Look back on 2023 with Friends of the Elderly

Look Back 2023

When: 08 Jan 2024

As the tree and decorations are packed away for another year, it is the perfect opportunity to look back on 2023 and all we achieved and to look forward to new adventures in 2024..

During 2023 we continued to experience an increase in demand for our services and we are so grateful that we could offer the support and friendship to our new members.

We looked at our activities and it became clear that we would need to expand our programs to meet the growing demand.

With this in mind, we launched the first of our five day trips in February 203, with a trip to Glendalough.    Whilst it was a cold and crisp morning our members enjoyed the beautiful sights of Powerscourt Waterfall, a stroll in Glendalough followed by lunch by the fire.

In June we visited the Old Rectory Gardens in Wicklow for our garden party and best hat competition – this year the winner was a gentleman, with a very entertaining entry – so our ladies will need to be a little more creative this year!!!   Our further day trips saw us visit, Belfast, Waterford and Carlingford – and as always the bus was filled with song and laughter – and very tired feet on the way home after all the dancing along to the entertainment after dinner.

Along with the increase in the number of day trips, we increased the number of mini-breaks to 3.  In Spring we headed to Wexford, in early summer our members enjoyed the beautiful sunshine in Bundoran and to finish we travelled to Waterford to enjoy the Christmas themed events.

We continued with our monthly cabarets which are always a favourite with our members  – and any corporate volunteers we may have on the day can’t believe how much fun these days are.   Alongside our cabaret days, we also hosted themed social clubs to celebrate special occasions and one such event was for St. Patrick’s Day – with a prize for the best “Patricia” & “Patrick” – any excuse for our members to dress up.  Easter saw, Easter Bonnets with bunny ears and flashing lights – it is a sight that none of us will easily forget!

We were again delighted to be invited, along with our colleagues from Dunboyne Friends of the Elderly to meet with President Higgins and attend a summer garden party at Áras an Uachtaráin.  

We continued with our Tuesday Coffee morning, Wednesday social club, Chair Yoga on Friday and our new version bingo – “wingo” on a Friday afternoon.    We introduced a new Active Afternoon on a Thursday with gentle exercises.

We reviewed our Technology Clubs and began a new approach to encourage our members to get involved with technology.   We had two visits to Microsoft for a one-to-one training session tailored to our members’ needs, along with a trip to Google.   Our trip to Ancestry Ireland proved such a successful day even for those members who don’t normally even use a phone!   We understand through our Council of Members that the lack of technology training for older people lead to issues with everyday tasks – shopping, banking and just staying connected.  So stay tuned we have great plans for 2024 in this area!

We celebrated UNIDOP Day with a cabaret here in Bolton Street, along with a wonderful  party in the Maldron Hotel for those members who struggle with mobility issues – it was an event tailored to their specific needs and one which brought a smile to many faces.

We continued with our lunch and learn series and introduced many speakers to our members.   Our community Gardai from Store Street hosted a number of these sessions to ensure that our members felt safe in their community and at home.

There was great excitement here in November, when the Gardai truck, Garda Cars and Garda Vans pulled up and 25+ musicians from the Garda Band played a host of favourite tunes for our members … the hall rocked and we look forward to welcoming the Garda Band again in 2024.

Christmas as always is such a magical time here in Friends of the Elderly and we try to bring a touch of Christmas into the lives of all our members.   With a delivery of  Christmas Hampers to our members throughout Ireland, two Christmas parties, one in the Hilton, Kilmainham and the second in the Bonnington Hotel – were amazing.   Our parties reached the Irish Times who covered the event.

We finished our year on Wednesday the 20th of December with a surprise party for our members with fabulous live music by “Little Elvis”, the singing, laughing and stories of this day were covered by Evelyn O’Rourke for the Claire Byrne show.

All of these activities would not be possible without your support and the time you give to Friends of the Elderly – we thank you.

For our friends that we lost during 2023, it was a privilege that we could call you our friends and we cherish the fond memories that you left behind.

Wishing you a very peaceful, healthy  and Happy 2024.

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