SHARE in its 50th Anniversary Year Shines A Light of Hope For The Future
Hundreds of Cork Students Have Taken Up The Challenge This Year As SHARE Embraces Technology As It Fundraises To Aid the Elderly
Cork, Ireland 14th December 2020 –
True Christmas spirit will be felt on the streets of Cork City over the next two weeks, as hundreds of students from schools across the City don the familiar yellow jackets and rally to fundraise for the SHARE (Students Harness Aid for the Relief of the Elderly) organisation. The traditional blessing of the iconic SHARE crib on Sunday December 13th, also signalled the moment that its light began to shine in the city which will last for the duration of Christmas.
From 13th – 24th December, a number of students will take part in the annual SHARE 24-hour fast, and keeping with tradition, students will attend the crib daily in the run-up to Christmas as they co-ordinate the daily fundraising effort. Students will collect right up until Christmas Eve, raising much-needed funds for a charity that has looked after the elderly in the region for half a century.
This year, in full consideration of Covid-19 restrictions, SHARE have undertaken a number of new initiatives, including:
· ‘Tap to Share’ boxes which accept debit and credit cards and eliminate the need to handle coins and cash;
· their traditional coin collection boxes. SHARE lapel stickers will be optional, in consideration of social distancing requirements.
· use of a premises on Princes Street to accommodate the student numbers safely and support sanitising of equipment, PPE, changing and disposal facilities.
· the inaugural Yellow Day, introduced as an outreach to schools across the county wishing to participate in the annual campaign, without being involved in street collections. Schools and students have readily embraced the initiative of wearing yellow for one day and seeking sponsorship for the worthy cause. The response to date has been phenomenal.
· a city bus wrap campaign to promote online donations through www.sharecork.org.
Speaking at the blessing of the crib, Chair of the 2020 Executive, James Cuddigan said,
“This is an extra special year for the SHARE team. Everyone worked hard to adapt to the challenges throughout the year and having the crib in place and our fundraising activities underway is the culmination of tremendous effort for all involved. For us, this represents an important tradition but most critically, it means that we get to go out and call upon the good people of Cork to help us raise vital funds for the SHARE community and we are delighted to be able to do that.”
Sadhbh Slattery of the 2020 SHARE executive, also spoke of the extra special nature of the 2020 SHARE charity drive,
“This year our social visits to the SHARE residents were reduced, so we undertook to run errands and help with any jobs that needed to be done whilst they were cocooning. But, there’s a great sense of optimism building right now. We are all looking forward to brighter days ahead and we want to make this fundraising year our best yet to give the SHARE community a strong start to 2021.”
Cuddigan explained the importance of this time of year for the SHARE community,
“The Christmas collection is our sole fundraiser for the whole year, which is why we have introduced some new initiatives for “Tap to SHARE”, online donations and Yellow Day as well as our street collections. The people of Cork are full of heart and generosity. We know it has been a difficult year for everyone, but we’ll be there every day and will be grateful for each and every donation made directly to the collectors on online at www.sharecork.org.”
The launch event on Sunday December 13th at 6.00pm was attended by the Rt. Hon. Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh and Lady Mayoress Mrs Stephanie Kavanagh, Most Rev. Fintan Gavin Bishop of Cork and Ross and the Rt. Revd. Dr. Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, as well as students and friends of SHARE, maintaining the reduced numbers and social distancing in line with Covid-19 requirements.
Those wishing to support SHARE can donate at https://sharecork.org/donations/.
What is SHARE?
SHARE is a registered charity, founded in 1970 by students from Presentation Brothers College, Cork, who raised funds to try and make existing housing more comfortable. The organisation has gone from strength to strength since then, now encompassing schools across Cork city and county, whose students fast and fundraise annually at Christmas time for SHARE.
Since its foundation in 1970, SHARE has provided a unique link between students and the elderly. It has created a blueprint for positive engagement between students and the elderly community, gaining national and international recognition.
Since its inception, SHARE has tackled the housing crisis for the particularly vulnerable elderly people of Cork City. Evolving over the last 50 years, the organisation, led by students, runs 140 homes in the area, across seven different locations. Students visit these homes on a weekly basis, offering much sought-after social engagement. In addition to this, the Brother Jerome Day Care Centre caters for up to 125 clients each week (with the exception of Covid-19 restriction periods) , offering a social environment, hot meals, fun and activities.
SHARE’s 140 housing units, located around the City, are comfortable, secure and homely, and are overseen by SHARE personnel on an on-going basis.
The continuous maintenance and running of SHARE’s homes, situated around the City at Blarney St, Shandon St, Blackpool, Grattan St, Sunday’s Well, Abbey St and Sheare’s St, is an ongoing commitment for SHARE – a commitment all members of SHARE are happy to undertake, to ensure residents can live in peace and comfort.
· May 1976 - 12 houses built and furnished at Clochán Barra, Coach St
· Dec 1976 - Accommodation provided for 13 people in 3-bedroomed furnished houses at Glendalough, Grenville Place.
· Dec 1977 - 11 homes provided at Ard Mhaca, Sheares St
· Feb 1978 7 - One-storey houses built and furnished at Skellig, Rope Walk, Sunday’s Well
· Dec 1978 - 13 houses completed at Cnoc Mhuire na Toirbhirte, Fair St
· May 1979 - 19 houses completed at Cnoc Mhuire Seandún
· Nov 1980 - Accommodation for 18 people at Teach Chill Chré, Dyke Parade
· Dec 1980 – 15-house complex, Gougane Barra, Abbey St
· Dec 1983 - Ardfert Village, 21 houses at William O'Brien St
· Dec 1988 - Dún Rís, 32-home complex at Grattan St
· Nov 1993 - SHARE's 200th home was opened as part of a 42-apartment complex at Ard Iosaef, Blarney St
· Dec 2000 - Br Jerome Kelly Day Care Centre opened at Sheare's St to cater for 50-100 people daily, offering medical and social support, as well as fun and warm meals.
· Feb 2017 - Redeveloped 20 bedsits into 10 apartments
· 2019 - Currently remodelling 8 homes in Mount St Joseph
SHARE also provides medical and social support through its Day Care Centre on a daily basis, which involves an activity coordinator and support staff. In addition, the HSE provides a nurse and two care assistants who help the clients secure the extra resources and help they require.
In recent years, SHARE has piloted a dementia outreach programme, to visit those living with dementia in the wider community. Where, once vetted, an adult volunteer and two students go on these visits for two hours each week. In addition to keeping the person living with dementia company there is a benefit to the carers as it allows them the freedom to take some time out for themselves, as normally they could be on call 24/7.
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