To help provide a network of friendly drop-ins to community living rooms for people across north Dublin, Fingal County Council has launched a pilot initiative at three key centres that will give a welcoming and comfortable environment where people can feel at ease and at home.
Fingal have announced that Rivervalley Community Centre, Parslickstown House and the Corduff Community Resource Centre will open their doors as part of its “Welcome Room” pilot programme running over the next three months. While the three centres have been the meeting point for many community-based groups over several years, the living room initiative will further help serve the needs of the local community. Each location will provide free, friendly, safe and supportive spaces for the public over this winter.
The Welcome Room concept will give visitors the opportunity for social interaction and a relaxing space to unwind, with food and drink available as well as books to read, board games to play and film sessions. Fingal will develop further activities as the initiative progresses.
Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Howard Mahony, said, “Fingal through this pilot programme has organised places where there will be a friendly welcome, a hot cup of coffee and an inclusive space that people can gather to feel better connected to the community around them.”
Robert Burns, Director of Community Development at Fingal County Council, says that whilst this is a pilot in Fingal, he can see the initiative being of immense interest elsewhere and hopes to see it replicated across other areas. He said, “the festive season may be over but the act of giving and being kind goes on. A Welcome Room will allow people in our community the opportunity to come to a safe and sociable environment where they could meet new people, see a friendly face and relax in a comfortable setting.”
There is no need to book access to attend a Welcome Room and they are free for people to utilise. While hours of operation will vary, people can stay as long as they want with details posted at each location. The idea is that each space essentially becomes like a household living room within a community centre.
Marie McKay, Chairperson of the local board of management of Parslickstown House believes the concept will bring an added sense of connection to those using it, saying, “Parslickstown House takes pride in operating at the heart of the community. A Welcome Room will offer an inviting environment for people to come to, whether it’s for some company, a reassuring smile or just to find somewhere to relax in comfort for a while.”
Source: Fingal County Council