Saturday 27 May 2017

Easter is an Egg-citing time at Ozanam House in Dublin's north inner city

Tony Rock, Manager of St Vincent de Paul's Ozanam House
Tony Rock, Manager of St Vincent de Paul's Ozanam House

We dropped in 100 Cadbury’s Easter eggs to thank them for all their hard work

As INM's HQ, Independent House, is located on Talbot Street, just on the edge of the old 'Monto' area and very much a part of the north inner city, we dropped up 100 Cadbury's Easter Eggs to Ozanam House and got the chance to speak with Tony Rock, the manager of Ozanam House about the challenges the community faces in this part of the city and the great work they do with people from a neglected part of Dublin.

Ozanam House is a Saint Vincent de Paul Resource Centre on Mountjoy Square in north inner city Dublin. The centre has been providing support to the community in the area for the past 15 years.

The building's links to St Vincent de Paul go back over a hundred years and it was used for various purposes including a clothing and furniture warehouse for the charity in the last century.

In 2002, it was decided to repurpose the building as a Resource Centre for the community in the north inner city. The building is named after Frederic Ozanam, the man who founded the St Vincent de Paul in Paris in 1833.

While the building may be historic for the charity, it is really the work that goes on inside that has made the real difference.

INM wanted to thank our north inner city neighbours at Ozanam House for all their hard work supporting our community over the past 15 years. With the time of year in mind, we presented Tony Rock, the manager of Ozanam House, with a donation 100 Cadbury’s Easter eggs.

Tony gave us an idea of the great work that goes on at Ozanam House and the impact the centre has had on the local community:

Ozanam House currently has 455 members accessing over 500 programme places each week. They cater for everyone in the community with their members aged 3 to 94.

The centre provides childcare and youth services, adult education and community programmes for their members.

Speaking about the people supported by Ozanam House, Tony Rock said: “There is the most vibrant, dynamic and extremely positive community in the north inner city, they just need to be given a chance”.

“That’s what the people will tell you, they are asking for that chance. They are asking for that opportunity”.

At Ozanam House, adults can learn basic skills like cookery, dressmaking and DIY as well as English classes for people who have recently moved into the community.

As part of their community programmes, members can join dancing, drama and yoga classes as well as art and choir. Elderly members of the community who may live alone can be part of the Active Retirement Group and the Older Men’s Club at the centre.

For younger members, Ozanam House runs essential childcare services like their pre-school and after-school group to allow parents to work during the day.

There are also youth groups where inner city children can take part in activities like singing, drama, sport, art, cookery, photography and digital media.

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Portrait of St Vincent de Paul founder Frederick Ozanam and some of the 100 Cadbury Easter eggs donated by INM

Leaving and Junior Cert students can avail of extra tuition and a quiet place to do their homework after school as part of the centre’s grinds programme.

During the summer, Ozanam House enrols local children in their summer projects which involve in-house activities and events as well as excursions around the city.

All the programmes at Ozanam House are created to encourage members of the community to learn, grow their confidence and develop their skills in a safe place.

All of these classes and activities are run with the help of the 12 St Vincent de Paul staff members who work at the centre on both a full-time and part-time basis along with 72 active volunteers.

To find out how you can volunteer or to make a donation to Ozanam House click here. Why not get involved in your local St Vincent de Paul? Find out more and make a donation to the charity here.

Sponsored by: SVP

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