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Kilkenny Multimedia Centre


The Kilkenny Multimedia Centre is based in the Father McGrath Family Resource Centre located in Kilkenny City's oldest Corporation housing estate known locally as "The Butts". In 1993, local parents and volunteers rented a large hall some distance from the estate to accommodate activities for the local children and youth.

In 1994, aided by DSCFA, the community first established the Butts Women's Group as a support service for local young mothers. This group played an instrumental role in further developing their family and children's services. In 1994/95, the community attracted FAS support through a local CE Scheme. Volunteers struggled to raise funds to pay rent and utility bills. In 1995, supported and encouraged by local DSCFA officials the group looked for support to purchase a derelict school building for £10,000.

The DSCFA gave the group £8,000 towards this purchase and they obtained a loan of the remainder from St. Canice's Credit Union. This secured the building for them. This building was placed in trust on behalf of the families of the parish in July 1996. There are 239 houses in this estate and it is a designated disadvantaged area. Funding was agreed at £40,000 pa. for years 1998 to 2000. We have agreed funding for the next three years at £50,000 pa. DSCFA also provided capital of £30,000 to help renovate the building and build an extension, which is nearing completion.

The investment by DSCFA in this centre has attracted a range of other Government Community and Charitable partners to help fund a range of initiatives developed for local children and families. Breakdown of the people involved with centre Management Board 12 FAS CE Workers/staff/youth training 32 Volunteers of Homework Club 54 Play and After School Care 12 The centre is very active in providing activities and access to services for the community and has developed an innovative programme of educational support for children of all ages.

1. Two community play schools operate five mornings a week currently catering for 36 children daily. This low cost childcare service is expanding to an afternoon care service in September.

2. Eight after school care weekly activity and youth programmes for children aged 6-17 years. These weekly sport, art, drama, computer or self development programmes rotate every six to eight weeks to ensure children get equal access to a variety of weekly club activities. They are planning to expand their drop-in youth services for local teenagers this year.

3. A Homework Support Club, which is a one to one support programme for remedial children aged 5-11 years working to a specially developed catch up programme, developed between teachers, community volunteers, tutors and parents. This parent-developed initiative is having a dramatic impact on remedial level children in the estate. This pilot programme now has 54 volunteer tutors working with 36 children from seven City primary schools.

4. Adolescent Development and Study Support Project is a study and personal development programme for teenagers identified as at high risk of early school leaving or teenage parenthood. These study groups and drop-in activity groups are part of their strategy to involve and train up local young people as Junior Youth Leaders to support the After Schools Clubs.

5. Parenting and Adult Literacy Programmes are run weekly to help adults with parenting, literacy and employment difficulties especially parents with school going children.

6. They operate a state of the art multimedia centre, which is funded by FAS. This centre attracts participants from outside the immediate estate and has served to raise the profile of the estate and to promote a positive image of the area in other parts of Kilkenny. Over 1,500 people have completed various computer courses at the centre to date.

7. They also provide an information service to the community on Social Welfare and other matters.

 

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Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny
Tel: +353 (0) 56 7794000 | Fax: +353 (0) 56 7794004 | Email: info@kilkennycoco.ie | Emergency outside office hours: : 1890 252 654
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