Respond Housing Association held an event in Athy, Kildare recently as part of the charity’s 30th anniversary celebrations this year. The charity is marking this milestone with a variety of events across the country including community events, estate openings and the launches of major policy initiatives. Over 80 residents gathered for a family fun day in Ardrew Meadows housing estate in Athy. This integrated estate was the recent recipient of an Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) National Community Housing Award for excellence in design, management, community development and sustainability. Respond’s programme of events for the rest of 2012 will culminate in two major national conferences on housing and mental health in Dublin (September) and Cork (October).
At the event in Ardrew Meadows, Fair City’s Dave Duffy who plays Leo Dowling was in attendance to join in the celebrations. A much-in-demand Kildare county jersey, signed by every member of the Kildare GAA football team, was raffled among residents. Ardrew Meadows was designed by Respond Housing Association and built in 2009 with the support of Kildare County Council, Athy Town Council and with funding from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. Ardrew Meadows was also highly commended in this year’s Town Council’s Tidy Towns Event. There is a strong residents group on the estate who have organised many events including a children’s art project and a float in the St Patrick’s Day Parade. Ardrew Meadows is an integrated estate containing 18 family homes, 14 homes for older persons, 6 Traveller homes, 27 Local Authority homes and 21 affordable homes.
According to Fr Pat Cogan, CEO of Respond Housing Association: “Our 30th anniversary in 2012 is a major milestone for Respond Housing Association and we’re delighted to be able to celebrate our achievements with the people who matter the most – our residents. The Ardrew Meadows estate really represents the core of our work in providing social housing – we are very proud of the estate, our staff here and the community spirit built by residents. This family fun day has really shown that our aim is to built communities, and the whole community has taken part and enjoyed the event. We’re looking forward to continuing to provide our service to the Kildare community, and nationwide, for the next 30 years and more.”