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“I’ve never seen as much demand”

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Volunteers under pressure as they help over 200 local families

By Michelle Crean

Increasing energy costs and sharp hikes in rent has driven more and more people into the poverty trap this year than ever before according to a local charity - who are appealing for public support.

Lone parents - even those who are working - are making up the bulk of those seeking help as they struggle to pay for rising electricity and heating bills - before they can purchase toys or put food on the table this Christmas.

Breda Dwyer, Area President of the Killarney St Vincent de Paul Conference, says she is shocked with the increase this year.

Currently volunteers with the service are putting together food boxes, and are giving vouchers for toys and fuel, with over 200 local families and vulnerable people being looked after so far this Christmas.

"It's shocking and we're very concerned for them," Breda told the Killarney Advertiser.
"We find this year lone mothers or parents - even those who are working - are struggling because everything has increased. Rents are from €800 a month, even people living on their own pay up to €1,000. It's busier with COVID, people are finding it harder with the extra costs of coal, electricity and oil. Some people in older apartments with poor insulation are using electric heaters. They are pleading with us to come up to them so that they can buy toys. I'm in my 11th year [with SVdP Killarney] and I've never seen as much demand as this year."

Breda and her team of volunteers are busy buying and packing the food as well as vouchers to give to those most in need. However, they are appealing to the community to drop in what they can so that no one goes without.

"We'd be grateful for any help," Breda said.

Tonight (Friday) The Late Late Show will also highlight the remarkable work of the St Vincent de Paul Annual Appeal, as the charity prepares to help thousands of families across Ireland to have a brighter Christmas.

Anyone who needs assistance over the coming days or weeks can drop in to the St Vincent de Paul shop on Beech Road or call 064 66 22668.

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Do facial treatments hurt?

It can be difficult to book your first facial, as you aren’t sure what your skin needs or what’s involved, but don’t worry, as that’s our job to make it […]

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It can be difficult to book your first facial, as you aren’t sure what your skin needs or what’s involved, but don’t worry, as that’s our job to make it an easy process.

One of the most asked questions I get asked is do facials hurt? The short answer is no, but I have to admit it depends on your skin type and what is required. Squeezing black heads isn’t the most comfortable moment during a facial, but we always have the skin well prepared, exfoliated and softened, and use steam to open the pores. Mostly a facial is super relaxing and comfortable.

Summer weather tends to bring with it oily skin and breakouts, but it’s often less acne prone in the winter. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be getting regular facials throughout the year however. The best way to see the benefits of a facial is to get them consistently. A good facial will have the products tailored to your skin type.

You have nothing to loose but excess oil and dead skin cells. I have a feeling men are more sensitive than women as they always ask about the pain involved first!

Give me a call to book in or if you’ve any other questions ring 064 6632966.

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Plan ahead for College Open Days

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore. For more careers information see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors
 

The College Open Day season for 2023 entrants starts in earnest in early October.

From then on, the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and Agricultural colleges will showcase what they have to offer to potential students. Further Education Colleges tend to host their open days from January onwards. Thankfully HEIs are back to hosting in-person open days but many are offering more specific information sessions on particular courses and departments virtually. College Open Days give students and parents a great chance to find out lots of interesting and detailed information about courses of interest and the many supports available, as well as giving the opportunity to get a feel for the college by availing of campus tours. You will find a complete list of the open days in the events sections of www.qualifax.ie and on www.careersportal.ie so take some time to make a list of the ones you want to attend.

Prepare and plan 

Do some basic research on the courses on offer. Check the entry requirements for each course of interest as you will need to meet these to be eligible to compete for a place on the course. Check out the modules and whether Erasmus or travel abroad options are available, as well as work placement. Don’t ignore a course or open day because you don’t expect to get enough points. You may do far better than you anticipate.
Have a good look at the college website – register for the open day in advance, download the schedule of talks and make note of the ones you want to attend. Make sure to download a map of the campus so you know exactly where to find the talks and presentations of interest. Jot down any questions you have as you will hopefully get a chance to talk to college staff and/or current students. Plan to arrive in plenty time as there are likely to be very large crowds attending. On the day, try to gather information about accommodation, clubs and societies and student supports. Many HEIs run talks for parents and on grants, HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) and DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) so check them out. Make sure to get contact details for any staff members which may be important later for follow-up questions.

Atmosphere

There is nothing like a College Open Day to give you a sense of what the campus feels like. Soak up the atmosphere and consider if the size of the campus is the best fit for you. Larger campuses can be intimidating for some students while exciting for others. Smaller campuses can feel more comfortable and manageable. You will know what feels right for you. Bear in mind that open days have a festival feel to them and regular college days are not always like that. This may be your only chance to visit the campus before you register there as a student so make the most of your day and enjoy it!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore. For more careers information see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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