Cara House in Skibbereen, a care centre for the elderly, has received National Lottery funding.
It was included in the €5bn ‘Good Cause’ figure announced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, at a special Lotto draw to mark the National Lottery’s 30th birthday in RTE recently.
The thousands of Cork Good Cause beneficiaries include Cara House in Skibbereen, which recently underwent a vital renovation financed by a €120,000 grant from the Good Causes fund.
Further Lottery funding over the years has also gone to the Skibbereen Geriatric Society, which hosts regular Luncheon Days, which are attended by an average of 50 people from around the Skibbereen area – the eldest user being 99 and the youngest 65.
‘Over 10 weeks the builders came in and transformed the place,’ explained Aine Minihane, service manager at the Skibbereen Luncheon Club, adding: ‘Walls were knocked, old bedrooms removed, three large bathrooms installed, accessibility for all catered for, a conservatory built and designers made the building flow for the benefit of everyone who uses it.
‘We want it to be like a large sitting room where people can relax and enjoy themselves rather than a clinical facility. We make sure the newspapers are there when they come in, that the freshly baked scones are ready and that the kettle is on. We aim to combat loneliness and isolation and bring people together in a positive manner which is what we do,’ says Aine.
She recalls her favourite memory of Cara House which was in summer 2016 when the house was full to cheer local rowing heroes, Gary and Paul O’Donovan on to win silver medals at the Rio Olympics. ‘It was a magical day for everyone in and around Skibbereen and here in Cara House our older adults were as animated, vocal and delighted as anyone.’
The Taoiseach said: ‘There isn’t a community, parish, town or townland in Ireland that hasn’t benefited from the National Lottery funding in some way since its foundation over the past three decades.’