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
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
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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