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The Tuesday Club

Anne Forde, together with many of the volunteers you see in this photograph, developed the idea for The Tuesday Club about 10 years ago. They realised that there was a large part of the community that were 70 years of age or over, were living alone, and it had become more difficult for them to move around the area. This made it hard for them to maintain an active social life. I think this aspect of our lives is something that we really take for granted when we are younger as we are so busy with work, children and life in general that we don’t realise that when you get older, meeting your friends and making new friends is fundamental to your mental state of mind and wellbeing.

After much planning, The Tuesday Club officially began. Every Tuesday the members of the club are collected by 8-9 volunteers and taken to the Charlton Hall for an afternoon of numerous activities.

(from left to right, the names are Anne Forde, Maria Cantwell, Valerie Mulligan, Sr Margaret Ivers, Adrienne Glover, Peggy Bergin, Lily Smith, Ann Ryder and Marion Boyle. These are just some of the 30 or so volunteers who help run the Tuesday club.

The day usually starts with a 30-minute catch-up between friends, some old, some new (although by now, they have all made friends through The Tuesday Club). The members then start their 40-minute chair exercises hosted by instructors, Nevrig, Colm, Shane and Seán. This is an activity that the members very much look forward to each week.

Afterwards the group get a well-deserved tea and an assortment of home-baked cakes supplied by volunteers such as Valerie and trainees from Prospect Fingal. Fairy Buns, Fruit Cakes and Lemon Drizzle (a house favourite) are just a few of the beautiful cakes on display each week. The ladies tell me how important this is for most of the members as they were bakers themselves and look forward to a homely sweet treat.

Bingo is an absolute must at The Tuesday Club where things become quite competitive as well as highly enjoyable.  Jim, the volunteer pianist, and Marian usually get everyone into a singalong which brings the crowd back to times past and happy memories. I am told that the atmosphere is joyful and everyone gets involved.

Additionally, each week, there are different volunteers that mix things up a bit such as Ukulele bands, singers, guest speakers and arts and crafts workshops. One of the committee members Anne even did her own piece once on the history of the different stores in Fairview. A thoroughly researched endeavour that brought the members back to a time in their lives that might have been forgotten.

The Tuesday Club now has a healthy number of 40 members each week, 25% of which are men. They have been lucky enough to get small grants from Dublin City Council and Croke Park Community Fund to keep things going and occasionally take the group on outings. Aside from that the whole initiative is voluntary based.

They are always looking for new volunteers so if you would like to become a member contact Anne Forde at the email below. I am sure she would love to hear from you. Aside from contributing to something very special here this is a fabulous way to meet new people and carry on the Fairview tradition of voluntary work. To find out more about them, click here.

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