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This year sees SHARE (Students Harness Aid for the Relief of the Elderly) celebrating 40 years of caring for Cork’s elderly. The organisation’s traditional fast and fundraising campaign was launched today (15th December) at the SHARE Crib, Daunt’s Square, Cork, (near Grand Parade).
A book documenting the story of SHARE and its achievements over 40 years Entitled ‘SHARE – 40th Anniversary – compiled by the young people of SHARE’, will also be launched during the campaign and it will be available in all good book shops.
Cork’s First Citizen, The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Michael O’Connell, together with Bishop John Buckley and Bishop Paul Colton joined the young students of SHARE (drawn from 21 Cork schools) to mark the start of this unique campaign, while the Band of the Southern Brigade played seasonal tunes to celebrate the commencement of the initiative.
Approximately 1,800 students are participating in the fast and fundraising, with their bright yellow sealed collection boxes and yellow jackets, encouraging people to donate to SHARE and help them keep their work alive, vibrant and effective. They will collect in the city centre up until Christmas Eve, as many of their parents did before them. The general public can also have an opportunity to give donations at SHARE cribs in specific shopping centres around the city and suburbs or at the Day Care Centre in Sheare’s Street, Cork.
The SHARE-built homes (200 homes have been provided by SHARE over the last 40 years) which are located around the city, are comfortable, secure and homely, with user-friendly bathrooms and security systems. Residents of these homes are provided with a range of practical services, including meals, a laundry service, and a network of support to help them live comfortable, healthy lives in the heart of the community. A volunteer group of SHARE ‘Mothers’ provide a sense of community and security to residents on a daily basis. SHARE boys and girls visit residents also, enabling the young people to understand the realities of advancing years and the joys and challenges they bring.
In addition to the demanding task of continuous maintenance and running of SHARE’s homes dotted around the city at Blarney St, Shandon St, Blackpool, Grattan St, Sundays Well, Abbey St, Sheare’s St. current maintenance includes essential refurbishment at the large Dún Rís (built 1988) and Cnoc Mhuire complexes and upgrading of all lighting at a number of homes along with on-going repairs and maintenance at several of the complexes. The flooding which hit the Sheare’s Street area also affected the SHARE Day Care Centre and Dún Rís and repairs/re-instatement of services is an on-going project.
Activities at the impressive Day Care Centre at Sheare’s St, Cork, financed and run by SHARE, are to continue this year, working with specific organisations to integrate even more of the elderly, including residents of the SHARE home and many older people from the community into the activities of the centre. The Centre now caters for an average of 120 older people each week. Availing of a range of medical and non-medical services, with the added advantage of a nurse on weekdays, the elderly have an opportunity to meet new friends in a warm, central and spacious environment.
Activities at the Centre include dance, arts and crafts, bingo, darts, quiz games, knitting, sewing, baking, card games, snooker and drama, exercise, sing along sessions, reminiscence sessions, movies, and the odd luxury of a hand massage. Participants can take part as and if they please, and at their own pace, encouraging them to live their lives gracefully and to their full potential. Many enjoy a hot meal or a snack and can escape to the quiet atmosphere of a library filled with books and computers from generous donors.
‘Every year has brought new developments and many demands on resources’ said Robbie Kidney, Chairman of this year’s SHARE Executive, which is effectively the Steering Committee. The Executive of 60 boys and girls, drawn from 20 schools all over the city area, serve to co-ordinate and motivate the larger group through hail, rain or snow! Highly visible in their yellow jackets, from today right up to and including Christmas Eve, these boys and girls will again fast and fundraise, encouraging Corkonians to dig deep and make a positive contribution towards SHARE’s commitment to Cork’s elderly.
Those wishing to make a donation to SHARE can call to the focal point, The SHARE Crib at Daunt’s Square, or visit their cribs at Mahon Point, Merchant’s Quay, Wilton, Blackpool, Bishopstown Court, Douglas Court and Douglas Village Shopping Centre. Alternatively, donations can be posted to SHARE, The Brother Jerome Kelly Day Care Centre, Sheare’s Street, Cork where acknowledgements will be issued immediately. sharecork.org
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Hopkins Communications Cork
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