Social Inclusion Programmes Under the Umbrella of Cork Penny Dinners
Cork Penny Dinners joined forces with University College Cork to create an inclusive programme aimed at students in the locality. The Enactus initiative has a sharp focus on sustainability, teaching young people invaluable life skills such as cooking on a budget. It also centres around fostering positive mental health with a programme designed to cater for the wide range of issues often facing young adults. Volunteers of Penny Dinners see first hand the unifying effect of mealtimes. With this in mind, students are provided with a safe space to talk while preparing, cooking and enjoying their own nutritious meal. To learn more about this confidential service contact Cork Penny Dinners.
FINDING YOUR VOICE
The Finding Your Voice project is the brainchild of volunteer coordinator Caitríona Twomey and fellow CPD trustee Sarah Horgan. Caitríona and Sarah devised the idea as a means to offer regular volunteers a platform to showcase their talent. Last year saw Cork Penny Dinners team up with the Evening Echo newspaper to give service users an opportunity to become published writers. Over a number of weeks clients were tasked with penning an article for the Evening Echo in the Finding Your Voice workshop. After reading said articles. former Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Des Cahill held a reception in honour of the writers. The event was enjoyed by proud volunteers and clients alike. Plans are already underway for the next Finding Your Voice project which is scheduled for the coming months. End of term assignments from the last workshop can be viewed below.
CORK MUSIC DOJO
The Cork Penny Dinners team are passionate about bringing music to the masses, irrespective of financial constraints. It was this belief that fuelled ambitions to develop Cork Music Dojo which continues to go from strength to strength. The initiative involves professional guitar teachers providing their time free of charge to help others. A number of those who partook in the course have gone on to perform at prestigious events across the city and county. Guitar classes are provided at the CPD premises every Monday at 7pm.
THE CORK HIGH HOPES CHOIR
The Cork High Hopes Choir is a unique initiative bringing together singers affected by homelessness. It operates under the umbrella of the national High Hopes Choir which was the focus of a three part RTÉ documentary based on the lives of those touched by homelessness. The choirs, which also exist in Dublin and Waterford, were created by former principal conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra , David Brophy. Cork’s High Hopes Choir have amassed a number of musical accolades in recent years from belting out the Irish national anthem at the Six Nations 2016 Ireland vs Italy game in the Aviva Stadium to performing at Electric Picnic. Nonetheless, choir members are already working hard to realise their lifelong dream of one day singing in the Eurovision Song Contest.
While the main objective of Cork Penny Dinners is to feed the homeless and those down on their luck, it also strives to improve the lives of children. In recent years it created a service offering free communion dresses to struggling families. The idea was set in motion after a single request from a family unable to meet the costs of such an expensive occasion. Each year friends of Penny Dinners- including designers, stylists and boutique owners-all pull together to ensure that no kid misses out on the magical experience of shopping for their communion outfit due to financial circumstances. The result is a specially designed pop up shop featuring an array of new communion dresses and suits. “For the children it’s just a wonderful day out,” said founder of the initiative Caitríona Twomey. “The set up means that families can still have the experience of shopping for the dress/ suit with their children while feeling secure in the knowledge that this is a completely confidential service.” In the years since its inception Penny Dresses has received significant media coverage and the range of outfits on offer featured on RTE’s the Today Show last year.
CORK PENNY DINNERS MINDFULNESS
Cork Penny Dinners strives to nourish people, not just physically, but spiritually as well. Regular mindfulness sessions run by experienced professionals allow clients to benefit from mindfulness in an encouraging environment. Part of the rational behind this is to equip service users with the coping strategies required during particularly difficult periods of their lives. The sessions also provide a social outlet for people involved with the charity who wish to meet with friends outside of the organisation’s operating hours. To find out more about the Cork Penny Dinners Mindfulness programme please refer to the contact number and email address on this site.