Monday 17 June 2019

Eoin is a vital cog for Meals on Wheels

In this new Day in the Life series, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Prosper Fingal, we shine the spotlight on some of those enjoying prosper Fingal's mission

Catherine Reilly

Eoin Hall from Portmarnock volunteers with the local Meals on Wheels initiative and at the Parish Centre in Malahide as well as accessing Prosper Fingal's day service in Portmarnock

'My Monday begins at Meals on Wheels in Portmarnock, where I volunteer from 9.45am until noon. I count out the cartons of milk for each meal, I put lids on the meals and I wash up the pots as well. I also volunteer there on Fridays. I enjoy it and they look after me well - actually they spoil me big time.

'At noon I go back to the nearby Prosper Fingal centre, where I have my lunch, and later in the afternoon I am involved in the Speak Up Group. It is an advocacy group at Prosper Fingal where we speak up for our friends and it is all about our rights. If we want to get something done, we send an email to the managers and they reply. I have been on the Speak Up Group for 11 years. I am also big into recycling and I take out the recycling bins for the following day to get them emptied. So that is my Monday.

'On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I volunteer at Malahide Parish Centre, where I serve tea and coffee. I love it there as well. I like the people. On Tuesday afternoons I go back to Prosper Fingal, I have my lunch and take the bins out.

'I go to the warfarin clinic on Wednesdays. However, when I am at Prosper Fingal, I bring in the bins and I look after the recycling. I also do the health and safety: I have a red cap and when I put it on, all the staff go, 'oh, we have to be very careful'. I watch for wet floors, things you can trip over and holes in the wall. If the floor is wet, I put out a yellow floor sign and I mop up. Sometimes for lunch I meet up with old friends, like Colette Kavanagh who is now based in Piercetown.

'On Thursday afternoons, I am involved in our Prosper Portmarnock Newsletter and I do the jokes. Here is one: 'What animals like to play cricket?' The answer is 'bats'. I am careful to make sure no-one is hurt by the jokes and that everyone can understand them. On Fridays, I am back at Meals on Wheels before going to Prosper Fingal. I have a weekly plan which I discuss with my Key Worker.

'I get on very well with the staff at Prosper. They do person-centred planning goals, which is all about what I want to achieve.

'I have done classes in computers and literacy. In 2008 I did a course on advocacy at Trinity College Dublin and I received a certificate. At the moment I am enjoying a course on mental health - it is all about feelings and thoughts. The mental health group at Prosper is making me feel like a new man.

'I go to the arch club in Portmarnock, which meets up every Thursday night. We go bowling, to the pictures and out for meals. We also have sports nights, arts and crafts, céilí and quiz nights.

'Every autumn, I am part of a group that gives a talk at Portmarnock Community School on getting new volunteers into the club. Speaking to big groups does not make me nervous at all.

'I have also worked at the Butlers chocolate factory in Coolock. I hope to do this again when they finish renovating. So when you buy those chocolates, you will be able to think of me.

'At weekends, I usually stay at home and watch sports. I am a big Liverpool fan. I also watch snooker, sometimes the golf, and the rugby as well.

'I enjoy meals out with my family. I love my grub. I like salads and my favourite desserts are tiramisu and pavlova.

'I get tired when I do too much. I have a dodgy ticker - so I have to rest too!'

*This series marks the 40th anniversary of Prosper Fingal, which provides services and supports to approximately 300 adults with an intellectual disability in north Dublin.

Fingal Independent