Meitheal21 is a refurbished house that provides clinical and social facilities for people with Down Syndrome and their families in Co. Tipperary. This state-of-the-art facility was made possible by the determination and passion of four volunteer leaders who gave their time to raise the €500,000 required for its development. Services available at Meitheal21 include Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Play Therapy and a wide range of other clinical supports. As a dedicated Down Syndrome centre, it has become a meeting place for social gatherings, coffee mornings, dance evenings and provides a focal point for the Down Syndrome community. Since opening earlier this year, Meitheal21 is proving to be hugely beneficial to all of the people who use the service.
Through the challenges of COVID-19, Meitheal21 proved to be a beacon of volunteerism, collaboration and generosity. This was made possible by the vision, ambition and dedication of the four-strong volunteer.
A Lending Hand is a voluntary group who provide an outreach service to people experiencing homelessness in Dublin. The group of five women spend time every week delivering tents, food and essentials to those who need it most. Prior to the pandemic, the group handed out soup every evening from Monday to Friday, setting up in the heart of the city. When restrictions were put in place, they adapted their services and volunteers now make and deliver meals and sandwiches to people who are homeless throughout the city.
As Christmas approaches, the group will prepare their outreach programme to schools throughout Ireland, asking students to fill back packs with essentials for the people supported by A Lending Hand. Through their selfless work and ongoing engagement, the volunteers provide a vital support service for people who urgently require their help.
Carrick on Suir Meals Assistance is a volunteer group in Co Tipperary, make up of five local volunteers. The group have been active in the community for three years, preparing anddelivering over 100 meals a week. Their aim is to ensure nutritious meals and social contact for the most vulnerable in the community.
Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the volunteers were undeterred, and have prioritised both service provision and safety, providing socially distant driver and volunteer information sessions. The group are resolute in their drive to ensure this vital service for their community, and regularly undertake significant fundraising campaigns to meet the increased demand for their service.