As part of ‘Community Development in Practice, we went on a field trip to two community organisations, Tallaght Community Arts and St. Kevin’s Family Resource Centre. The purpose of which was to look at how each project practices the principles of community development as described by the Ad Hoc Committee (2008). We had to work as a group of 3 students which included Samantha Hogan, Anthony Kelly and Elaine Vince-O’Hara, to put together a group presentation on the project of our choice. We chose St. Kevin’s Family Recourse Centre as it is a grassroots community development organisation which we believe every community needs.
St. Kevin’s Family Resource Centre
St. Kevin’s Family Resource Centre is a community organisation and is based in a local primary school in Kilnamanagh, Tallaght, and whose remit covers the areas of Kilnamanagh, Tymon North and Kingswood. Established in 1994, they were one of only three ‘pilot’ Family Resource Centres (FRC) funded through the Family Support Agency. The centre is managed by a voluntary board of management of which 70% are people from the local community and run by Grainne Begley, the Co-ordinator, Cynthia Moore, the Administrator and a large group of 25 volunteers for additional support. St. Kevin’s have a number of training rooms, counselling/ holistic therapy rooms, a youth cafe and a community childcare centre. They have an open door policy, where community members are at all times welcome to drop in and see what's happening in their community. They have five key areas of work; Community Education, Supporting Community and Voluntary Groups, Counselling & Holistic therapy, Childcare and Youth Work.
St. Kevin’s Mission Statement:
‘St. Kevin’s Family Resource Centre is a community organisation whose mission is to bring about change through the process of empowerment and support at family, individual and community level.’ St Kevin’s describe themselves as:
‘a thriving and integral part of the community development structures in the area....a social inclusion organisation... concerned about the people in the community who....are not participating in society to their fullest potential’ (St. Kevin’s FRC Work Plan 2010-2012). They work out of the values and principles of community development as described by the Ad Hoc Committee (2008) as they strive towards social justice, equality and anti-discrimination through participation, empowerment and collective action to support individuals, families and their wider communities and this is evident throughout their work. They practice the principle of participation by aiming to meet the needs of the local community, enabling them to gain the skills necessary for full participation: They do this through a community consultation process for their work plans and the provision of; community education programmes, a counselling service to help overcome many issues including oppression, holistic therapies to promote individual well being and community childcare which provides people with the opportunity to participate and become empowered. St. Kevin’s practice the principles of empowerment as they: acknowledge value and build on people’s lives and existing experiences which is the basis of the community education which they provide. They work with people to; build an understanding of their reality and identify ways to overcome them and build confidence and self-esteem through the provision of their counselling service and holistic therapies offered. St. Kevin’s practice the principles of collective action as they collaborate and build alliances with other groups, organisations and agencies in order to advance key community objectives, they do this through their support of diverse user groups and networking with various agencies including; South Dublin Community Platform (SDCP), Active Citizenship Together (ACT), South Dublin County Council (SDCC), the County Development Board (CDB) This ‘process...