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Conference to discuss delivery of financiallly viable high quality community childcare in Waterford

 

A conference to be held on Thursday 6 October in Waterford will hear how financiallly viable high quality community childcare in Waterford can be achieved.

 

June O’Sullivan, CEO, The London Early Years Foundation which runs 38 services in 11 London boroughs supporting 4,500 children and their parents is the keynotes speaker.

 

She will discuss how crucial governance is in the delivery of a financially viable childcare social enterprise that can ensure high quality community childcare,  which invests in employment locally and supports staff and apprentices  and which builds multigenerational community connections and social capital. 

 

The conference is being hosted by Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in collaboration with Waterford Social Enterprise Network and Waterford Childcare Committee. 

 

“There are over 40 community based childcare services in Waterford which are managed by voluntary boards of management and largely funded through government programmes. Due to the level of government investment and challenges for voluntary boards to maintain a strong governance structure, services are struggling to remain sustainable and to recruit volunteers to take the level of responsibility involved,” explains Rose Murphy, CEO of Waterford Childcare Committee.

 

“This conference has been designed to meet the needs of board members, directors, CEOs and managers of community and voluntary organisations, social enterprises and community based early year’s services,” says Jacqui Quinn, WIT Programme co-ordinator of Early Childhood Studies at WIT.

 

WIT recently collaborated with Waterford Childcare Committee and Waterford Chamber Skillnet to bring a new one year Level 8 Higher Diploma in Early Childhood Studies on stream. The programme stemmed from a direct need for local private childcare providers. 

 

“As only 15% of the early years workforce hold a level 7 /8 degree (POBAL 2015), the H.Dip being offered is both exciting and timely, and will provide practitioners an opportunity to further develop their skills and competencies,  a critical factor in influencing children's development and learning in a positive way,” said Quinn.

 
WIT students to help people get to grips with digital devices

 

Know an adult in Waterford that needs help with their digital device? Students at WIT are again getting behind a community-based initiative ‘121 digital’ where students give free one-to-one lessons to learners.

 

Dr Pádraig Kirwan, Head of Department of Computing and Mathematics at WIT outlines the success of the initiative to date.

 

“Last February the Department of Computing and Mathematics was delighted to host 15 attendees from Waterford and south Tipperary who took part in WIT's 121 digital course, working with 17 WIT student volunteers.”

 

“The average age of participants was 75 years and they worked with the WIT students to further improve their use of their digital devices; phones, iPads and desktops. Participants enjoyed working with the students in a welcoming and comfortable environment. Students and learners enjoyed the opportunity to meet, talk and learn from each other. Working one to one helped make it a fun learning environment for all,” he says.

 

Each course consists of 4 lessons of 2 hours duration each. Topics can include: Gmail, social networking, Skype, internet banking demo, etc. All lessons are delivered on the college campus in a group environment. Students were from across every department in the college.

 

Four two-hour lessons will take place, starting Tuesday, October 11. There will be two more lessons on 18 and 25 October. No class will take place on 1 November, with the final lesson taking place on 8 November 6-8 pm.

 

To sign up please phone 051 302037 by Wednesday, 5 October.

 

 
Waterford to celebrate Purple Flag Weekend

 

Purple Flag Weekend Oct 2016

 

 

Businesses around the Purple Flag zone in Waterford will celebrate the Purple Flag weekend from the 7th to 9th October and it promises to be great fun for everyone which will include a Purple Flag Treasure Hunt on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Waterford secured Purple Flag accreditation in 2015 and since then, the businesses around the city centre have worked on various plans including the City Safe Programme which will be launched over the weekend. Commenting on City Safe, Chief Superintendant Pat Murphy said, "The Gardai have worked closely with various stakeholders in the City to develop this initiative and we are particularly grateful to the Purple Flag team in Waterford for their excellent support and commitment. We want to make sure that Waterford is a safe and well managed city centre and the contribution from businesses in the Purple Flag zone has been critical."

 

A feature of the Purple Flag effort in Waterford has been the introduction of their mascot 'Hoot' who has been spotted at many of the festivals in Waterford over the summer and will be taking part in the Treasure Hunt during the weekend.

 
New Tiger Turf pitch to launch next generation of Hockey players in Waterford

 

Waterford Hockey 2

 

For a minority sport hockey has made its mark in Ireland this year. The heroics of the men’s team at the 2016 Rio Olympics has inspired a new generation of hockey players, both male and female, throughout the country.

 

While Dublin and Cork have always been the twin capitals of hockey in Ireland the real growth of the sport can be seen in the regions, and nowhere is this more evident than in Waterford.

 

The opening of a new ‘Tiger Turf’ hockey pitch at Newtown School Waterford is set to become the launching pad for this new generation of internationals and Olympians.

 

Newtown School Waterford has been the home for hockey in Waterford for generations. National sports stars of other codes, Nick Popplewell (Irish and Lions rugby), Niall Tuohy (Athletics)and Jamie Deacon (Rugby) all represented their country in hockey while attending Newtown School Waterford.

 

But this investment is all due to one grandfather’s ambition.

 

Roger Johnson, former vice principal of Newtown School was selected for Ireland in hockey in 1958, his son Craig also represented Ireland in 1985. So when his grandson Ben was named on the Irish under 16 squad for a European Championships in Antwerp last summer, Roger knew something had to be done about the twenty-year-old Newtown pitch Ben learned his sport and honed his skills on.

 

The old AstroTurf, despite serving Newtown and Waterford hockey club well since 1997, was past its best and even a detriment to the progress of the young players.

 

Roger proceeded to approach a number of former ‘friends’ of Newtown School Waterford, at home and abroad and within a couple of months managed to raise over €200,000. This led to comprehensive research of the best pitches in the country and the decision to opt for a ‘Tiger Turf’ pitch.

 

Roger has been stunned by the speed of progress, “For what was just an idea in April, now at the end of September, we have a new pitch for future generations in Newtown and Waterford. While the primary motivation for the pitch was personal, it will also give all the boys and girls of Newtown and Waterford hockey club a real chance to learn the sport on an equal footing with the players who have access to the best facilities in the country”.

 

Another inspirational character agreed to officially open the pitch, Craig Fulton, Irish men’s Olympic coach and international coach of the year 2015 made time in his busy schedule to give the pitch his blessing and launch its future.

 

Hopefully his presence will inspire the next generation of internationals as much as it does the present crop.

 
Teen Space Waterford

 

TeenSpace 1

 

In 2014, the Waterford Comhairle na nÓg AGM decided that Facilities was to be the topic that they would work on for the next two years. After funding from the Department of Health’s National Lottery Fund and several focus group sessions with Foróige, CYPSC and the Comhairle Committee-Teen Space was born!  

 

Designed and created by a team of 5 Comhairle na nÓg-ers and one fabulous facilitator, Teen Space Waterford is a centralised hub of information about the services that are available to the young people of Waterford. The site is the first of its kind and we are very proud to let it be an information hub for young Waterfordians!

 

www.teenspacewaterford.ie

 
‘Stand Up for the South East’ Protest for University Hospital Waterford

 

UHW

 

Thousands expected for ‘Stand Up for the South East’ Protest on Saturday, 24th September in Waterford

 

One of the largest protests on the streets of Waterford is expected to take place this Saturday, 24th September in Waterford City. The protest will begin at The Glen in Waterford City at 2.00pm. It is being organised by a group called the South East Patient Advocacy Group which is a community group of people. The group are encouraging the people of the South East to turn out and make their voices heard against the refusal to implement 24/7 cardiac care at University Hospital Waterford which was promised in 2012 by the then Minister for Health James Reilly.

 

The people of the south east are being forced to take to the streets because of Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD’s decision to refuse to implement the 24/7 cardiac care at the hospital. The organisers are expecting thousands to travel from all corners of the south east to voice their opposition to the Minister's refusal to implement the 24/7 cardiac care and a proposal to further downgrade cardiac services currently being carried out at University Hospital Waterford.

 

Hilary O’Neill, one of the founders of the South East Patient Advocacy Group said today: ‘The people of the South East were promised 24/7 cardiac care and no depletion of other services at University Hospital Waterford after the compilation of the Higgins Report in 2012. This failed administration now has an unequivocal record of false promises to the 500,000 people of the south east region across a range of essential services at UHW. Any one of us, you or I or a loved one, could find ourselves relying on urgent cardiology services that will not be there to care for us at a critical time in our lives.’

 

Yvonne Cooney who is one of the organisers has said, ‘This is a matter of life and death. It is a regional rebuffal. We want people in the region to stand up for the south east and to seek to have this deplorable decision overturned immediately. We are outraged at how we have been treated. This government is refusing to invest in cardiology services for 500,000 people which equates to 10% of the population by refusing to implement a second cath lab at UHW. It is shameful how the Minister for Health took such an outrageous, arrogant approach and showed us the back of his hand in refusing to meet the medics at the Hospital.’

 

The politicians have all expressed their views, the consultants have also expressed their opinions and now it is time for the people of the south east to have their say. It is imperative that people come out on Saturday and show Minister Harris that we are completely united in this regard.

 

Social media will be fully utilised on the day across Facebook and Twitter hashtags #apeoplesprotest #ourlivesmatter

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1396305280398987/

 
ISO energy management award first for Waterford Institute of Technology

 

WIT Library 1

 

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is the first institute of technology in Ireland to be certified to the international best practice energy management system I.S EN ISO 50001:2011, an international standard which relates to energy management systems.

 

Speaking at a formal handover of ISO 50001 certification to WIT, Estates Manager at WIT Elaine Greenan said: “Significant energy savings can be achieved through increased energy monitoring and this certification demonstrates our efforts to ensure best practice energy management systems are in place and continue to be managed efficiently.”

 

She said that the certification demonstrates the efforts staff and students have gone to help manage energy consumption.

 

“This achievement follows on from our involvement in the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Public Sector Support programme. Valuable support was provided to the Institute through key interaction with the SEAI for which we are very grateful.”

 

WIT Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Finance Elaine Sheridan said: “As part of our environmental strategy, WIT has proactively engaged in reducing its energy consumption, adopting a structured and strategic approach to energy management and ensuring that the Institute operates in a responsible, sustainable and energy-efficient manner. The achievement of the ISO 50001:2011 certification would not have been possible without the commitment and drive of the WIT Energy Advisory Group (WEAG), a multi-disciplinary team of WIT staff and students, chaired by Tom O’Brien (lecturer, Department of Built Environment) with implementation of the strategy led by Elaine Greenan, Estates Manager and her team.”

 

Majella Kelleher, Head of Energy Demand Management, SEAI said: “Waterford Institute of Technology’s ISO50001 certification is a fantastic achievement and really highlights them as leaders within the higher education sector. They are an excellent example to others of what can be achieved through a dedicated and structured approach to energy management.”

 
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