Solas Resource Centre

The aim of the Solas Resource Centre is to develop community based supports and services for individuals, families and groups in an open, friendly, caring and confidential atmosphere, with the aim of promoting equality and inclusiveness. 'Solas' is the Irish word for 'light' so we aim to bring light into the lives of all who need us in Headford and it surrounding hinterland, including the village of Shrule.

The Solas Resource Centre has been opened since August 2005 and is based in St. Fursa's Hall which is the Parish Hall in Headford. The Resource Centre is one of 7 such centres around the West of Ireland, aimed at supporting the needs of local communities.

A Voluntary Management Group consisting of people from the locality has been meeting since January 2003, to identify the needs of the area, set up the centre and employ staff.

So what kind of activities is the Resource Centre involved in? Well, issues such as Poverty, Racism, Disability and Social Exclusion are central to the work of the Solas Resource Centre. A Work plan was developed, based on the findings of a local survey of needs of the local community. The following core issues were identified: Youth activities, a Drop in Centre to include the services of the Citizens Information Service, Money Advice and Budgeting Service, Adult Education/ Literacy Services, Office Services for the use of Voluntary groups, Elderly Issues, Childcare and Crèche facilities and Environmental issues such as the lack of Rural Transport in the area. Following from this, working groups on Youth and the Elderly have been set up and are currently tackling the highlighted issues that need to be addressed. These groups are in discussion with others to identify projects which can be put into action. Further working groups will be set up to tackle other issues.

The Solas Resource Centre offers the services of a Citizens Information Clinic the 2nd & 4th Monday in every month from 10am-1pm. This is a free and confidential service which provides up to date information and advice on a wide range of topics such as family issues, health services, housing, disability information, education and training opportunities and employment rights. The centre also offers the service of the Money Advice and Budgeting Service. This is also a free and confidential service which assists people in dealing with existing debt difficulties and to help them to manage their finances. MABS is available in the Centre every 2nd & 4th Wednesday from 10.30am-12.30pm by appointment only. Another service that you can avail of at the Solas Resource Centre is one-to-one guidance and support to unemployed people. This is a free and confidential service to help people get back to work, improve their skills and gain further qualifications.

The Solas Resource Centre also helps Community and Voluntary Groups that already exist in the Community and supports them in a variety of ways. Denise Feeney, Co-Coordinator of the Resource Centre is happy to meet with all community members to help them in whatever their needs are. The centre cannot operate without the support of the locals, their input into what they think are the needs of the community and what issues needs to be addressed. A warm welcome always awaits you when you visit Denise in the Resource Centre and similar to many Irish activities a lot can happen and a lot of help can be given over a cup of tea!!! So, fáilte romhaibh go Solas Resource Centre!!