The year started with us still dealing with the Covid restrictions. Paulette and Geraldine worked from home, 3 days a week and returned to the office in April. Dave and Ann were in the office 4 days a week.
For Easter we arranged and delivered 100 Easter gift bags to some of our clients. The bag contained an Easter egg, a bouquet of daffodils and a copy of the Drogheda Leader newspaper. We took photos of some of the recipients receiving the gifts and had articles published in both local newspapers and on social media outlets.
In January we held a “Covid Story” competition with a prize of €100 for the top 4 stories. We had 40 entrants and it was out intention to publish a book, which we never did. The judges were 4 local independent people and again both newspapers covered and printed the top 4 stories.
Both Tri Shaws were used from May until September although filling the time slots was sometimes difficult, this was due to the ongoing pandemic. The two runs a week to both the Boyne View and Moorhall Nursing homes were full and very much appreciated. Big thank you to Jackie our cyclist for organising and liaising with the nursing homes. In May and June, we also had some clients from the St John Of God · Darro centre. This year we took some photos of our clients in the Tri Shaws and in December presented them in a “poster form” to the two nursing homes.
We purchased 3 audio players and signed up to the audio book library. Three people agreed to trial the systems.
We signed on with Pobal in order to be officially registered as the contact to organise the Personal Pendant Alarms. We were also told to use Care Direct 247 as the installer. For the previous 9 years we had been using TASK for both applying and instillations.
This year we worked very closely with Karen Coan from Alone and Rita Lamb from the Scarlet Street Day Care centre, this has been mutually very beneficial.
One of our clients returned a mobility scooter which they were now finished with, the scooter has now been supplied to another suitable client
We assisted in helping a group of older people deal with very aggressive and worrying social behaviour in their estate. We wrote letters to a few people we thought should get involved in trying to solve this situation, this included the Chief Superintendent, The Superintendent, Local TD’s, The Department of Social Protection and the Council. In November a meeting was arranged with the residents, An Garda Síochána and TD Imelda Munster. The matter now seems to be resolved.
Unfortunately, two of our great and very active volunteers passed away; Anthony Lynch and James Carolan. They will be very sadly missed.
In October the Lions Club ran a “Rock & Roll” Bingo event in the garden of one of the local pubs, this was in place of the yearly Tea Dance. We distributed the 200 tickets to all the local groups and organisations dealing with older people.
The Distribution Centre continues to be very active. We had 780 clients, dispatched 21,308 Packs and did 763 home deliveries. The HSE requested that we be the main warehouse and distribution centre for Disability Aids. We installed new racking for these appliances and started the service in March.
Our Care & Repair team this year has basically been two people which includes a new CE worker; David who started in August. We managed 310 jobs, considering the pandemic this was pretty good.
“Good Morning Drogheda”. The number of calls had increased because of the pandemic, as had the length of the calls, people want to chat for longer. Some volunteers returned in July to making calls from the office, others continuing to make calls from their homes. The number of people we call has risen to 170.
Befriending was put on hold because of the Pandemic, however we kept in touch with our clients mostly with phone calls and the occasional visit.
Halo Care visited us in December and explained their Support Technology Programme.
In October we had a visit from MEP Chris McManus and TD Imelda Munster. We gave details of our various community-based activities.
In November we gave a presentation to Minister Joe O’Brian as part of his visit to Drogheda
Our organisation was selected by the Louth County Council EU_SHAFE partner in conjunction with the Technological University Dublin to be presented as a “best practice” community organisation to the European EU_SHAFE. This process had to include an independent professional appraisal of our activities and their effect on our community. The appraisal was carried out by Susanne Smith over a number of weeks and the final analysis was presented. We should all be very proud of our achievements and what we do for our community.
In December we gave 150 older people a Christmas gift made up of a Christmas plant, chocolates, tin of sweets, mince pies, Christmas crackers and Santa hats. This was very much appreciated by the recipients and great fun for the 12 volunteers that made the deliveries.