COMMUNITY OUTREACH SERVICE
Community Outreach Service is the way that all of our services are provided. That is to say that we don’t have a permanent base where people can come to take part in a project – all of our projects are hosted by other organisations. The legal framework under which we operate, states that we work throughout Cork city and county.
Channel PWEM is very much a volunteer led active organisation – we don’t sit back and wait for things to happen, we are very much pro-active. So, as a member keep that in mind. It is our job to reach out to the people that we have been set up to engage with. This means that we will have to get out of our comfort zone and go out meet and chat with people who we feel are potential participants in our projects. For most, this can be a daunting prospect, we all tend to gravitate towards the warm comfort home state – but think about your own life and why you joined? Were you a person stuck out in an isolated life yearning to be involved? Well, now is your chance to reach out to others and live a healthier more enjoyable and fulfilling life – yes, you will feel better in yourself as well.
Saint Raphaels Centre – Youghal (SRC)
This is where we are currently operating – it is a HSE facility and we are there as visitors. Right now we have sufficient projects in the pipeline to see us through to the end of next year. It is likely that we will continue working at this facility for the foreseeable future. In many ways, SRC gives us an opportunity to develop a portfolio of projects and show how they deliver tangible outcomes for the participants in terms of their personal wellbeing and mental health.
Outreach is all about moving on – spreading our influence. While the projects progress at SRC, it is providing us with tangible examples of what we do, and that enables us build up that all important portfolio. I know I have struggled on many occasions when trying to explain to someone what we do, but when I have shown an example of our work – you could almost see the light-bulb switch on. So, the key enabler for our outreach is the portfolio of completed work – let our actions speak louder than our words.
Where to Next?
While inactivity would certainly kill our organisation, running before we can crawl would be equally devastating. As a member, we encourage you to come forward with suggestions on where we should move on to – but be patient. We are a volunteer led charity, it is better to bide our time and not bite off more than we ca chew. In the first instance, before you bring your suggestion to a member of the board, try and collect the following information:
- Institution Name and Address
- Relevant Contact Name, phone Number and / or eMail address
- What facilities do they have?
- Who are their target demographic – does it coincide with ours?
- What sort of media project do you think would interest them?
- Do you have any personal experience with or contact with them?
If you can get this initial information, it will speed up the process immensely. But don’t be put-off if you are finding it difficult to gather it all, come in and have a chat anyway and we will toss some ideas around to see how we might progress.