This report covers another year of change in society, the likes of which most of us have never seen. We live in atime of increasing global fragility and a historic period of heightened uncertainties. Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, just over two years ago, there were concerns about the needs of many individuals and families in our own local communities, with disadvantage, marginalisation and poverty on the rise.
This last year has been another challenging time for the LSSC with a further year of the global pandemic. As we look back over 2021, we must firstly reflect on the many people who have suffered and died in Limerick as a result of COVID-19, their grieving families, and friends. To our staff, volunteers and service users who have been bereaved in the past two years, I offer our thoughts and condolences.
In LSSC, as in many other organisations, we worked hard to respond to the challenges presented to us in 2020 as quickly as possible. We didn’t always get it right immediately, but we were committed from the start to trying to support our service users as best as we could within the new constraints. I would like to thank the administrative team, who supported all staff members to start Zooming in the first week of home working and to navigate effectively across this and other new platforms. The administrative team also made sure that payroll and other essential systems continued to be delivered efficiently. This was no small task, but it made an essential difference and allowed our front-line services to continue.
Limerick Social Service Council’s 2019 Annual Report provides us an opportunity to reflect on the breadth and depth of the work we did across Limerick City and County as well as the challenges that we encountered. For LSSC, 2019 was a period of significant growth-the building of the Child and Family Centre in Galvone was completed; the service plans were developed; and we recruited the Operational Manager. Across the other service areas, the Child and Family Service, the Counselling and Psychotherapy Service, the Service for Older People and the Early Years' Service, there has been continued delivery of our core services while responding creatively to the changing needs of our clients.
The work of Limerick Social Service Council over the course of 2018 has touched the lives of many Limerick Citizens—from a new resident who found a warm welcome, friendship and support for herself and her young children at a parent/toddler group to an older person who found fun, stimulation and friendship at a regular, weekly dinner for older people; from a parent in need of quality childcare they can trust to an individual in personal crisis who found support in the counselling and psychotherapy service.
This Annual Report for 2017 is evidence of the LSSC work as it continues to invest in long established areas of need while also reviewing newly emerging situations and exploring ways of responding. This Report, which provides an insight into ongoing programmes and a summary of LSSC’s outputs, also illustrates how the LSSC collaborates and partners with other agencies to give children, families and individuals the right support at the right time.
This Report provides an insight into the numerous activities of LSSC's projects during 2016 as it discharged its core functions as well as continuing to promote the needs of the most marginalised in Limerick and surrounding areas. The focus and attention to consolidating the work of its key services while exploring new opportunities to respond to ever-changing needs of our communities, is especially welcome.
As we look back at 2015 through this Report, we see the many activities and initiatives that were undertaken over the past twelve months - serving, supporting, counselling, listening, and caring for others. The year has been one of remarkable accomplishment showing positive data and delivering tangible results.
The Limerick Social Service Council began its efforts several decades ago by responding to poverty and deprivation in a number of neighbourhoods Limerick City. Today, as is reported in our 2014 Annual Report, we have extended and diversified our services to work on a range of social problems across the City and County. We now offer supports to all age groups from parents with new born babies to individuals who are the elders in our communities.
Through a number of recent evaluations of our service users, we have found that our reputation is stronger than ever – our work is valued by people, communities and statutory agencies, as a provider of quality services, a reliable information source and a good partner to work with. All our services and programmes are rooted in the needs of the most disadvantaged and in vulnerable situations.
Despite the difficult funding issues that we strived to manage efficiently and
effectively in the last year the Council continued to adapt and change our services in
order to meet the needs of the community we serve. To this end, Limerick Social
Service Council Ltd in partnership with Limerick Regeneration Agency and the HSE
established Family Support initiatives in Southill and Our Lady of Lourdes Parishes of
the City. The primary objective of these projects is to enhance social inclusion in the
area by the provision increased family support, primarily by identifying the needs,
connecting and supporting individuals and or families to access appropriate services in
the area. We are delighted to report that both projects are having a significant impact
in the both communities.
As the economic uncertainty continues we have witnessed an increased demand for our services. Where possible our services are free of charge, and when charges are levied we strive to make them affordable and accessible to those most vulnerable and with least resources.
Again this year our counselling service has witnessed a huge demand for its services. In 2010 we offered 4305 sessions which was an increase of 19% on the previous year. It would not have been possible for us to deliver the increased number of sessions without the assistance of the professional qualified volunteers who work with us.
This year also saw an increase of our involvement in the Incredible Years Programme. This is an international early intervention programme targeting children ranging in age from young infants to ten year olds who are exhibiting social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. We deliver programmes both in the Social Service Centre and in various communities across the city.
I would like to thank PAUL Partnership for their guidance in assisting us in the rollout of this programme.
The Limerick Social Service Council in 2008 was faced with ever changing challenges due, in the main, to the changed economic circumstances that the country now finds itself in.
In December we launched our Research Report “Identifying the Needs of Communities in Limerick” This research was instigated as part of our 5 year Strategic Plan and is an important effort to ensure future services by the Limerick Social Service Council are planned with relevant information and data. It will also help in pointing the Council in the direction of improvements to existing services. This research is welcomed by the Limerick Social Service Council as it helps us to better understand the individuals, families and communities that we serve. Furthermore it will ensure that resources can be more effectively channelled to those who need them most.
This has been another good year for Limerick Social Service Council with continuing developments in all our programmes. The LSSC provides an extensive range of services for families, children, young people, adults and older persons. In addition, a number of self-help groups meet at the LSSC Centre and the LSSC also shares its premises with other voluntary and statutory groups, including the HSE, which uses the centre as a local venue for the delivery of such services as aftercare and youth homelessness, family therapy and