Friends of the Elderly Day Trip to Kilkenny Castle
Members of Friends of the Elderly and volunteers on Kilkenny Day Trip
Friends of the Elderly Ireland
Friends of the Elderly is a non-profit Irish volunteer charity situated on Bolton Street in Dublin City. Not funded by the Irish Government, all funds raised are from individual donors, volunteers and corporate help. The charity was established nearly 40 years ago with the aim of bringing friendship and companionship to elderly people who might live alone or feel lonely. Starting off with only a handful of Irish and French volunteers, the organisation has expanded tremendously and has grown to over 300 volunteers and 500 elderly members.
Volunteers at Friends of the Elderly provide support, social engagement, inter-generational activities and community-based services. There are social engagement programmes such as: Home Visitation, Friendly Call Service, Social Club and organising Day Trips or Social Events.
Staff from Myhomecare got involved in the first of the annual summer trips carried out by Friends of the Elderly, which took place on Thursday June 30th to the beautiful city of Kilkenny.
Kilkenny Castle, Friends of the Elderly Day Trip June 30th
Starting off in the Friends of the Elderly Centre on Bolton Street, Dublin City, we were greeted by Fiona Daly. Fiona is the Administrator and Programme Coordinator at Friends of the Elderly. Fiona introduced us to some of the members and we provided companionship, friendship and assistance to our partners throughout the day.
There were around 60 older members and 6 volunteers, including 3 staff members from Myhomecare. For the day trip we departed the centre on Bolton street that morning and headed for Kilkenny. We stopped off in Carlow at The Woodford Dolmen Hotel in Carlow for tea and scones. All the staff were very accommodating and the grounds were stunning.
We continued on our journey and arrived in Kilkenny before lunch-time. We walked around the grounds of Kilkenny Castle and admired the wonderful medieval architecture of the castle and the city. We then got a tour of the city by Kilkenny City Tours. This tour is an absolute must if you are in Kilkenny. Fantastic views and history about the city. Our tour guide had excellent knowledge of the city and was very entertaining! For more info, visit: http://visitkilkenny.ie/historic_kilkenny_city_road_train
Later that evening, we made tracks for home, stopping off at The Gandon Inn in Cappakeel, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. The staff here were very welcoming. The three-course meal was delicious. There was music after the meal and people were everyone was enjoying the music, craic and dancing. We made our way back to Dublin that night and everyone sang songs on the bus on the way home. The atmosphere was heart-warming. It was a truly special day, spent with wonderful people alongside a fantastic organisation that really makes a difference. Volunteering can one be of the most rewarding things you can do. By giving a little time, you are making an impact on an elderly persons life and gaining a friendship at the same time.
For more information on Friends of the elderly visit: http://friendsoftheelderly.ie/