The Family Resource Centre CDP

Aims and Objectives

The Family Resource Centre CDP work is multi-dimensional and is a strong anti-poverty organisation multi funded and core funded under the National Community Development Programme, the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltaecht Affairs. The one characteristic of the Family Resource Centre CDP is its open door policy. This means anyone can avail of the friendly atmosphere and the expertise of the staff and volunteers when seeking help at their most vulnerable moments.

The Family Resource Centre CDP aims to:

  • Foster community development in St. Michaels Estate and the surrounding area.
  • Enable and empower local people to become active participants in the process to influence social, economic, political and cultural change.
  • Encourage volunteerism by local adults in the area and to train them to work in their own community by passing on skills and knowledge.
  • Promote the interests and rights to equality of the people in the area.
  • Network and pass on models of our practice to local, regional, national and international communities.

History

The Family Resource Centre (CDP was set up in September 1986 by local mothers and a sister from the order of the Sisters of Mercy. There were huge issues of concern on the estate at the time such as local children glue-sniffing, an increase in young single parents, major poverty and dreadful living conditions. In 1989, the Resource Centre appointed their first community worker to develop the centre with from the Sisters of Mercy.

Education

In 1993, the Family Resource Centre was accepted into the National Community Development Programme. The project worked on issues identified by local people. There has been a major focus on women's education and it become a core value of the centre. The worry of children falling behind in the school system became a real concern for families. The Family Resource Centre CDP addressed this through providing an After-School Programme, which in the year of the millennium won the overall Guinness Award.

Mothers needing childcare to attend educational programmes or deal with big life problems became another need resulting in a crèche being set up to meet their needs, the crèche serves the community on a daily basis and is a very happy multi-cultural infants centre meeting the needs of children three months up to three years.

Drugs

The horrible conditions of the flats became a major issue for people and the Family Resource Centre CDP. For many years the people have struggled against all odds to have the flats maintained and refurbished and to have a decent environment in which to live. Unfortunately drugs, mainly heroin took over the estate in the early 90's and this was an extremely difficult and sad time because the conditions in flat further deteriorated and many lives were tragically lost. A major problem developed for locals and The Family Resource Centre CDP because drugs were everywhere in the area. People were getting involved in taking and selling heroin and many children were at risk. To maintain the centre as a community development organisation we needed to get involved in an area strategy to develop a drugs team. Inchicore Community Drugs Team was set up in 1999 and was an appropriate response and has gone on to support and help people and their families with their addictions.

Violence Against Women

With the death of one of the Family Resource Centre's CDP volunteers Mary Bailey, through male violence and the disclosure from women of their own experiences of abuse the CDP went on to develop a community response to violence against women. They set up the Inchicore Outreach Confidential Centre where women and children are journeyed with. A safe space to be heard, to share their stories, be believed, explore options, be in control of their own decisions, be made feel welcome and not be judged. The outreach workers offer advice visits, court accompaniment, education and awareness raising and links with other voluntary and statutory agencies. It is also pioneering a response to pornography programme at a community level.

Art Projects

The Family Resource Centre CDP has a relationship with the Irish Museum of Modern since 1991. Through this relationship a number of art exhibitions were made in collaboration with artists and the community, "Unspoken Truths" being the first was launched by President Mary Robinson in IMMA in 1992, this was the story of 32 working class women across the city of their life experience. The renowned "Once is Too Much" addressing the issue of violence against women, which stood alongside Andy Warhol at IMMA and has travelled countrywide for the past 8 years, informing other communities across the country of the serious issues related to violence against women. Other exhibitions include "Castings", "Out of Place" and "Manifesto" which was commissioned in March 2002. The Family Resource Centre CDP was one of 15 projects world-wide commissioned by Praxis International to create displays for a permanent exhibition for their new training centre in Duluth, Minnesota, U.S.A. The goal of this exhibition is to highlight core organising strategies of grassroots social change organisations and to aspire social change and activism in both new comers and veterans of the battered women's movement. Another art project that we embarked on was gathering the history of St. Michaels Estate told by the people themselves through the "Dreams in the Dark" video which was filmed by artist Joe Lee. Childrens art has also figured high in the Family Resource Centre CDP's work, in collaboration with Common Ground Arts Agency "Stick Stories" was developed. Common Ground also works with the children in giving them the wholesome experience of a variety of artistic expressions of sound and music. Art has a huge roll to play in the well being of communities and at all times the CDP will seek out opportunities to promote and explore the arts and culture.

Senior Citizen Group

The Family Resource Centre CDP offers support to the most vulnerable senior citizens of the area. They are invited in for a weekly breakfast, information and social morning. It offers outreach to the people who are confined to their homes and it also through Drugs Task Force funding gives respite to those who never have the opportunity to get away from the harsh conditions of their environments. We also through Lottery funding take the senior group on outings and weekends away.

Travellers

Travellers are named as one of the nine target groups in Equal Status Legislation. They are a group who experience social exclusion because of the unequal treatment and denial of their rights in Irish society. It is the Family Resource Centre CDP's role to work with them whether or not there are travellers in the area. The main challenge we have always identified for the project is one of solidarity rather then direct work, although we do work directly with the small Traveller site in the area, we are also a member of the ITM (Irish Tra veller Movement) and have long term links with Pavee Point and support them in their Violence against Women work. Traveller women experience the triple burden of discrimination as women, as Travellers and as Traveller women.

African Communities

In 2004 the Family Resource Centre CDP began its work with a group of West African women. They came seeking help with their individual asylum problems and joined our local education programme. We were successful with the ZEST Programme from the National Women's Council. We crafted a particular course to suit their needs. On a daily basis African women and men access the CDP for help and advice and their children also attend the After-Schools programme and the crèche. The Family Resource Centre CDP supports the Inchicore Interculturalism Centre on its steering group and its many activities.