Clarecare Annual Church Gate Collection this weekend

Clarecare Annual Church Gate Collection this weekend


The annual Clarecare Annual Church Gate Collection will takes place in most parishes on Saturday and Sunday, September 15th & 16th and remaining parishes on the 22nd and 23rd of September.

Clarecare volunteers will soon be asking for your support throughout the county. Over a hundred and twenty collectors are preparing for  All money raised will be used to fund critical services that are not fully funded by statutory grants.

According to Clarecare General Manager, Fiacre Hensey, “Clarecare is the largest Clare based, not for profit organisation providing a broad range of support services for the people of Clare. The unique range of services on offer includes Parents’ Support Groups, Family Support Services, Older Persons Services including Home Care Packages, Social Work and Day Centre services, Adult Counselling, a Citizens Information Centre, Bushypark Addiction Treatment Centre and two thrift shops.”

This year is a very special milestone for Clarecare as the organisation celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding.

The care and wellbeing of older persons is a primary focus of Clarecare. This sector is primarily concerned with the provision of the Home Help service. 370 part-time Home Carers delivered 192,171 hours of service in 2017. Clarecare also delivered 99,823 Home Care Package Hours in 2017. Home Care Package is an enhanced Home Help Service and clients are approved for the service by the Home Care Package Manager in the HSE.

10,909 meals were provided in the Clarecare day centres of Ennis, Ennistymon and Killaloe in 2017.

Clarecare Family Support services work year round with individual children and parents, and jointly with families in their own homes. 1,341 children and young people engaged in Clarecare individual or group activities in 2017 across a range of specialised and community services for children and their families. Hundreds attended the parenting and children’s groups throughout the year and 746 primary school children attended workshops on anxiety management strategies and mindfulness.

A Citizens Information Centre in partnership with Clarecare is based in the Clarecare Shannon Office. It provides information, advice and advocacy services in rights, services, entitlements and options available to people. During 2017 a total of 7,747 queries from 4,565 individual callers were recorded. It also provides a monthly Free Legal Clinic attended by local solicitors.

Clarecare’s Bushypark Addiction Treatment Centre is a 13 bed facility providing a 28 day residential treatment programme for people addicted to alcohol, drugs or gambling.  In 2017, 130 people completed the Bushypark addiction treatment residential programme, 304 clients attended the Bushypark After-care programme, 300 attended the Clarecare Bushypark Family Support service and over 350 people used the Bushypark Outreach programme.

In facilitating easy access to services, Clarecare seeks to work with people in their own community and, when appropriate, in their own homes. All Clarecare services are based in Clare, with offices operating in Ennis, Bushypark, Kilrush, Killaloe, Shannon, and Ennistymon.

A wide range of people of all ages access the services. The vast majority are resident in County Clare however some have Clare connections but live elsewhere. The services of the Bushypark Addiction Treatment Centre and Outreach Services are open to all, regardless of place of residence.


Clarecare liaises with bodies including the Department of Health, Tusla Child and Family Agency, the HSE, the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Clare County Council and Health Insurers in order to ensure the best use of available resources. Currently there are almost 500 staff members, with the majority employed as part-time Home Carers and 33 people are Community Employment Scheme participants.


Mr. Hensey acknowledged that the church gate collections play a vital role in supporting the work of Clarecare, “For the past five decades the people of Clare have generously supported Clarecare and as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this unique organisation we would like to acknowledge that vital support. The Church Gate Collection is our major annual fundraising event and it is made possible by loyal volunteers who happily give up their weekend to collect much needed funds. Knowing that such support is there keeps us going, and for that we are most grateful.”


Although not-for-profit organisations like Clarecare continue to struggle, due to a lack of funding, the response from the people of Clare to the annual Church Gate Collection is always very positive.


These collections are only possible because of the generous support of so many people. Volunteers are an essential part in the running and development of a wide range of Clarecare services and the funds raised by collectors transform Clare lives.


In the interests of accountability and transparency relevant details from the latest audited accounts can be viewed in the Annual Report on the Clarecare website and if anyone wishes to offer support or to avail of Clarecare supports they can contact 065 682 8178 or visit


Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.