On the 30th August 2019, the entire team from Centrus in Dublin participated in a ‘Maintenance Day’ to help refurbish and improve the homes of the elderly community who live in Willie Bermingham Place in Dublin, in association with the charity ALONE. ALONE do not have a dedicated maintenance team and require companies like Centrus to fund and carry out maintenance work on the homes.
Willie Bermingham, who founded ALONE in 1977 began a campaign raising awareness of older people, who lived and often died alone by providing them with blankets, fuel and food. Amazing work still takes place today focusing on these vulnerable and sometimes forgotten people within our society who are either homeless, living in deprivation or socially isolated.
The maintenance project that the Centrus team were presented with for the day involved refurbishing a home for Noel, an elderly man living in Willie Bermingham Place. Noel became homeless 6 years ago when he seperated from his wife and moved out of their home. He found it hard to obtain accommodation due to older people not being seen as desirable tenants and found himself moving from place to place with just one bag.
“Three years ago I moved into an ALONE Housing unit. I am one of the fortunate ones because not everybody is that lucky to get into a place where you get all the support you need. You have your own privacy, it means the world. I’m very happy to be down there. There’s no place like your own hall door, you know, that you can call home.”Noel
The team set to work to freshen up Noel’s home with paint and soft furnishings. The kitchen, living and sleeping areas were deep cleaned and fresh coats of paint were applied to the ceiling and walls. A new floor was laid, new curtains were hung up and the bed was dressed in new bed covers.
A few members of the team also found themselves in another home picking jigsaw pieces off the wall from a creative and imaginative elderly man who used to live there but had since moved elsewhere. This was due to be refurbed by another corporate team a few days later for another elderly person but any help to prepare for the refurb was much needed.
The work was tiring and strenuous at times but the smile on Noel’s face when he came home to a fresh, clean house was truly warming. It is these moments, where the capacity to give something back to the community proves extremely meaningful to the individuals involved. To have the opportunity to enhance the lives of others is imperative to Centrus Communities and we endeavour to continue to make a difference in society.
You can find out more about the great work that ALONE do at: https://alone.ie/