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School beats slump with skills guide

A Dublin school is trying to fight the recession by creating a directory of parents' businesses to share in the community.

As the number of workers being laid off continues to grow, St Patrick's National School in Carpenterstown, Castleknock is trying to minimise the damage by advertising the professional skills of students' parents.

The idea was the brainchild of the chairperson of the school's board of members, Daniel Collins,

"I was trying to find ways to help -- I talk to parents every day struggling, some of whom have lost their job," Mr Collins told the Herald.

"There are approximately 900 parents in the school, most of them provide some form of service, or they themselves work for a company that provides it or needs it."

Earlier this month, Mr Collins advertised the idea throughout the school, which was met with resounding approval and 46 businesses and services are currently being represented in the directory.

"I sent a note to the parents with the idea and it was very well received. It's all been very positive," he said.

"In September, each child will be receiving a copy on the first day of school, so we can ensure that every parent will be seeing a copy of it.

"The directory is only for the parents in the school, but we are encouraging those who use some of the services to spread the word among their family, friends and neighbours - whether you need a pipe fixed or your jewellery fixed.

"There is a wide range of skills on offer in the directory - everything from GPs to graphic designers," he added.