Littleton's transformation over the last few years wouldn't have been possible without the development that now forms the heart and soul of the community, the Moycarkey Borris Community & Sports Centre (MBCSC).
The MBCSC opened its doors to the public in 2014 and is a hub of positive activity for social inclusion, all ages and has wheel chair access to accommodate everyone.
Everyone is welcome to avail of the sports, social and educational programmes and a voluntary staff management team run it on behalf of the Littleton Development Association (LDA), says Secretary Patricia Loughnane.
“It got up and running in 2013, it's been going since then.” Acting like a sports facility and family resource centre all rolled into one, the MBCSC has thrown a lifeline to those seeking to get a job, find affordable childcare, or simply organise a birthday party away from home.
Patricia says the Local Training Initiative (LTI) runs classes and workshops there, and “we have Taekwondo, we have Archery, we have all sorts of things going on.”
Littleton World Taekwondo Association meet in the Centre every Monday evening from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. Archery is another sporing success, with classes on every Friday evening from 7 - 9 pm.
The Centre provides for FETAC approved courses up to level III and IV, Sports and Recreation, Computer Classes for Beginners, Intermediates, and special classes for Farmers.
“We have a fantastic state of the art hall. We do parties: if people don't want to have all the fuss and mess at home, there's a special rate for people who just want to hire out the hall. The balloon company brings the bouncy castle at a special rate. We try to make it as amenable as possible for everybody.”
The Community Centre is a hive of activity seven days a week, and depends on volunteers to survive.
“There's a Toddler and Mother Group, and they meet on a Tuesday mornings. But all ages are catered for.”
At the other end of the age range, the Senior Citizens come to enjoy their Progressive 25 card games on Thursdays, creating a constant buzz of life around the Centre. “It's creating a good feeling around the village,” says Patricia. “The local Gardaí have noticed the difference and commented on it. There's a huge change in attitude around the village, and particularly younger people towards authority.
“It's a vibrant place, and a real feel-good factor once you walk in the door. Everybody wants to keep it well, and keep it going.”
Located near the Church of Ireland, the Community Centre is regularly used by the Churches and the local school.
The Centre is also instrumental in dispensing charity and community employment.
“We're involved in the Public Participation Network (PPN) as well. It's independent but each Municipality in the County runs its own version of it,” adds Patricia.
Described as “the new way for voluntary groups to interact with the County Council and to give the public a strong mechanism to participate in the ‘well-being’ of their local area and the county and all its people,” the PPN takes over from the North Tipperary Community and Voluntary Association (CAVA). For more information on how to get involved, and contribute to MBCSC's work, check out their facebook page Moycarkey-Borris Community & Sports Centre.