Bike Week at Oakley – June 2017

Bike week at OakleyFamilies of Oakley Wood came together to enjoy an afternoon to mark bike week in June 2017.

The children enjoyed taking part in bike races and obstacle courses, Parents and children then enjoyed glitzing up their bike, a well-earned fruit and water break was then enjoyed on the green.

The event concluded with a medal presentation, healthy goodie bag and a safety demonstration from cycling Ireland.

This is the second year for Oakley wood to mark bike week event, the event promotes positive physical health and well-being within the community, this year we were delighted to have Barbara from cycling Ireland to give a demonstration around bike safety.

The event was thoroughly enjoyed by all families.

A special thanks to sports partnership Carlow, Barbara from cycling Ireland and all the parents who helped out on the day.

Posted June 2017:  Jen Danagher (Respond!) AND Niamh Flavin Beresford (FSW Respond Support)


Initiative to Create a Community Sensory Garden in Leixlip

Respond! celebrate European Neighbours’ Day 2017

Respond hosted a number of events around the county to celebrate European Neighbours Day 2017. The western region celebrated European Neighbours Day in Ballygrennan Close, Moyross, Limerick on 19th May.

DSC_0928 It was a really special day and enjoyed by all, lots of craic, good food, activities (such as planting) and of course, fab neighbours!!  Thanks to Maureen and Sylvia for organising this event.


Respond! also organised a BBQ at our offices in Waterford with live music supplied by our very own residents, the Johns College Choir.

St Johns College Choir at Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (cropped)

Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (12)BBQ at Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (2)

This year marks the 17th anniversary of Neighbours’ Day, since it was launched in Paris, in 2000.

Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (13)This event is now celebrated around the world by millions of people – 1450 partner cities, housing organisations and associations are participating in over 36 countries with more than 30 million participants!

Scones arrive Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (6)The impressive development of neighbour’s day is living proof that there is a desire to promote a ‘better living together’ with no borders.

Dermot at Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (4)Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (9)The  BBQ at lunch time at Airmount was celebrated by more than 75 attendees staff, and residents from Airmount, Luke Court, Aisling Court, Francis Court, Spring Gardens, Johns College and Oak Crescent Tramore. The delicious  food was supplied by Molloys and disappeared very quickly indeed, along with the sunshine.

Choir sing at Allottments at Airmount on Neighbours Day 2017 (3)This years uncertain weather created a bit of a challenge with the highlight of the day being the performance by Respond! residents from Johns College Choir (in the rain) well done to the choir for their fantastic enthusiasm.

Roll on next year

LIT Respond Housing collaboration results in new design for homeless families


LIT Design Awards May 2017

LIT Respond Housing collaboration results in new design for homeless families. Staff from LIT and Respond! with sponsors and winner Alex Harnett who won first prize for her imaginative use of Dulux products. The competition was generously sponsored by Dulux paints Forbo flooring systems and the Galtee group. Photo: Liam Burke Press 22

Recently in Limerick city, students of LIT Interior Design were presented with awards to acknowledge their excellent design work for the renovation of a playroom for homeless women and children.

The Suaimhneas project was opened by LIT Respond Housing collaboration in Moyross in 2002 to combat the growing numbers of homeless women and children who were left with no alternative than living in B&Bs. Funded by the HSE and Limerick City and County Council, the Suaimhneas centre focuses on helping families with re-housing as well as support and resources to achieve independent living.

Beginning purely as a design competition, the collaboration between LIT and Respond grew to include local material suppliers that have generously donated the materials and in some cases the labour for the implementation of the new scheme. The community-spirited suppliers are Dulux Ireland, Forbo Ireland and the Galtee Group (Ballylanders).

Paul Hargaden, Regional Manager for Respond Housing:

“This is an excellent example of real collaboration to the benefit of the local community.

We never dreamed that Niall and his students would go beyond the hopes of a simple design, to facilitate a whole redesign of the space. This will give a much-needed boost to the service and the families living in Suaimhneas who are experiencing a difficult time in their lives.

Now the children will have a beautiful new play area and Dulux Ireland, Forbo Ireland and the Galtee Group are to be sincerely thanked for coming on board with materials and labour.

I would like to thank the students for their time and talent, Niall and all in Limerick Institute of Technology for seeking to contribute in a meaningful way and the fantastic companies who joined the team. It shows us that during this homelessness crisis if we all come together we can make a big difference.”

Pat Gill, Head of Department of the Built Environment at LIT:

“We are delighted to help the women and children in the Suaimhneas service and at the same time teach our students the application of design in the real world. The excellent design must have the end service-users in mind and this project is a great learning experience for our students.

Paul Hargaden Regional Manager with R! Alex Harnett winner Niall McPartlin Programme Leader and Orlaith Corr Manager of Suaimhneas

Paul Hargaden Regional Manager with Respond!, Alex Harnett winner, Niall McPartlin Programme Leader and Orlaith Corr Manager of Suaimhneas. Photo: Liam Burke Press 22

Design and the built environment around us are also proven to be a major factor in terms of wellbeing and mental health. We all deserve good design and none more so than the women and children of Limerick who have no home to call their own. We are happy, as always, to assist the good work of Respond! in the Limerick area.”

Eoin Ryan, Managing Director at the Galtee Group:

“The Galtee Group are delighted to be associated with such a worthy cause in conjunction with LIT Respond Housing collaboration. We have worked with LIT on a number of projects including the Carbright Homecare Facility and look forward to future collaboration.”

Noel Hogan, Area Sales Manager, Forbo Flooring Systems:

Forbo Ireland Limited are delighted to be associated with such a worthy cause in conjunction with Limerick Institute of Technology (Interior design program )and Respond! Housing Association.”

Paddy Barry, Sales Manager Southern Region, Dulux Paints Ireland Limited:

Represented by Mr Fergus O’Connor on the night, Area Representative with Dulux Paints.

“I know all the participants have contributed a tremendous amount of time and effort to bring such a worthwhile project to fruition. It again illustrates what can be achieved when people engage together with a positive and generous attitude.  On behalf of Dulux, I would like to thank and congratulate the staff and students from LIT as well as the team from Respond! on this great achievement.”

To read more about LIT click here


The Easter bunny arrives in Oakley Wood




Families of Oakley Wood, Tullow, Carlow had a surprise visitor during an Easter craft session.

The Easter bunny arrived while children were busy at work making their Easter baskets, the bunny could only stay for a short while.

Children enjoyed an easter egg hunt on the green after and were delighted going home with all the eggs they collected.

The crafts and egg hunt was enjoyed by a number of families from the estate.

Posted: April 2017




Pottery workshop Dungarvan




Parents and children from Marquis Drive have completed an 8 week workshop in pottery making. 9 children and 7 adults participated in the workshop.

Parents and children had a fantastic time, they commented how they had learned a lot from making pottery and how they enjoyed working with the children through crafts, which helped them bond and relax.

The workshop was facilitated by Cora Curran, Cora took the pieces away to her kiln to fire and glaze them, the end result pictured here are beautiful with vibrant colours and unique shapes.


20170320_171341_resizedMany thanks to the WWETB for funding this workshop

Posted by Caroline Haran RSW 23/3/2017

Policy Forum for Ireland Keynote Seminar taking place March 2017

Declan Dunne CEO with Respond! is speaking at the Policy Forum for Ireland Seminar on 29th March 2017 taking place at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8 examining the challenges in social and private housing following Rebuilding IrelandIt follows the launch of the ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ Action Plan on housing and homelessness, which seeks to increase the delivery of homes in Ireland, and the funding allocated to housing in the recent budget.

Delegates will consider the five pillars of the action plan – including addressing homelessness, accelerating social housing, building more homes, improving the rental sector and utilising existing housing – and assess the challenges to implementation, particularly focusing on cost and construction issues within the private market, waiting lists for social housing and the limits to government spending through capital funding.Those attending will also assess the priorities for Government, particularly in relation to initiatives such as the First Time Buyers Scheme, the Rental Stategy, and the allocation of increased funding for social housing.

For this conference we expect speakers and other delegates to be an informed group including Members of the Oireachtas, senior government officials involved in this area of public policy, together with representatives from banking, finance and the law, the construction sector, landlords and tenancy groups, local authorities,  housing associations and approve housing bodies.

The keynote address for this seminar will be delivered by a senior speaker from the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.

PJ Dixon’s service to the community in Ennis celebrated in 2017

20170309_204708Congratulations to all recipients of the People of the Year award, 2017 – most especially to PJ Dixon for his incredible service to the community, including his years with the Mental Health Services, his dedicated service to the Friends of Respond! and his long association with the Stroke Association. PJ works with the Friends of Respond! in Ennis and the work of Respond! Housing Association and Fr. Pat Cogan were acknowledged in the dedication to PJ last evening in Ennis Parish Cathedral.

A native of Ballyea, Inagh he trained as a psychiatric nurse in Our Lady’s in 1966 under the tutorship of Phi Hanley. PJ remained in his chosen profession over 40 years, retiring in 2001. Maura Howe and PJ married in September 1974 in St Isadore’s in Rome and they have five children and nine granchildren, including the latest baby Ethan. It was in his role as a community nurse that PJ became involved with Respond! in Ennis. On retirement from nursing, PJ became a support worker to the Respond! residents.

PJ has also been very involved in his own local community of Ballymachill/Cappa Mor, helping establish the group water scheme. PJ is involved in the stroke support group for people who have survived a stroke, meeting on the last Monday of each month in Fahy Hall.

In March, Ennis parish recognised a number of people including PJ, who quietly make an outstanding contribution to the life of the community.

Posted:  March 2017


Minister Coveney launches new Family Hub model of accommodation

minister opening high park

Minister Coveney launches new Family Hub model of accommodation Pictured are Declan Dunne, CEO Respond! , Local TDs Roisin Shortall and Dessie Ellis, Minister Coveney and John O’Connor, Chair of Respond!


at plaqueToday in Respond’s Dublin headquarters in Drumcondra, Minister Coveney officially opened the new High Park Family Hub.

Family Hubs are a caring new model of accommodation for families experiencing homelessness. They includes wrap-around services to help families be in a better position to move into their own homes in the short-term. Designed as a better alternative to commercial hotels and B&Bs, Respond will be rolling out this model in other locations in partnership with local authorities.


Minister Coveney at Hub opening


Photos Marc O’Sullivan



Pictured is Carter Kennedy aged 3 as Today in Respond!’s Dublin headquarters in Drumcondra, Minister Coveney officially opened the new High Park Family Hub. Photo Marc O Sullivan

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government said:

“What this facility means is that we have a setting for families where they have a better chance to go about their daily lives with space to live and breathe, play facilities for your children, a place to sit and relax or watch television. To lead something like a normal life and not be stuck on your own in a hotel room, with no on-site supports or other facilities that are available to families living in the community in their own homes, with their own front doors.”

Declan and SimonDeclan Dunne, CEO of Respond said:

“We are pleased today to welcome the Minister and our partners to the launch our first Family Hub.

We opened our doors just before Christmas and already four families have found homes of their own with the help of our support workers. The model, even in these early stages, appears to be working.

“The Family Hub is our humanitarian response to address the needs of homeless families in Ireland today. Many of the families here need and now have proper facilities, especially for their children. Our 24-hour support services are tailored to the needs of individual families with key workers for every resident. This is interim accommodation – with the aim that families leave Respond in a better position than when they arrived and move into homes of their own.


Photo: Marc O’Sullivan

Norma and Chair“Respond will continue to ramp up our building and acquisition plans alongside our Family Hubs to fully play our part in fulfilling the ambitious targets in Rebuilding Ireland and help every family in Ireland have the home that they need, want and deserve”.

Posted: 16th March 2017