Despite the inclement weather conditions there was a very good attendance for the Westmeath Community Development Care and Repair information event in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel in Athlone last week.
The event was organised by Westmeath Community Development, under the Care and Repair service, as part of the piloting of a Home Visit service being rolled out in Athlone, and also an opportunity to increase the profile of the Repair service amongst potential volunteers and older people in the region.
Anne Campbell, from the Care and Repair service explained “this is the coming together of two projects run by Westmeath Community Development – Care and Repair and the Volunteer Centre. Today was an opportunity to recruit new volunteers for the Home Visit service being piloted in Athlone, and also to increase awareness of the Repair service, both amongst volunteers and the wider community. The Care and Repair service is available to people over the age of 60, and we see great scope for the growing of the service this year, and really we will be only limited by the numbers of volunteers.”
The training was delivered by Claire Bellis from Age Action, who are responsible for the project nationally.
Athlone was identified for the piloting of the Home Visit service, following discussions with CAIRDEAS, a grouping of local groups spearheaded by Cllr Frankie Keena. “It is great to see the progress that has been made in relation to providing the Home Visit service in Athlone since CAIRDEAS first came together. CAIRDEAS is made up of many local groups who all had the same idea in mind – could we get a Home Visit service in place for older people who might feel lonely or isolated, and working with Westmeath Community Development we are now looking the service commencing from early April,” noted Cllr Keena.
Ian O’Flynn, Manager, Westmeath Volunteer Centre, said, “ the Volunteers for Care and Repair provide an invaluable service for older people in the community. Our repair volunteers are available and ready to work with people, and with the rolling out of the Care element or Home Visit service, we do anticipate much greater demand from older people in the coming months and we would encourage anyone who might be interested in volunteering, for either service, to get in contact with us in Westmeath Volunteer Centre”.
Full information on the Care and Repair scheme is available from Westmeath Community Development , by contacting Ann or Marian at 044 9348571, or by contacting Ian or Michelle in Westmeath Volunteer Centre at the same number.