Respond!, Ireland’s leading housing charity, today launched a programme of events to celebrate their 30th anniversary at their Head Office in Airmount, Waterford. The programme, covering the next six months, includes major conferences, the launch of significant policy documents, opening of new housing developments, family fun days and other events designed to celebrate the anniversary and to appeal to the public and Respond! residents alike.
As part of the Respond! Jubilee 30 celebrations, a National Fairytale Writing Competition in partnership with the Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford was announced. The competition is open to all children under twelve living in Respond! estates across Ireland. Children are asked to write a fairytale with a modern twist in no more than 1000 words. There are a number of impressive prizes on offer including a laptop, iPad and a Kindle e-reader. The winning entry will perform the fairytale with a group of friends at the Respond! Housing National Conference in September. The Garter Lane Arts Centre will adjudicate the competition and provide support and guidance to the winning entrant.
The programme of events for the 30th anniversary highlights the work of Respond! across the country, and includes a variety of high-profile national events alongside local and regional activities. These range from fun public events for all the family to announcements and launches central to the work of Respond!. A major new policy document on education will be unveiled during the celebrations, along with two large-scale Housing Conferences to be held in Cork and Dublin.
Respond! is Ireland’s leading housing association, established in 1982. The organisation creates a positive future for people by alleviating poverty and creating vibrant, socially integrated communities. This is achieved by providing access to education, childcare, community development programmes, housing and other supports.
Founder and CEO of Respond!, Patrick Cogan, commented “This is a huge milestone for the organisation, and our programme of events to celebrate this will showcase our work in building communities. Respond! is a fairytale come true in itself, we never envisaged that an organisation starting from small roots in Waterford in 1982 would have developed to such an extent. We provide over 5,500 houses across 160 estates nationally to people most in need of housing, and we plan to grow and develop even further in the future.”
Philip O’Reilly, Event Co-ordinator at Respond!, noted “There are enormous benefits of organising a fairytale writing competition for our young residents. It will help to enhance their literacy, vocabulary and social skills. Respond! Housing has a strong record in developing high quality actions and initiatives for young people on our estates in partnership with innovative groups like the Garter Lane Arts Centre, and it’s terrific to have them working with us on this initiative in our Jubilee Anniversary year.”
Evelyn Power, Visual Arts and Outreach Manager at Garter Lane Arts Centre “We are delighted to be working with Respond! Housing on such an important educational initiative for young people across the country which will also encourage them to show their creative side.”
Respond! Housing Association helps thousands of families each year through the provision of accommodation and other support services. The delivery of services and support to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of Irish society is a key priority for Respond!.