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Local staff deliver over 300 food parcels during COVID outbreak

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FOOD PARCELS: Staff at Ballyspillane Family Resource Centre have donated over 300 food parcels to the community over recent weeks. Pictured were: Connie O'Leary (Manager), Marian McCabe (Community Development Worker), and Reception Team Leaders Sophie Haighway and Norma Costello. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

One community is working harder than ever during the COVID outbreak as they experienced a sharp increase in demand for their services.

Staff at Ballyspillane Family Resource Centre have been working hard behind the scenes helping source, fill and deliver over 300 food parcels containing non-perishable essential goods as increase in referrals for support suddenly rose.

Since the onset of the pandemic, there's been a particularly high demand for parent and family supports, food parcels, and counselling and mental health services while income generated by FRCs has fallen steeply, according to the results of a survey released by the Family Resource Centre National Forum (FRCNF), the national representative body for FRCs.

Locally is no different as Ballyspillane FRC staff have not stopped working at all as they try to cater for all levels of support requests.

"We have seen a vast in increase in referrals and demand for family support, food parcels and essential basic supplies for young children and babies," Manager of Ballyspillane FRC, Connie O'Leary, told the Killarney Advertiser this week.

"Referrals have come in through the local authority Kerry Community Helpline, Social Work Department, PPFS Kerry and KASI Migrant Centre and Killarney Mental Health Services.

"We haven't stopped working at all. It has increased two fold and there's a huge amount of work being done."

In one week alone the FRC provided 31 food parcels to families in the Killarney community including vouchers for families living in Atlas House Direct Provision Centre, two laptops and a tablet for second level students for homework and educational learning. Family Support Workers facilitated 10 Meitheal check-ins sessions with families and made 29 phone contact calls and seven face to face meetings through social distancing.

"Thankfully with the additional financial support from Tusla and Kerry Prevention Partnership and Family Support we have been able to respond and provide these essential supplies to new families referred to the FRC. We are also linking in with the local SVdP to support the elderly in our communities for Meals on Wheels supports."

She added that South Kerry Development Partnership (SKDP) are delivering the food parcels for them to minimise the spread of the virus from person to person.

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Local soprano releases new single

Local soprano Mary Culloty O’Sullivan has released her second self-penned single. Following the success of her debut song ‘Forever and a Day’ which was released on July 16 and was aired on radio stations all over the world and on streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and iTunes, her second single was released last Friday. ‘Before […]

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Local soprano Mary Culloty O’Sullivan has released her second self-penned single.

Following the success of her debut song ‘Forever and a Day’ which was released on July 16 and was aired on radio stations all over the world and on streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and iTunes, her second single was released last Friday.

‘Before You Leave Me’ has a Jazz influence. Mary has been writing her own songs since March this year covering several different genres.

“Tony O’Flaherty of Sonas Studios has brought my songs to life and I am delighted with the production on the songs,” Mary told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Fun Urban Orienteering event coming to Killarney town

The event is free, open to all ages, levels of fitness and is both wheelchair and buggy friendly.Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership are calling on you, to get out and #BeActive as part of European Week of Sport 2021, which runs from September 23 to 30. Sport Ireland, the national coordinating body for European Week of Sport in […]

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The event is free, open to all ages, levels of fitness and is both wheelchair and buggy friendly.
Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership are calling on you, to get out and #BeActive as part of European Week of Sport 2021, which runs from September 23 to 30.

Sport Ireland, the national coordinating body for European Week of Sport in Ireland hope that this year’s event will inspire even more people than previous years and has funded multiple flagship as well as local events run by the Network of Local Sports Partnerships, including this ‘Family Street Orienteering Kerry’ event.

“This free event looks to offer everyone an opportunity the get out and be active and maybe try something new,” Gearóid O Doherty, the Coordinator of Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership said. 

“Urban Orienteering is an activity that you can do on your own or with your family and friends. You get to challenge yourself a little and still go at a pace that suits you – and what a beautiful location to do it all in, Killarney town!

“With many people possibly new to the Kerry region, be that through work, college or otherwise, this is an ideal way to get involved in the community and explore the streets and lanes of Killarney in a fun and active way.”

The Kerry Orienteers Club have designed the courses for this event and are looking forward to the excitement of it all and helping those new to the sport to continue taking part in the months and years that follow.

“We know that, for a lot of people, this will be their first time trying orienteering, but they can rest assured, as we will be there to talk them through it and help them out if needed,” Brendan O’Brien from Kerry Orienteers said.

“If it is something they want to try again, we can signpost them to other events, both locally here in Kerry and indeed nationally. Orienteering is a fantastic sport that allows you to build your skills and confidence, with all events having a variety of routes to cater for all levels.”

To cater for physical distancing and government guidelines, there are several staggered start times for participants to choose from, beginning at 6pm and the last group heading off at 7.30pm. With free t-shirts for all who sign up and additional workshops onsite, from the likes of Leave No Trace Ireland, it is sure to be a fun and vibrant evening, all stemming from the start point at ANAM – Killarney’s Arts and Culture Centre.

Places are limited for this event. Free online registration is available and those looking to attend are encouraged to book their place early to avoid disappointment.

For more information, you can visit any of the Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership social media accounts or go to www.sportireland.ie.

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