Heartbeat of community needs bigger home

Located on the bottom of Southill is a combined house that holds the heart of the community.

The Southill Family Resource Centre has been operating in Southill since its opening in 2000.

A victim of its own success, space has become an issue for the facility such has been the success of the many services it provides.

“We are struggling to offer services to the community in such tight confines. Hopefully from the regeneration process there will be a new building which will have easy access,” said co-ordinator Jim Prior.

The Southill Family Resource Centre provides training in different disciplines across a broad range of areas from childcare to carpentry.

“We have provided adult education courses up to level 5,6,7 and 8, that are accredited. This is unique and fantastic,” said Mr Prior.

The centre also provides a health service that is complementary to families in Southill.  

“Upstairs we provide acupuncture, colour therapy, quit smoking program and allergy testing to the community. It is a voluntary service provided for families who are struggling financially who can pay a small donation to help towards its running,” he said.

Last December over 500 people came to the Lime Tree Theatre to see a rendition of a play written and performed by the local community and celebrating the 15 year anniversary of the Family Resource Centre.

While regeneration has been very supportive with funding many of the projects on offer at the Resource centre space is an issue when it comes to facilitating the broad range of courses on offer.

“The most people we can fit in our rooms is about 10 or 12 and I suppose realistically we are very limited. 340 people attend classes every week, though not all here though as we collaborate with other facility providers,” explained Mr Prior.

“In our own government funding, we have enough for three full time positions and four percent of the overall cost of the project per year goes to lighting and heating the resource centre. Any other programs and projects that we have to run, we have to find the money ourselves,” he added.

The co-ordinator hopes to see a bigger Family Resource building.

According to a spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council almost €80,000 has been paid to the Southill Family Resource Centre through the Social Intervention Grants over a three-year period from 2014 to 2016.

“The local authority administers a budget of €3m per annum through the Social Intervention Grant Scheme, with a wide range of services being provided to groups across the regeneration areas, in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.   In the three years, 2014 to 2016, 626 individual projects were funded through the Social Intervention Grant Scheme,” the spokesperson added.


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