Louth Leader Partnership hosted a Ukraine Coffee morning and information session in the Barbican Centre on Friday, bringing awareness to the services in Drogheda for Ukrainian refugees.
Nóirín Coghlann Community Development Officer from Louth Leader Partnership said, “we promote social inclusion and what we’re trying to achieve here is to welcome the Ukrainian new arrivals and introduce them to local services. This is the start of us finding out what Ukrainian community need, how is it that we can help.
"There is a whole range of activities happening in the community and what we’re trying to do is to link people together and come up with a plan on how to support our new arrivals.”
Local community groups gathered, highlighting available aid such as the local library, Louth Meath Education Training Board, Hands 4 Unity, Culture Connect, along with The Loving Life Choir.
Speaking at the event, Garda Jill Archer explained there there was no need to go into the Emigration Offices, but instead wait until they were told to do so by media outlets.
She noted that any queries can be made by telephone or email address.
A representative from Stockwell Lane’s library highlighted the books available, with online services and online language courses where Ukraine persons can avail of English classes.
With many upcoming events, all attendees were invited along to join in the fun which are all children friendly.
Olga Duka, a Ukraine national also advertised an event she would be hosting in the library in June, funded by Louth County Council.
Louth Meath Education Training Board also advertised their English classes, catering to all levels. The centre works with persons ensuring they are placed into the appropriate class.
Information can also be obtained on qualification recognition in Ireland, along with guidance counsellor services.
Ukrainians were also advised to relax and not to put pressure on themselves when trying to speak English.
LMETB also advertised their upcoming intensive summer programme which will boost participants English language.
Ejiro Ohare Stratton from Hands 4 Unity said, “I have lived in Drogheda for 32 years, working as Assistant Director of nurses in the local hospital. The Irish community have been so welcoming, which is why I have stayed. However, the community coming in were not mixing, leading to the creation of Hands 4 Unity.”
Ejiro is aiming to unite all communities through the group, allowing everyone to become familiar with traditions and get a taste for all nationalities.
They will also host a project on June 18, with any funds raised on the day pledged to help the Ukrainian community. The event is free for the Ukrainian community, with those interested advised to get in contact to avail of a free voucher.
The Loving Life Choir were present to alert Ukrainian parents of a different type of activity, something for children aged 6-17 to get involved in. There is no cost to join with all events covered from receiving a free branded jacket to outings and journeys.
They already have six Ukrainian children with them, and are currently looking for some boys to join to add to their sound.