Last week participants on Avondhu Blackwater Partnerships’ elder outreach programme enjoyed their annual Christmas Party! The Community Connect is a service where the older and isolated members of society receive telephone calls and domestic supports and every January the group gets together to celebrate the season.
This years party was held at Springfort Hall and over 140 participants attended. The group enjoyed a wonderful meal followed by an afternoon of entertainment dancing and music. Avondhu Blackwater Partnership provided the transport through their Rural Transport Service and coordinator Damien Tobin made sure everone got there and back safely!
Commenting on the importance of the Christmas Party, Community Connect coordinator Mary Allen said this week, “the purpose of the Programme is to tackle isolation and loneliness. We make over 1400 telephone calls every month to our members and have a home cleaning and Handyman service to ensure we make people feel as comfortable at home as possible. But we try to add to this with day trips and events that gather people together and give them an opportunity to socialise. That human contact is important”.
The issue of rural isolation is one that is never far from the headlines with closures of Post Offices and other local services becoming a regular occuurrance. Mary feels that LEADER Companies such as Avondhu Blackwater Partnership play a critical role in countering this drift towards further remoteness. “Our focus to to tackle this problem of loneliness which is often a cause of a range of other problems and illnesses such as depression and fear of the outside world, things that eventually end up costing the State more in the long run. By providing services that attempt to limit the effects of rural isolation we keep people in their homes for longer and ultimately we help to reduce the burden on local services”.
If you know of someone who may benefit from the Blackwater Community Connect service please contact Mary Allen on 025 33411.