North Tipperary Development Company (NTDC) has been funded for many years by Tusla Mid-West to deliver a community-based family support project in Roscrea. This project operates out of NTDC’s Roscrea Youth Service on Rosemary Street, in the heart of Roscrea town.
Maedhbh Gordon Manager with NTDC highlighted that “in 2019, as part of the projects review of family support needs within the Roscrea community and through interagency engagement it was identified that several recurring issues were impacting families in Roscrea. It was found that a needs analysis should be carried out to get a full picture of what are the experiences of families, service providers, agencies, and the wider community regarding family support.”
In early 2020, prior to the global pandemic, Hilary Curley of Curley Consulting was commissioned to carry out this piece of research. Fionnuala Kenny Senior PPFS Manager with Tusla Mid-West stated “It was decided from the outset what the focus of the research would be.
These were to examine the overall situation with regard to family support needs in the Roscrea area; to identify what services are currently providing support in the area; to identify any gaps in services that may exist and finally to make recommendations around better use of existing services and proposals for the future development of family support services. Individuals, community groups, young people and organisations, service providers, agencies and business were invited to engage in the research, and we would like to thank everyone who got involved and gave their time to this work.”
“I was involved for 15 years in Roscrea 2000; the town needs something like what we had. That one stop community space.”
“During Covid 19 we saw volunteers from the community get together to help those most at need and it has reminded us all that we have the ability to change things for the better. We need to come together as a community and work together to make Roscrea the town we all want to have for our families.”
“It’s important that people in Roscrea have the services they need especially in the area of Mental Health and families. this research shows there is a massive need in Roscrea for improvement which will benefit everyone especially young people and future generations.”
“This report can only be a good thing for Roscrea. Highlighting areas that need to be challenged. As a forgotten town on so many levels I feel our town is on the up with the recent improvements. I'm looking forward to Roscrea's future.”
It is clear from the research that there is great community spirit and a long tradition of community activism in the area. Those who engaged in the research are people who live in the community and have a long history of community engagement in the different community groups and structures throughout the years.
Unfortunately, Roscrea, like many towns in Ireland, has struggled to reinvent itself following significant changes to traditional industries down through the years. This has added to the difficulties experienced across the community and impacts on families living in the area.
While the findings identify hard to read statistics there is potential for both the community of Roscrea and the key agencies to work together to identify realistic, feasible and achievable actions to positively impact on families and the wider community of Roscrea in the short , medium and long term.
The Roscrea Family Support Needs Analysis will provide important factual information to local, regional and national level decision making structures to assist in the prioritisation of the needs of Roscrea for a coordinated, planned and community led programme of activities and services. This research is available to download from North Tipperary Development Companies website; www.ntdc.ie.
All those involved in the research are encouraged to read this needs analysis and we would encourage everyone who works and lives in Roscrea to read it also.