Today I had my first meeting with Maureen O’Sullivan, the Independent TD for North inner city Dublin. I was so nervous about meeting her. She is very inspirational to me and I will tell you why. She was a teacher too, just like us. She also studied English in college, like me. She is from East Wall originally, and I live here now. She also has done a staggering amount of work for children and teenagers in the area and surrounding areas, which is something I aspire to. She has done so much, for one person. One of the things she was involved in was establishing the Cavan Centre. It is a registered charity which allows for children from the city to experience life in the country. The children get to take part in outdoor activities such as canoeing, orienteering etc.
They also have the Breaking the Cycle Programme there. The Mission of the Breaking the Cycle Programme is to provide educational and developmental opportunities for young people between the ages of 16 and 20 years, from the north inner city of Dublin, who are identified as being at risk due to educational, environmental, social and/or economic disadvantage.The Programme uses vocational training, education, experiential learning and individual support work to achieve positive outcomes for the young people and works in partnership with their families and with other agencies involved in their care. She also was involved in setting up the East Wall Youth Club in the 1970s. There’s loads more but I won’t go into it all now.
Basically, I sought a meeting with her to see how I could in any small way help, and which charity or organisation would be in need of a willing volunteer. I am also looking for a charity to donate part of the proceeds of my book to. I am looking for a small charity which doesn’t get government funding and doesn’t have the funds for big advertising campaigns as other well known charities do. So, she gave me loads of great suggestions and I will try get my head around them all and will meet her again in a few weeks to get in touch with the right people. I am very excited at the prospect of this latest adventure!