15 Aug 2022

Communities to highlight supports for older people

St.Canice’s Neighbourhood Hall will host an

St.Canice’s Neighbourhood Hall will host an

afternoon of talks and information displays

from the many voluntary, community and

statutory groups who are supporting older or

vulnerable people living alone in Kilkenny this

coming Monday, September 17.

The event is being jointly organised by

Kilkenny/Carlow Contact Services, the Digital

Switchover Champions and the Fr. McGrath

Family Centre.

Coordinator of the HSE funded Carlow/

Kilkenny Contact, a befriending and advocacy

group for older people and based at the Fr.

McGrath Centre, Eleanor Doyle, said:

‘Never was there such a time to look at how

we as communities can support our older

neighbours living alone when many former

services are disappearing because of the

economic situation the country is in.

‘But the positive side of the economic down

turn is that many retired and unemployed

people are contacting us and asking can we

volunteer or get involved in something to help

others in our community.’ She added.

Digital Switchover Champions

The Digital Switchover Champion programme,

co-event organisers, will also provide

information and demonstrations in the Hall on

the day on what people need to do to make

sure they do not get switched off when the

whole country goes solely Digital for all our TV

stations from next month.

They too have been working with unemployed

or retired people who are acting as

volunteer ‘Champions’ in many urban and

rural areas across Carlow and Kilkenny and are helping their neighbours with the big

national switchover.

Coordinator of the programme, Jo Conroy, said: ‘TV is a vital link to the rest of the world for

older people living alone and we want to

make sure that no older or vulnerable families

are left without TV stations because of the

national switchover next month.’

Digital Champion volunteers at the

information workshops will explain to people

what will be involved and demonstrate how

the new free Saorview service will work.

They can also advise people on cost, what

households will need and, if needed, arrange

for a local volunteer champion to call to their

home to help set up the service.

The Alzeimers Society, Home Carers, Health

Promotion Unit, Aware, Age Friendly Ireland,

Men’s Groups, Dementia Awareness, Senior

Citizens Helpline, Kilkenny Men’s Group and

the Community Garda unit are just some

of the many groups they hope will provide

information stands to older people and

families or residents concerned about a


The HSE supported Kilkenny/Carlow Contact

Service s also one of the main providers of

personal security alarms to older people

in Kilkenny and is in the process of piloting

with Newpark Close and the Fr. McGrath

Centre FRC’s, a volunteer run ‘Home Secure

& Repair’ service for older people in their


Kilkenny Contact Service now has established

120 befriending partnerships were local

volunteers regularly visit older people in their


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