The Rosemount Family Resource Centre in Dundrum normally aides local families-in-need by providing in-person courses and social events. Now in the ongoing pandemic, the centre has continued to operate its services, in a virtual capacity.
“The Resource Centre was established to involved the community by creating opportunities to address inequality and bringing people together to reduce social isolation,” says Louise Keogh, manager of the centre.
“Rosemount FRC continues to develop its early intervention supports which target several areas relevant to child development, such as parenting, social inclusion, child health, child behaviour and children’s learning, family support,” she says.
Established in the early 1990s the centre was founded by a group of volunteers living in Rosemount Court, Dundrum whose aim was to work with people instead of for people, by building on relationships within the community.
“Rosemount Family Resource Centre has continued to operate throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, even though we cannot open to the public,” Keogh says.
“While the Centre has stayed operational behind closed doors the staff team have continued to offer support to those in need of assistance.
“Classes continued via online zoom classes such as knitting, counseling, coffee mornings, wellness, play therapy, music, yoga, art sketching and acrylics, hip hop and other activities for the those who wish to partake.
“The centre also held several friendly competitions such as creative writing, art and videos which involved the family. We are currently running a Halloween Competition,” Keogh says.
She says that the centre has seen an increase in the number of individuals and families looking for support for their elderly parents or loved ones while cocooning.
“As part of our service we were able to provide a collection for food and medical supplies, and counselling services,” says Keogh.
“Rosemount along with the many volunteers also initiated a plan which provided hot meals for the at-risk individuals who were in need.
“This was also offered to families who had been referred to the Centre through other agencies and who were a high risk of financial poverty because of loss of employment.
“This appeared extremely effective and positive as it offered individuals and families a hot meal three evenings a week whilst also relieving some of the financial stresses of Covid-19,” says Keogh.
The centre is currently handing out 180 adult and 180 child food packages per week.
Keogh says that the process of establishing their new way of operating hasn’t been without its difficulties, however.
“Our biggest struggle has been providing IT technical support for our service users to engage in our online classes and funding to provide ongoing free services.
“We have provided an instruction document to engage with the online classes for those families who are unfamiliar with the technology and we have sent our support team to their homes to set them up with iPads and laptops to see them through the pandemic,” she says.
Keogh says that herself and the staff at the centre are proud of the working their doing and will continue their efforts with the Christmas period on the horizon.
“Some of our proudest achievements have been to provide meals to their homes for people in need during the pandemic,” she says.
“We are always looking for continued support for our food bags and we will be doing a Christmas tree appeal outside the centre if people like to get involved and buy a Christmas gift.
“We have delivered 100’s of activity packs to encompass all age groups within the community.
“Rosemount FRC sees itself as a vital essential service within the Dundrum area and will continue to do so throughout the pandemic.”