FRCs offer vital family lifeline

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first_imgFacebook NewsLocal NewsFRCs offer vital family lifelineBy admin – August 19, 2010 503 Print Advertisement Twitter Family Resource Centres in Limerick are increasingly acting as a lifeline for people who have lost their jobs because of the recession.  That’s according to the Family Resource Centre National Forum and the Family Support Agency, which has launched a report detailing the work of Family Resource Centres (FRCs) throughout Ireland over the course of 2009. Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up There are 107 FRCs in Ireland, four of which are in Limerick – Croom, Hospital, Southill and St Munchin’s.   The report shows that 581 people completed training courses – directly related to employment – in Limerick FRCs last year.  A further 398 people completed educational courses in the centres, while 8,786 people availed of information on a range of topics, including social welfare rights and entitlements, housing and personal debt.  According to Packie Kelly, chairperson of the Family Resource Centre National Forum, the support network for Ireland’s FRCs serve as a lifeline for those who find themselves suddenly out of work. In addition to providing practical supports – like education and training opportunities, information and advice- they also provide emotional and personal support.   “In Limerick, for example, 616 people availed of direct one-to-one support – what we call ‘cup-of-tea’ support – in FRCs last year, while a further 244 people received in-house counselling sessions. “People who are feeling worried or stressed because of the recession – or for any other reason – can come to their local FRC for a cup of tea and a chat with one of our staff members or volunteers.  Just sharing their worries with somebody else and having somebody listen to them in a respectful and confidential space can go a long way towards lightening their load,” said Mr Kelly, who also confirmed that 77 were employed by Limerick’s four Family Resource Centres last year, of which 14 were funded by the Family Support Agency. In addition, 129 people served as volunteers with the centres, either on a day-to-day basis or as members of the Boards of Management.   “One thing we have noticed is that providing practical resources like photocopying and computer services has a knock-on effect of attracting people to FRCs that we have traditionally found difficult to reach.  “What we have seen now is that – if people come to an FRC to get information on job opportunities or unemployment supports – they are more likely to engage then with other activities and return to the Centre for future events. “Another positive trend we have noticed in the past year is a growing level of voluntary activity.  FRCs have always depended to a very large extent on the contribution of volunteers and we were delighted to see even more people getting involved in this manner during 2009”.  The report launched last week is available to download from  Further information about Family Resource Centres in Limerick is available at Email Linkedin WhatsApp Previous articleFour remain in hunt for hurling crownNext articleParking, not retail parks, blamed for city decline adminlast_img

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