Internationally renowned musicians Martin Hayes and Steve Cooney will perform at a special event in Tuamgraney to help raise funds for Brigit’s Hearth.
The community developed childcare project offers a model of childcare centred on providing young children, from six months to six years, with a home from home experience that meets the specific need of the young child.
The group is in the process of developing an Intergenerational Garden, so that the older people from the Raheen Hospital and in the locality can come and sit in nature and watch the younger children play at their feet.
When looking for a place where to build permanent premises for the project they chose a field in the quietness of the Raheen woods estate where our next door neighbours are the residents of Raheen Hospital and nursing home.
Lina Pelaez, Founder and Director at Brigit’s Hearth said: “The last 10 years has given us the opportunity to bring the children for visits, mostly during the seasonal celebrations of Christmas, Easter and Halloween, when we would go there with cookies, simple gifts made by the children and songs. For the nurses and for us It was wonderful to see the lit up faces of the elderly and the reaction of the children to these ‘borrowed grandparents’.
These experiences brought us back to the time when, in this rural part of the west of Ireland, and everywhere else really, young children were left in the care of their grandparents and to how this gave the elderly in the families a sense of purpose, when they were not able to do physical work any longer, and also kept the children at home in the quiet company and wise care that is best at this time in life.”
“As our children spend a good part of their time with us out in nature, we started to imagine how wonderful it would be to create a space outdoors where the elderly and the children could spend a more natural time together, a space that provided comfortable sitting and protection from the weather, a space where the elderly could sit with the children playing ‘at their feet’,” Lena added.
Last year, with the support of Catherine Lillis, Raheen Hospital’s matron, the group succeeded in their application for funds to develop a garden on the part of our land adjacent to the hospital / nursing home. We are calling this an ‘Intergenerational Garden’, the first of its kind in Ireland.
Lena Palaez said: “Landscaping and deer proof fencing has been completed on the site. In September we will begin building a circular Pavilion with a traditional thatch roof, where our elderly neighbours will be able to sit, sheltered from the rain and the wind, and spend time in the company of the young children who attend our facility. We are also planning on installing raised beds, aware of the joy and the need that these venerable neighbours would get from digging their hands in the soil and perhaps growing flowers for their rooms at the hospital.”
“We are organising a fundraising concert to help us to complete our project with flower planting, benches, paths (including wheel chair accessible paths), a ride on loan mower and a small tree house with an underneath shed where to keep the mower out of the rain.
The renowned musicians Martin Hayes and Steve Cooney have kindly and generously offered to support this project with a concert that will take place on Friday August 30th at 8pm at St. Joseph’s church in Tuamgraney,” she added.
Tickets are available from Banes in Scariff, Brigit’s Hearth and online at: www.intergenerationalgarden.eventbrite.ie.