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Obair’s Meals on Wheels service granted over €90,000 in funding

A CLARE community organisation which has played a vital role in helping the elderly and vulnerable during Covid-19 has been awarded over €90,000 in funding.
Obair in Newmarket-on-Fergus will be using the funds to help the South Clare Meals on Wheels service move to a new purpose built state-of-the-art kitchen.
The organisation have been granted a total of €91,800 under tranche one of the Covid-19 Stability Fund for community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises.
Siobhan O Driscoll, Youth and Community Development Officer at Obair explains the meals on wheels service is currently operating from the community cafe Cafe Fergus, however these facilities are “not suitable” for their needs.
Since Covid production from the kitchens has tripled, going from delivering 12,000 meals in 2017 to a projection of 80,000 for 2020.
They plan to move to a purpose built kitchen at the €1.4million New Tradaree Social Enterprise centre, with the new facilities able to deliver 250,000 meals a year.
Outlining some of the work they have been involved in throughout the pandemic she says, “Café Fergus is currently closed to the public and concentrating specifically on meals for the elderly, hot family dinners to families living in homeless accommodation, delivery of food packages to 30 homes in the local area from school meals’ funding and delivery of healthy fresh food packages to social disadvantage young families in county Clare supported by CYPSY, SVP and Children’s Alliance Organisation.”
The Tradaree Social Enterprise takes over half the main street in Newmarket-on-Fergus and is supported by Clare Local Development Leader programme, The Clare County Council Town and Village renewal scheme, Obair and TOMAR philanthropy Trust. Siobhan outlines that the vacant ex Tradaree Arms pub in the centre of the village will be “rejuvenated to add a buzzing vibrant hub to the main street”.
The social enterprise has five different elements in its capital build programme including the production kitchen, food development hubs for new start-ups, a state-of-the-art training facility, holistic space, counselling and a youth drop in centre. The outbreak of Covid-19 has seen an increase in interest in working remotely, with the enterprise able to facilitate hotdesks and offices. The funding was announced by local Fine Gael TD Joe Carey. Deputy Carey has first-hand experience of the heroic work Obair engages in on behalf of the community after he helped deliver ‘meals-on-wheels’ with other volunteers during the lockdown.
Deputy Carey said, “I’m delighted to confirm that Obair will receive this funding: their efforts during this great crisis have been nothing short of heroic. It was an honour to witness the selfless work its volunteers do in person and the vital role the organisation plays in helping the most vulnerable in our society. Obair has been at the heart of our county’s response to the challenges brought by Covid-19.”
The funding is part of some €10.5 million approved for organisations across the country under the Stability Fund announced by outgoing Rural and Community Development Minister Michael Ring. Some 179 organisations will benefit from this funding in the form of once-off cash injections of between €2,000 and €200,000. The funding will allow community and voluntary organisations to provide critical services to those most vulnerable in society to help with short term cash flow issues as a result of the pandemic.
Pobal, the not-for-profit company that manages programmes on behalf of the Government, will contact successful applicants in the coming days to finalise contracts and facilities for payment of funding. Additional checks are ongoing on remaining applicants to determine suitability for funding. Further funding announcements are expected over the coming weeks.

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