Spirits were high this week at the St Munchins Community Centre 10 year anniversary celebrations, after a decade of community enhancement and development, with special guests in attendance.
JP and Noreen McManus attended the celebrations with daughter Sue-Ann Foley, in a show of support for the centre, and to turn the sod on the new day-care facility that will be built on the grounds.
After being presented with a number of gifts, in a show of gratitude for the help of the JP McManus Benevolent Fund, Sue-Ann Foley spoke to the crowds, encouraging the people who avail of the services offered to be “grateful” that they have people to speak for them, because “not every community has it. “We get plenty of applications in for centres such as this, and we try and help as many people as we can. It’s very easy to help St Munchin’s.
“My parents are very proud Limerick people.. And this centre shows what Limerick is about and the proper community spirit,” Sue-Ann said. Linda Ledger, St Munchin’s Centre Manager, thanked the McManus family for their continued support over the past decade. “None of this could have been done without JP McManus, he’s been our backbone. All our dreams have really just come true, and they’re even better than we thought.”
The centre continues to expand, taking over the grounds of the former St Lelia’s National School, which was one of three schools amalgamated into Thomond Primary, earlier this year. Thomond Primary is one of the many beneficiaries of the wide range of services that St Munchin’s offer to the community, with one of their newest ventures being the community café at the school, an extension of the café in the centre. Backed by social enterprise, six of the centre’s staff serve food to more than 250 students, giving them the chance to socialise with fellow students in the morning, over a healthy breakfast.
Linda Ledger spoke about the community café initiative, and its success so far. “There are some things like that, that we do, that you can’t put value on. There’s no glossy document, you just have to see it. And when you see something like that, it’s really wonderful,” she said. The new facility at the former St Lelia’s will be an “educational outreach” for everyone, young and old.
Paul Patton, Head of Further Education and Training, Limerick and Clare ETB, officially announced the major award in Healthcare Support that will be available in the new facility. Speaking about promoting education in the community, Mr Patton said: ““The whole idea is, as a social enterprise, is to work within the neighbourhood, and further afield.” This award covers modules, such as; Care Skills, Care of the Older Person, Care Support, Palilative Care Support, Infection Prevention Control, naming just a few. “We’re going to look at education in a completely different light.. We are tackling education, our way,” Linda said.
Visit the St Munchins’ Community Centre website here
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