|St Johnston - Carrigans ~ Co Donegal.|
George Tinney, Ard Baithin
I had the pleasure of working in the St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre for four years.
It was one of the best times of my life. The staff were so helpful and friendly and it felt like a home away from home every time you walked in the doors.
I was lucky in a sense to have such wonderful work colleagues during my time there.
I regret to say that until I started working there, I never used the Centre and thatís a big mistake on my part because if I had hindsight I would have had no hesitation availing of the wonderful facilities the Centre had to offer to the community.
It was if I'm being honest with you, the only ever job I looked forward to going to. The amount of things that the Centre had and has to offer the community was and is amazing and still a lot of people donít know whatís on offer. I would urge the people of St Johnston and Carrigans and other areas to pay it a visit and you definitely wonít leave disappointed. They cater for everyone from the playschool children to the senior citizens and I, for one, have experience of this.
One thing that sticks in my mind was one night there was a social evening for the senior citizens on and this lady looked kind of down. When I asked her if she was okay she said she had no one to dance with so I offered to dance with her. This became a regular occurrence and she always told everyone I as her toyboy. Itís all about making the people coming to the Centre feel comfortable and the staff do that with excellence.
I returned to adult education with the Centre. That was something that I never thought I would do in my lifetime, thanks to the Centre I have a Diploma in Creative Writing, numerous Level 5 and 6 FETAC Certificates in Youth Work and the crowning glory was when I graduated from N.U.I. Galway with a Diploma in Peace Building and Community Development. This was the proudest moment of my life and theirs. I will always be eternally grateful to the Centre for helping me to achieve this. Without them this would have just been another dream blowing in the wind. Thank you so much. It was a sad day for me when I left the Centre and I was so sorry for to be leaving but thatís life I guess.
The only consolation for me when I left I was voted into the management committee for the Centre. This meant I still had a say in how the Centre functioned. I donít think anyone realises the amount of hard work and the big decisions that have to be made to keep the Centre up and running and up to the standard of excellence it is today. I personally think that St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre should be added to the dictionary under the heading SPIRIT for they have it in abundance. It makes you proud to be part of this community.
To finish off I would just like to say to the founder members, staff and management committee past and present to hold your heads up high and give yourselves a big pat on the back for you all made the Centre the huge success it is today. Happy Tenth Birthday and thank you all.
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