Helen Ryan, Liam Slattery and Kieran Slattery of the Knockavilla/Donaskeigh Community Council.
Knockavilla/Donaskeigh Community Council are a committee of eight members, who, by their own admission, always struggled to organise fundraising ventures which would have helped their plans of upgrading both community halls to make them more accessible to patrons, and to bring them up to a standard acceptable for use.
In June 2018, the council decided to launch their fundraiser, ‘Share the S’poils. The concept of this type fundraising venture is that no matter how many envelopes are sold every week, the winner takes half of the total, so there is a winner every week, as well as having a steady stream of income coming into us on a weekly basis.
According or organiser Kieran Slattery:
“The way it works is, in every business in the parish, envelopes are available for sale, the punter puts €2 into the envelope, puts their name and phone number on it and returns the envelope to the shop. We collect the envelopes every Thursda, count the money, draw an envelope, and the winner recieves a cheque for half the pot on that week.
“We also installed dispenser boxes outside Knockavilla Hall and in Donaskeigh village beside the postbox. These boxes are accessible 24/7 where people can fill their envelope and dispatch it into a secure box on site which is checked on a daily basis, said Kieran.
Continuing Kieran added:
“Our aim was to be able to gather enough funds to get started on upgrading the community halls, and to be able to apply for grants, knowing that we could have funds to match the shortfalls needed for works to be completed.
“Our first project was to upgrade our kitchen facilities in Knockavilla Hall, and with the help from Tipperary County Council through their grants and funds from our Share the Spoils, we completely gutted the kitchen and installed a stainless steel facility, which now is being used by families for family occasions when they rent out the hall, and for parish groups. The importance of having a community hall which is up to date and clean and accessible to everyone cannot be under estimated. We have also started the process of laying tarmac around the hall and carpark, and we hope to complete this project over the next 12 months.
Above are some of the committee involved with the Knockavilla/Donaskeigh Community Council’s ‘Share the Spoils’ weekly lotto. From left to right: Darren O’Neill, Pat O’Carroll, Helen Ryan, Liam Slattery, Kieran Slattery, John Browne.
“Donaskeigh hall has also recently started their projects of a new kitchen and meeting room, as plans are now under way to upgrade the main hall. Its location across the road from the primary school makes it very useful for extra school activities, so it is important that this hall is maintained and up graded also.
“Share the Spoils was and is vital for our continued works and events. We also bring Santa to the villages every year and hand out free gifts to the children. We host table tennois and badminton nights in the winter months for children in the hall in knockavilla, we were able to get our first Drama group in over 40years in the parish , The Multeen Players, up and running last year, with 4 sold out nights in december, and plans for another performance this year. all this was possible from the funds raised from share the spoils.
“We also hosted our first senior citizens christmas party which was part funded from our funds, so we could subside the price of the tickets.
“Our plans for this year was to carry out an insulation project on Knockavilla Hall. However, Covid 19 hit us all in March. Due to restrictions, we had to cease slaes and fundraising ventures until we resumed again at the end of June. However, our sales are at half of what we were pulling in, but we are confident we can get our sales back to the levels of pre covid.
“Despite the effects covid had, we still didnt sit back. We set up a community response group of over 50 volunteers who hel[ed out delivering groceries prescriptions etc to the vulnerable in the parish. We also purchased over 200 re usable masks and distributed these free of charge to the elderly of the parish, all funded by share the spoils.
“Recently, we purchased a disinfectant sprayer fogging machine. This is being used to spray both community halls before and after any events, making it safe for patrons as they start using the hall again as we reopen for bookings. We also use it in both churches before and after Masses at the weekend, again giving some re assurance to mass goers they are in a safe environment. This again purchased from our funds from share the spoils, said Kieran.
“We also run and maintain the community text alert system and are currently promoting the installation of panic phones devices into as many homes as possible for the elderly.
“Covid 19 was, and is still difficult for the community, however, working together and keeping the local contact which we do with informastion and advice, we all can help each other get through these strange times, and manage the new way of doing things.
“Every group needs funds, and without the funds we raise every week from share the spoils, we couldnt provide the services we do, or could we organise the events for the community. We have to acknowledge the support we have recieved from all the businesses that sell the envelopes for us, and make them available to their customers if they wish to buy them, and of course to everyone that buys them thanks so much, As is evident, anything we make goes back into the community euthe in the form of events, or maintaining our halls which are acvailable to everyone.
“Covid 19 might have caused us all to stumble, but we will all together pick ourselves up and push on and continue to make our rural community a place of great community spirit,” concluded Kieran.