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Southside Partnership celebrates 25 years of its roots in the community by planting trees

Padraig Conlon 21 Dec 2021

For a quarter of a century, Southside Partnership has been dedicated to helping local individuals, groups and communities find ways to bring about positive change and create more hopeful prospects for people who experience unemployment, poverty and social exclusion.

Last Wednesday, An Cathaoirleach, Lettie McCarthy, Cllr Dennis O Callaghan, Garda Denise Kavanagh from Shankill Garda Station, Chairman of Southside Partnership, Alan Wyley and CEO Sharon Commins were joined by staff and local community members in Loughlinstown to celebrate Southside Partnerships 25 years of supporting people and communities in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown.

An Cathaoirleach, Lettie McCarthy, planting a tree in Loughlinstown to celebrate Southside Partnerships 25 years of supporting people and communities in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown

Noting that the tree planting was the organisations first step in their green journey towards becoming carbon neutral, CEO Sharon Commins said:

“It is fitting to have a tree planting ceremony in the heart of our community to mark a quarter of a century.

“A tree gives us a link between the past, present and future.

“Like a tree, anchored in our communities, we are a small organisation with big ambitions and an even bigger heart.

“This will be the first in a number of tree plantings that we will be doing in partnership with DLR County Council, and with assistance from our local youth group.”

An Cathaoirleach, Lettie McCarthy underscored the importance of trees and nature in general during the lockdown, noting that observing nature’s beauty has helped many people pull through the difficult days.

She and Chairman Alan Wyley paid tribute to the commitment of the organisation in supporting communities in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown for 25 years, and in particular the dynamism and dedication of staff during the pandemic in identifying vital community supports and adapting services.

Chairman Alan Wyley explained that: “the Care & Repair Team made sure that the elderly who needed emergency home maintenance were assisted and were pivotal in helping to deliver medicines to vulnerable members in the community.

“As libraries closed, the Ballybrack Resource Centre opened up further – running community book swaps.

“Chair gyms sprang up to keep people active and their spirits lifted, at a time of national distress.

“When Holly House couldn’t run homework clubs, art packs were dropped weekly to the homes of children to keep them entertained during the day when schools were closed.

“Food packs were delivered to homes hit hardest by the crisis”.

Alan concluded the proceedings by noting: “We look forward to serving the people and communities within Dún Laoghaire Rathdown in creative and meaningful ways for many years to come.”

Southside Partnership thanked Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s Park and Landscaping Department Aidan French and Finnian Ward  (and his team) for supporting SSP Holly House Community Resource Centres youth and children’s groups to plant 3 trees and provide education in maintaining them.

For further details on how Southside Partnership can support you and your community in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, and to view their recently published Stories Booklet celebrating their 25 years in operation, visit their website – www.southsidepartnership.ie

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