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Funds plea as Dunmanway family centre is struggling to stay open

By Ailin Quinlan

The Southern Star Saturday September 20th, 2o14

ONE of Corks best known family centres is struggling to keep its doors open, amid a funding crisis.

The Dunmanway Family Resource Centre – which offers everything from parenting classes to Zumba dancing to meals on wheels – has issued an SOS for funding to volunteers.

Throughout the next few months, the centre – one of 106 such centres around the country – will be running a series of fund-raising events aimed at raising in the region of €32,000 to continue financing its popular range of programmes and services.

Keeping the centre’s doors open is an increasing challenge, warns centre co-ordinator Tracey Holt, who says the centre also welcome new additions to its 50-strong army of volunteers who help with everything from the boxing club to the community garden.

Currently the facility-which serves a catchment area of some 13,000 people in Dunmanway and its hinterland, and attracts at least 2,000 people through its doors every year- it gets €100,000 annually from Tulsa Child and Family Agency.

This funding covers staffing and a number of overheads such as heating and lighting, while HSE support of about €23,000 helps support for the Meals on Wheels service provided by the centres as well as supporting activities for the elderly.

On top of that, the centre receives individual grant funding from individual organisations –Safefood Ireland provided a €45,000 grant for the establishment of the centres’ thriving community garden, and a number of associated programmes, such as the healthy cooking and therapeutic gardening initiatives.

The centre has only one full-time staff member and five part-time, so given the amount and diversity carried out, says Holt, they need to raise between €20,000 and €25,000 to help cover the increasing demands and meet the needs of the community.

‘I would appeal for help with our fundraising events because it all goes back into the community- everything we raise is for the community,’ she points out, adding the centre was a not-for-profit charity.

The Centre has just been approved for an Airtricity grant of €4,000 for solar panels to the building to try to decrease heating costs.  Holt says it’s hoped the local community will support a range of fund-raising initiative planned for the coming months.

The centre also wants to be seen as a health and well-being promoting centre, so will run a variety of initiatives around healthy living- everything from cooking to gardening to exercise classes like zumba and yoga.

‘People can support us in a variety of ways, through volunteering- particularly needed for the community garden, the men’s shed and older people’s services- through sponsorship of the boxing club and through fundraising with us.’

Local businesses have, for example, sponsored food for the Centre’s summer camp.

For more information contact the centre on 023 8856818 or find the Centre on Facebook or visit its website



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