Direct provision group to raise funds for Wicklow Cancer Support

Wicklow Welcomes will host a coffee morning in aid of Wicklow Cancer Support on Saturday, March 23 at the De La Salle Pastoral Centre.

The monthly meeting – the third since December – aims to foster ties with newcomers at the town’s direct provision centre in the Grand Hotel.

Saturday’s event will feature a raffle to raise money for Wicklow Cancer Support (WCS) as part of a fundraising drive organised by East Coast FM. WCS is a volunteer service that offers supports to people affected by cancer, including counselling and transport for hospital visits.

Wicklow Welcomes was formed by local volunteers last November following the announcement that The Grand Hotel would be used as emergency accommodation for people applying for international protection.

On St Patrick’s Day, eleven residents of the centre served as stewards in the town’s parade for the first time.

“Many of the residents have been spending a lot of their free time volunteering,” says Emma Kitson, one of Wicklow Welcomes’ organisers. “[They have been] working in the charity shops, working with volunteering Ireland, helping out around the hotel.”

Following last month’s coffee morning, residents of the centre travelled to Carraig Dulra, a non-profit teaching farm in Glenealy, for a talk on organic farming given by Suzie Cahn.

“They are trying their best to get involved in the community and get to know people. It helps to fill their days too.”

“As with previous events, please bring a tray bake, cakes, biscuits, tray of sandwiches or other food to share with our new neighbours,” announced organisers in a Facebook post.

“Raffle tickets will cost 2 euro per page or 3 pages for 5 euro. If you have a raffle prize to donate please email wicklowwelcomes@gmail.com with the subject ‘raffle prize’.”

“If people have particular art and craft skills to entertain the children attending, please bring all you need to set up and run your activity from 10am onwards. If you would like to give a talk to the residents about something you feel would be of interest to them such as volunteering ideas, organic farming, walking groups, etc, please set up a presentation table from 10am.”

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