Older Voices Kildare – The Winter Initiative



The group came together for the first time in October to look at directing supports to especially vulnerable older people across the County. The initial idea was to compile 1,000 resource packs including a range of supports based around the themes of the Keeping Well Campaign.  This was a very collaborative initiative, made up of Community Policing, OVK, CKLP, Kildare PPN, HSE Suicide Prevention Office, Kildare Age Friendly, Kildare Sports Partnership, and Tús.

Each resource pack contained a 12 day exercise programme, a 12 days of Christmas song book from Embrace Music, Christmas cards from OVK, Mental health information and support phone numbers from HSE.

An art pack including art activities, paint, colouring pencils, and paint brushes, Mental Health support and information from Karl Duffy in CKLP, and information on the Small Jobs Scheme and the Befriending Service.

After an initial meeting it was proposed by CKLP that perhaps some even more targeted supports might be necessary for older people at risk of food poverty or fuel poverty. CKLP contributed €3,500.00 and Kildare PPN €4,500 and 3.5 tonnes of food items were delivered to be packaged into 150 hampers for those older people most at risk, identified by OVK, CKLP Community development workers, HSE Older Person’s Services, and the Older Person’s Council.

The Age Friendly programme also contributed financially to the initiative across a number of the items, OVK was given €1,750 for art supplies.

Newbridge Silverware donated 150 decorations to include so that people would feel they were receiving a gift as well as the practical  items.

The areas being served so far are Castledermot, Athy (Flinters and Ardrew) Sallins, Kilcullen, Ballymore, Newbridge, Naas, Celbridge, Kildare Town, Rathangan, Suncroft, Ballysax, North West Kildare, Ballinafagh.

These older persons were OVK and CKLP and very specifically targeted.

Each hamper contains:

Tinned fruit, Mince Pies, Box of Roses Sweets, Box of Biscuits, Weetabix, Rice pudding/Creamed Rice, Jelly, Bisto Gravy, Marmalade and Jam, Porridge, Baked Beans, Cream Crackers, Teabags, Coffee, Sugar,Tinned Fish, 1 x Newbridge silverware decoration, 1 x Magnifying Glass and small torch, Winter Initiative Update – Older Voices Kildare and a couple of surprises!

Tús, RSS , Red Cross and RDTF have all offered to drive and distribute the hampers and packs.

On Friday 4th December,  13 volunteers came together and began assembling the packs under the careful Health and Safety guidance of Adrian the Tús Co-ordinator – who has been an amazing help.  Some photographs attached, below.

In all the Initiative, while it had to be done in a very short time, has highlighted the efficacy and potential of collaborative work in the County, be it for specific groups or specific areas.

As always Older Voices Kildare is deeply indebted to CKLP board, Management and staff for all of their support and assistance with our altered and significantly increased workload this year.