When: 02 Mar 2023
During 2022 we noticed that there was a greater need from our members for social occasions. With this in mind, we increased our monthly cabarets by 200% and each of these events was a huge success. Day trips returned and once again proved hugely popular, with visits to Wicklow, Kilkenny, Athlone and Belfast. Belfast ended with a conga line through the hotel as the dancefloor was not big enough!
One of our highlights of 2022 was the reintroduction of mini breaks. In April we took our first break with 40 members travelling to Wexfod – and it was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone, so much so that the members had agreed dates for a break in October. So again we set off on our travels this time to Westport in Mayo.
We launched our new Silver Star Search karaoke competition and this was great fun and a great success. It really showcases our members amazing talent.
Winning the prestigious Volunteer Friendly Award was a key highlight – one which we are very proud of. Our work was recognised by President Higgins and we attended a summer garden party in Áras an Uachtaráin. Kellie Harrington came to tea with some of our members and presented us with a signed training jersey.
In the second half of 2022, we held our very first Members Council. Our members came together to try and work through difficulties that are facing older people and how we can address these difficulties. We tackled issues such as travelling on buses, the rise in the cost of living and the issues with online banking. We spoke with Newstalk, The Examiner and The Irish Times on these important issues and this will continue into 2023.
Our UNIDOP Day celebrations lasted for an entire week – and we kicked everything off with a visit to the Virgin Media TV Studios to highlight the important contributions older people contribute to society.
We saw the introduction of new activities such as our Tuesday Coffee Morning, Bingo on Friday afternoons, Yoga on Friday mornings, Knitting Clubs and our technology club returned. We provided lunch and learn opportunities for our members which saw us host several guest speakers.
In late November we kicked off our Christmas party season with our Winter Warmer Cabaret, followed on the 8th and 16th of December with Christmas Parties held in the Camden Court Hotel and the Bonnington Hotel. Each member received a Christmas dinner, a glass of wine, entertainment as well as a gift. On the 20th of December, we held our Christmas Breakfast which was shown live on IrelandAM. We finished off our party season with a special edition of our Wednesday Club on the 21st of December, with a saxophone player and lots of festive goodies!!!
We remember our friends that we lost during 2022 and are thankful that we had the opportunity to call them our friends and will remember them fondly for being part of Friends of the Elderly.