Being part of a community and feeling safe and secure is at the heart of the St Canice’s Parish Homes.
A cosy group of houses, that allow elderly people to continue living independently in the heart of their community, it is a self-funding, charity organisation.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic is starting to bite at the finances of the organisation and they are appealing for your support.
Frances Gilligan, manager of the homes, said fundraising events have had to be cancelled and the day care centre is closed, causing a huge dip in income for the charity - estimated at €30,000 by the end of the year.
Cancelled this year were a church gate collection, a street collection and other events that raised €15,000 for the centre in past years. The day care centre used to run from Monday to Thursday, facilitating social contact for the elderly of the parish. They had a hot lunch, took part in activities, could have their hair done or meet with the public health nurse. All for €8 a day. The income was important to the organisation, as well as the importance of the social contact to all those attending.
The only income for the homes now comes from a small home dinner delivery service and the rent paid by the residents.
One of the projects under threat from the funding shortfall is the replacement of the 30 year old aluminium windows and doors in the homes. The work will be part funded by the county council but the organisation still has to come up with €20,000.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do. The only thing keeping us afloat now is the home dinner delivery service,” Frances said. “This kind of complex is so important because they prevent people going into nursing homes too soon.
“I feel bad about asking for assistance at this time, but we need to keep going.”
Founded in 1989, on land donated by the Loreto nuns, the parish raised all the funds needed to build the 20 homes.
Residents are supported with a daily, mid-day meal, some light housekeeping, laundry and ironing, and building maintenance. There is daily collection of waste and recycling and the staff generally assist and run errands for the residents when needed.
“There is so much to do, and so little to do it with. We want to keep the residents happy and as stress free as possible, without having to worry about the future of the place. It’s all hands on deck.”
If you would like to support St Canice’s Parish Homes you can make a donation on the Go Fund Me website click here , or if you prefer not to use the internet you can call to the main office at the houses.
Along with Frances, the parish homes employ nine people, have a number of CE Scheme staff and the support of 15 volunteers.