So eager were the users and staff of Cara House to watch their local boys row in the Olympic Final that seats had to be allocated in front of the television screen long before the O’Donovan brothers took to the water in Rio.
The regular faces arrived for the Luncheon Club at Cara House and roared Gary and Paul to Silver for Ireland.
“It was a magical day for everyone in and around Skibbereen and here in Cara House our older adults were as animated, vocal and delighted as anyone,” explains Aine Minihane, the Service manager at the Skibbereen Luncheon Club.
Now in spacious, well-lit and comfortable surroundings the renovation of Cara House in recent years was extensive and has breathed new life back into the building.
“Over ten weeks in 2014 the builders came in and transformed the place,” explains Aine, adding: “Walls were knocked, old bedrooms removed, three large bathrooms installed, accessibility for all catered for, a conservatory built and designers made the building flow for the benefit of everyone who uses it.”
To help with that vital renovation the National Lottery provided €120,000 in direct funding and over the years the Skibbereen Geriatric Society has received lottery service funding via the HSE.
Up to 50 people from around the Skibbereen area now visit Cara House on Luncheon Days, the eldest user is 99 and the youngest 65.
“We want it to be like a large sitting room where people can relax and enjoy themselves rather than a clinical facility. We make sure the newspapers are there when they come in, that the freshly baked scones are ready and that the kettle is on. We aim to combat loneliness and isolation and bring people together in a positive manner which is what we do,” says Aine.
In addition , the Skibbereen Geriatric Society supplies a meals-on-wheels service and provides and runs 31 flats in four different locations throughout the town of Skibbereen.
Approximately 30 cent of every €1 spent on games go back to National Lottery Funding for Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts and heritage. In total, more than €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago. In 2016 alone, the National Lottery raised over €210 million for such good causes.