Celebrations as Cheeverstown students complete life skills course in Fettercairn

A JUBILANT celebration was held in the Fettercairn Community Centre last week in recognition of the great strides that have been made by participants on Cheeverstown’s life skills course.

The families of the eight participants came along on the day to see the kitchen where the young adults have been developing their catering and healthy living skills, and to celebrate their success.

The participants all completed a training and employment programme in Cheeverstown, before commencing the life skills course last year.

Over the last 12 months, they’ve developed their catering and cooking skills to the extent that they’ve made meals for their families and catered for the community centre’s Christmas party.

James Jones, team manager of Cheeverstown’s day service, told The Echo: “The course supports people who use our service to learn traditional life skills.

“It helps them with their independence, and they learn to do everyday things that you and I take for granted, like boiling a kettle and making noodles.”

The course started off with the participants learning basic life skills, and their confidence and abilities have soared since then.

“They’re confident now, and their heads are held high,” added Mr Jones.

James, Jonathan and Brian enjoying the life skills course

Fettercairn Community Centre’s involvement in the course came about as Cheeverstown needed a community-based facility for training to run the programme.

This is because people with intellectual impairments tend to be visual learners, and so they needed a space where they could be shown how to put their life skills into practice.

Tanya Tracey took the lead on the programme, and she secured the kitchen space and has been instrumental in running it.

Olive, Gavin and Keith McCluskey

The participants benefited from the community centre being right at the heart of the community in Fettercairn and are now familiar faces to the people who frequent the centre.

On Wednesday, August 16, they got to hold a celebration in the centre as they are now in the transitional phase of the course and are hoping to secure local employment in the catering industry.

“They exceeded our expectations in regards to developing their life skills,” said Mr Jones.

Tara and Tania (staff) with Brian, James, Brian, Jonathan, Gavin, Paul and Stacey

“We will endeavour to support them in securing meaningful employment opportunities within their own communities in Tallaght.

“I’d implore any employer to give them an opportunity to show that they can contribute to society, and that with supports anything is possible.

“I have a very simple philosophy – people with impairments just need friends and opportunities to enhance their lives and to be the best they can be.”

Any employers who make have opportunities for people from Cheeverstown are invited to contact the service via their website, www.cheeverstown.ie.

Cheeverstown would like to thank Fettercairn Community Centre for their unwavering support and assistance in delivering the programme.

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