Kilkenny hurler Michael Rice took some time out from his intensive preparations for this Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final to help launch a new citizens’ information book for the people of Kilkenny.
The Carrickshock man patiently signed black and amber jersies for the children present, as people gathered for the proceedings in the Citizens Information Centre on the Parade last Wednesday. Then the new, thirteenth edition of ‘Kilkenny Kids! and Life!’ was launched.
The purpose of the directory is to provide easily accessible information about the range of activities available to people living in Kilkenny, to encourage everyone to live full and active lives.
Of the 6,000 copies of the directory published, 4,000 are in circulation already.
“We now have an A to Z of 134 pages, starting with angling and going on to the zoo, via all kinds of everything - there’s just lots of different things to do in this county,” said Kilkenny CIS development manager Sarah Drea.
“One of the volunteers, Nichola Read, suggested to us some years ago that the Citizens Information Centre would be providing a useful service if it produced a directory of activities for children and so Kilkenny Kids! was born – that was 13 years ago. As we enter the teenage years, this year we have combined Kilkenny Kids! with its adult equivalent Kilkenny Life!”
Michael Rice then said a few words. The Cats midfielder said the book was a subject close to his own heart.
“This is something that you take seriously for both young and old,” he said.
“It really is very important to see what you do here. You often hear young people say they are bored or there is nothing to do, but there is no excuse for that now.
“The great thing for children is that these things get you active and involved, and you can make friends with people who have similar interests. This is an amazing resource and people will get a lot from it.”
Ms Drea then thanked everyone in attendance, and volunteers and staff of the Citizens Information Centre – in particular Noreen Good – Leona Good, who did the pictures for the cover, the various advertisers, Modern Printers, and Kilkenny County Council for their support.
The Citizens Information Centre has been working in Kilkenny since 1974 to provide people with information to help them deal with whatever is happening in their lives.
There are 54 volunteers working in the service, and also two full-time and two part-time staff.
Last year, the centre dealt with over 18,500 queries. Most of these were dealt with in the Kilkenny Office, but also in Outreach offices in Callan, Graiguenamanagh and Mooncoin.
About half the queries these days relate to Social Welfare.