STC Limerick and Tidy Towns

Serve the City Limerick monthly project in partnership with Limerick City Tidy Towns  “2nd Saturday Tidy-Up”. Michelle, Limerick’s Project Coordinator says this: “I asked TT what needs doing in the city, Tidy Towns provide bin bags, tools. So far the team have done weeding in the Georgian Quarter and litter-picking around Arthur’s Quay Park. TT collected the bin bags. 

This has turned into a good way for us to stay connected with the Limerick Volunteer Center and UL Student Volunteer organization; we can run a continuous add on each of those sites for this project, and last month most of our volunteers were new to STC and came from one of these sources. 

After we work for a about 1.5 hours, we meet at a local cafe, and quite a few people have stayed each time to get to know each other and have stayed in touch afterwards.

Well done Team!!

 

STC Dublin, Cairdeas and Third Space Christmas Carrols !

A beautiful evening of sharing and celebration at our Christmas get together last Saturday in central Dublin. Heartfelt thanks to our generous host Third Space Smithfield for the warm welcome and spectacular spread and to the Balseskin choir for their joy-filled musical entertainment!
It was also the perfect time to thank Alan McElwee for all his years of service and dedication to STC Ireland as he now steps down from the Board of Trustees. (But we all know it will not be the last we see of him…thankfully!!)
Huge thanks to Erika for coordinating our night of holiday cheer!

Composting Workshop in Balseskin, as part of Urban Gardening under Cairdeas Programme

On Saturday 3 December, STC Dublin in collaboration with StopFoodWaste.ie organised Composting Workshop for the residents in Balseskin and those interested in the subject as well as in gardening. We learnt how to build a composter, what are the steps to manage a composter and why composting is so important. We had a big group of attendees, including two volunteers from Balseskin for which we are grateful.

STC Limerick in partnership with Help the Homeless Limerick

Our brilliant and highly dedicated team in Limerick is collaborating with Help the Homeless Limerick. Our Project Leader Michelle says “we use the kitchen at the Life Centre to make a meal once a month. HTHL lets us know where to drop off the meals. We make about 24 meals on the last Wednesday of each month, and so far the meals have gone to a homeless shelter in the city for the residents there who do not receive their meals from the shelter.” Such a great initiative!

 

Summer Fun for Ukrainian Kids

Our amazing team in Limerick, served our Ukrainian friends and their children last Summer.

The Ukrainian refugees are living in temporary accommodation in UL student housing and there are about 150 people. Michelle reports: “We had gotten to know a couple of Irish women who were working tirelessly for the group. They said they were trying to find things for the kids to do over the summer. We had about 40 volunteers, 1 corporate sponsor, partnered with Consider it Cakes (donated home-baked treats) and I love Getting Crafty (face painting). Abundant Life Christian Church provided the meal. We had a few people who could translate. Most importantly, it did not rain.”

 

URBAN GARDENING IN BALSESKIN RECEPTION CENTRE

On Saturday 8 Oct Serve the City visited Balseskin Reception Centre where some residents and STC volunteers participated in our community gardening project. The community garden recently underwent a big revamp with a new shed, and polytunnels being put in place, thanks to Fingal County Council.

This time round, the team weeded out the patches, harvested some tomatoes, and planted beetroot seedlings, as well as cleared the paths and watered the whole garden.

The War in Ukraine

 

 

From our Friends in Brussels, Belgium:

How You Can Help Ukraine: Three Ways to Give

Dear friends,

We are all in shock, and we are afraid. We are united in our concern as lives are threatened, and new pages of history are being written before our eyes. We feel compelled to act, and to provide meaningful opportunities for others to engage.

We are a values-in-action volunteering community, in cities all over the world. We care for people in need, people made vulnerable for many different reasons.

Let’s re-state those values: humility, compassion, respect, courage, love, hope. All so beautiful, and all in stark contrast to the evils of war.

And behind the obvious horrific headlines are countless other incidents of existing vulnerabilities made worse: homeless people helplessly exposed in the line of fire; more people made vulnerable to human traffickers who are lurking in the shadows; more people made to be disabled, and already disabled people without their support structures; children orphaned; refugees pouring out into neighbouring countries.

Our teams in Poland and Romania are active, and report extraordinary solidarity between everyday people as they care for as many people as they can. Let’s help them! STC family around the world: Unite!

Here are some practical suggestions:

1. Give Financially
If anyone would like to donate financially to Ukraine, Serve the City International will be collecting donations and, in consultation with our connection in the region, we will distribute the donations among people and organisations helping Ukrainians.

Donating online or through the STC International bank account can be found on the following link: https://www.servethecity.net/donate/

If you are in the USA and would like a tax-deductible receipt, you can donate through this link instead: https://my.simplegive.com/App/Form/597f3cd6-5c00-490c-ae85-ea9f103cbde7

Please share these details with others as well.

2. Give Supplies 
If you are able to donate or transport supplies to Poland, there is a need for blankets, food, medical supplies, basic pain medicines, power banks, sanitary supplies, hats, heavy coats, gloves, and more – which will then be transferred to Ukraine via a cargo bus in the next few days.

If you can contribute towards this, please reach out to travis@servethecity.pl

3. Give Connections 
On Sunday, Travis Mielonen of STC Poland shared with us regarding the situation of Ukrainian and international refugees entering Poland as well as the situation in Ukraine –

‘We have helped 150+ people find places to stay here in Poland, we are coordinating arrivals, accommodations, food, supplies and more. We have a few young couples in Lviv who contacted us for accommodation but now have not been able to cross due to the huge amount of people and long lines, they have a 2-month-old baby and don’t feel safe keeping her outside to cross the border, they will keep trying possible safer ways. However in the meantime, they are helping us help people across the border, they are buying supplies, power banks, etc, although the electronic stores in Lviv are all closed now, supermarkets have reopened for the meantime.’

If you know anyone in Ukraine that can also help or are already helping, please do connect them to travis@servethecity.pl

In Solidarity with Ukraine

 

Our colleagues in Serve the City Kraków (link) are mounting a humanitarian operation in Poland for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war. Some of the Kraków based volunteers already are accommodating those in needs in their homes. The mayor of Krakow has appealed to NGO’s such as STC to help. We will be running a go -fund campaign in Ireland in the coming days to support Serve the City Krakow in this very important cause.
Please stay tuned!
Serve the City Ireland

Strategic Plan 2019-21

Serve the City Ireland CLG is pleased to announce its new Strategic Plan 2019-21 setting out the way forward for its volunteer-led activities in Dublin Galway & Cork.

The full documented Plan may be viewed from this link strategic-plan-2019-21_web

Watch out for further follow up and engagement over the summer with our volunteer teams around the country,  our partners and stakeholders, on our social media.

Tour the City- Castletown House in Leixlip

We marked the first tour of June with another ‘mystery’ version and our first away from the city centre. Castletown House in Leixlip just barely sits outside the city limits but the 30 minute bus journey was uncharted territory for the project. Credit to our project leaders in the reception centres whose promotion ensured the bus was at full capacity, including the most kids we’ve seen at a tour. Their infectious energy kept us alert all afternoon.

Our visit to the Georgian house in Kildare began with a guided tour, with the kids (and Shem) kitted out in period costume. Everyone was hugely entertained, as we were told about the politics, personal grudges and surprising charity of the families who’d previously lived in the house. As well as hearing the dramatic tales of the house, the intricate architecture and décor ensured all our senses were stimulated. The drama didn’t conclude with the guide’s departure as the café staff weren’t as well practiced with large groups as the staff of the house. However, after we eventually managed to feed everyone, the more adventurous attendees roamed the gardens and shared their pictures with the rest of us. A project as young as ours welcomes every learning opportunity possible and Saturday’s outing offered many lessons. Rest assured however, our limits lie well beyond the town of Leixlip.

                             

Tour the City – Botanical Gardens Dublin

A visit to the Botanical Gardens under a rare blue sky probably requires visual representation rather than verbal so thankfully a photographer tagged along for this tour. Along with our usual special guests from the Balseskin Reception Centre, our group featured Serve the City International founder Carlton Deal and Dublin director Alan McElwee. Looking back, we couldn’t have been luckier to pair such wonderful weather, in such inspiring surroundings, with such great company.

The fact that I cannot recall the actual names of any tree/plant/turtle is no measure of our tour guide’s abilities, whose name I also cannot recall (there’s a pattern developing here). He led us through the grounds enthusiastically, and provided some really engaging context to the clashes of colour and the not-so-random patterns and shapes. The trail culminated in a visit to the recreated Viking dwelling, a thatched hut that could easily compete with the standard of some listings on daft.ie.

As always, the volunteers and participants sat down for lunch, this time generously provided for by Alan. A tour’s success can generally be judged on the hum of indistinguishable conversations and this occasion’s was up there. A huge thank you has to be issued to everyone involved but especially our photographer, Alan and Carlton. Saturday’s outing was the perfect preamble to Tour the City’s upcoming 1 year anniversary.

Serve the City Dublin will participate in Global Volunteer Day – join us !

On 5 May, for the first time ever, Serve the City International will organise Global Volunteer Day!

We prepared something special for you!

In the morning we have 2 volunteer projects to chose from (Practical DIY or Tour the City).

In the afternoon we organised Networking Lunch with a small celebration of 1st Anniversary of Tour the City project that will take place in The Tara Building (Tara St).

To get involved, please sing up using your Volunteer Personal Page or go to Volunteer tab in this website.

More info: admin.TTC@servethecity.ie

or by texting to Shem 083059 4812

We’re looking forward to seeing you on 5 May !

Tour the City visits Dublin Castle

There’s a real temptation to just list all the countries represented at the tour but that would be setting a dangerous precedent for future recap pieces- rest assured it was a lot, 5 continents in attendance. This is the first in a series of short blogs that will outline what went on during our outings with Tour the City; a glimpse into our work for curious observers, or those looking to get involved themselves.

The weather encouraged a sizeable group of participants to come from various reception centres, predominantly the Balseskin and Hatch Hall residences. Thanks to the hospitality of Dublin Castle, we were allowed free entry to roam the halls and take in the former hub of English rule in Ireland. The troubled history of the Castle provided an ideal conversation starter, allowing volunteers and participants to recount our respective histories of British colonialism- who knew imperialism had a silver lining?

The hum of conversation is always the highlight of the tours and the ‘four seasons’ gardens were an idyllic setting for lunch. There were tour participants who hadn’t been in Ireland a week and the pristine garden, in such nice weather, could easily mislead anyone about the reality of life here. Then again, this is the essence of the project, to provide a momentary respite from the debilitating routine of life in direct-provision; brief moments of tranquillity should not be taken for granted.

 

Tour the City project visits Collins Barracks in Dublin

After a long Christmas and New Year break, Serve the City’s project Tour the City was back to business at the beginning of January.

On 10 January, the first tour of the year brought a group of residents of Direct Provision Accommodation Centers to the Natural History Museum, commonly known as the Dead Zoo.

Inside, the group was met by the Museum’s tour guide. The group learnt about the prehistoric animals that lived on the territory of Ireland, but also about diverse Irish fauna of today.

There were many questions asked, and for some participants, it was the fist time to see some of the species that live in Ireland. There were some kids in the group and they just had a great fun !

It was the first time since its inception, that the project attracted a good number of local volunteers that want to help in integration of refugees and asylum seekers.

If you’d like to find out more or perhaps even to volunteer, please fill in our  STC Volunteer Application Form and email shem@servethecity.ie and we will get back to you swiftly.

 

The War in Ukraine

    From our Friends in Brussels, Belgium: How You Can Help Ukraine: Three Ways to Give Dear friends, We are all in shock, and we are afraid. We are united in our concern as lives are [...]

In Solidarity with Ukraine

  Our colleagues in Serve the City Kraków (link) are mounting a humanitarian operation in Poland for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war. Some of the Kraków based volunteers already are [...]

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