A NEW group has opened up a rich vein of activity and friendship for the Adare women, providing opportunities to practice old skills, hone new ones, and have fun doing it.
Adare Women’s 2020 Club was born from an idea among a small group of women who met regularly to make crafts together.
But, says Bridget Lohan, who now chairs Club 2020: “We thought we weren’t going anywhere.” The idea of forming a sort of women’s shed evolved over several encounters and a name and direction quickly emerged. The Women’s 2020 Club (Women’s Shed) has since been launched and is now a fully operational group, with premises, a committee, over 40 members and a very busy schedule.
Its goal, explains Bridget, is to promote optimal health and well-being for women of all ages in the community by helping them stay physically, mentally and socially active.
Activities planned include walks, crafts, computer learning sessions, tabletop quizzes, flower arrangements and card games. And every good idea is taken up with enthusiasm.
Having a base has been a crucial factor in the cohesion of the group. With the support of Limerick City and County Council, West Limerick Resources and the JP McManus Foundation, along with their own fundraising efforts, the club was able to rent a full-time room in the village hall which has become a hub of their activities.
“We have a recycling store that we call the Curiosity Shop,” says Bridget. The plan is to operate on a regular basis to provide a constant stream of income for the club.
“You never get bored,” said fellow club manager Mary Dundon, “It’s excellent. It’s brilliant. Many of us would know each other to see each other but we would not have known each other well. We’re all friends now.
For Ena O’Connell, who describes herself as a ‘newcomer’, getting involved with the club and Tidy Towns has proven to be a path to her new community.
“We’re only just getting started but there’s a lot going on,” said Noreen Mackessy, a local woman for whom becoming involved with the club is a first for her. She especially likes flower arrangements, she says.
“It has been great socially over the past year. It was nice to come here. People are so friendly, ”says May O’Donnell, who lived most of her adult life in England before returning a few years ago.
“I’m delighted with it,” said Nancy Fitzsimons, echoing May’s enthusiasm for the club. “I love everything about it. There is always something new to think about.
Among the new activities of the past two months was a Coffee Morning which raised € 1,231.25 for Limerick Suicide Watch, which depends entirely on volunteers and donations.
Another initiative taken by club members has been to knit baby hats for premature babies and they hope to present up to 200 to the University of Limerick Maternity Hospital shortly. Margaret Hickey is one of the club’s most enthusiastic knitters. “I was doing about three a night,” she laughs. Like all other women, she enjoys the camaraderie and activity within the club. “It’s brilliant. It’s a good old crowd. We get along well.”
Anyone interested in joining the Adare 2020 club can email [email protected] or speak to a club member to get a membership form.