoy Square. It was a great send-off for both the children and volunteers.

The last day of the project is always bittersweet and this time around was no different. We had tears and hugs. Children pleading to come back…. Parents lining up to enquire about the registration day for our youth programmes in September. As short as two weeks might sound, 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 I was about to close the side door for one last time for project 1, I noticed that One of the members from Rhythms stayed back with his mum after everyone left, crying his little heart out. When I asked them what was going on they told me 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’s life. 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.