I want to avoid conflict at Christmas

It can be wonderful to have time with family over Christmas but sometimes the intensity of it creates some tensions that can be hard to deal with. If there are already other challenges within the family then the situation can be even more difficult. Here are some words of wisdom from John Sharry:-


Springboard Raphoe seeks Childcare Worker for Maternity Cover

Job Advertisement
Springboard family Support Project are Seeking to recruit a Childcare Worker (Maternity Cover February to August 2018) to cover the Afterschool Club.
Location: Springboard Family Support Project, Castlegrove, Raphoe
Co. Donegal
Ph: 074 – 9173918
The Successful Candidate will have:
• Relevant qualification in Childcare. Minimum Fetac Level 5.
• Minimum of one years experience in a preschool and afterschool setting
• Be hardworking and flexible. Must be willing to work as part of a team and also work on their own initiative.
• A sound working knowledge of the National Childcare Regulations and also the Siolta and Aistear curriculum.
• Child Protection Training
• First Aid Qualification is Desirable
Hours of work: Part Time Position
Application Process: Application by email to include CV along with a covering letter outlining how skills and experience match the job description and requirements of the post.
Enquiries, Job Description and Job Specification can be obtained by emailing springboardfsp@gmail.com
Completed Applications to be emailed to the Project Manager at
Closing Date for Application: Friday 19th January at 12.00pm
Interviews will take place on Wednesday 24th January

Introduction to Community Development

Introduction to Community Development

Are you a woman who is interested in developing your skills to work in your community?

Interested in developing and supporting services for the good of your area?

An Cosán Virtual Community College (VCC’s) Introduction to Community Development course could be for you! We have a limited number of places available for women to join this course.

Funded by the City & Guilds Group, VCC is partnering with community groups in West Donegal, Letterkenny, Inishowen and Derry to bring higher education into communities via blended learning.

Starting 30th January 2018, Introduction to Community Development (ICD) is highly interactive and will be delivered through blended learning, with a mixture of face-to-face workshops and online, virtual classes.

ICD will lead to a QQI Level 6 (UK Level 4) Certificate in Introduction to Community Development (10 credits)

Want to find out more? Drop into an information session on the following dates:

  • Monday, 8th January – The Yard, Falcarragh, 11 am – 1 pm
  • Monday, 8th January – Congress Resource Centre, Pearse Road, Letterkenny, 3 – 5 pm
  • Tuesday, 9th January – The Women’s Centre, Derry, 30 – 2.30 pm
  • Tuesday, 9th JanuaryInishowen Development Partnership, Carndonagh, 30 –7.30pm

For more information, please contact Maria McHale, m.mchale@ancosanvcc.com, +353 (0)1-5341847, +353 (87) 229 8934 or any of the locations named above.

Run by An Cosán Virtual Community College, City & Guilds Group and Inishowen Development Partnership

DRAFT Timetable Jan – March

Session Date Venue Note:












Independent learning activities precede each weekly session.


Please log-in to Blackboard regularly to undertake those activities.

Induction Tuesday, 30 January 10am – 4pm  


Women’s Centre, Derry
1.         Tuesday 6th February 

9am-9:45am: Technology tutorial

10am-12.40 pm: Session 1


Blackboard Collaborate Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
2.         Tuesday 13th February 

9am-9:45am: Office hour/tutorial

10am-12.40 pm: Session 2 



3.         Tuesday 20th February  

9am-9:45am: Office hour/tutorial

10am-12.40 pm: Session 3 



  Tuesday 27th February    



4 Tuesday 6th March  

9am-9:45am: Office hour/tutorial

10am-12.40 pm: Session 4

5. Tuesday 13th March

9am-9:45am: Office hour/tutorial

10am-12.40 pm: Session 5



6 Tuesday 20th March  

9am-9:45am: Office hour/tutorial

10am-12.40 pm: Session 6



Alcohol and Young People – a learning and consultation workshop

Alcohol & young people:

Learning and consultation workshop on Thursday 18th January

10:00 – 12.30 venue to be confirmed

The Alcohol Forum is developing a Guide for Parents and People Working with Young People and they want to hear from you!

Adults can make a big difference in protecting children and giving them a healthy attitude to alcohol.   The guide will outline the risks of teenage alcohol consumption and will provide practical support around supporting young people to have healthy attitudes and behaviours.

This workshop is suitable for parents, youth workers, agencies working with children and young people.

Dr Helen McMonagle, who is a psychologist by professional training and working as a specialist case coordinator in Alcohol Related Brain Injury, will present the scientific and research evidence on the risks of teenage alcohol consumption, including the link to the development of alcohol and drug dependence in later life.    This will be followed by a consultation with participants around what you would like to see included in our Parents Guide. The guide will be widely available in Donegal by April 2018.

This initiative has been supported by Pobal, the Department of Health and the Healthy Ireland Fund as part of the work of the LECP

To register and for further information email paula@alcoholforum.org

Parents workshop flyer

How can we explain that we can’t afford our children’s Christmas wishes?

Christmas can challenge our finances at the best of times but for some families it can become a real burden. Here is a piece from John Sharry, written some years ago when the recession was at its worst but unfortunately still very relevant for many families today.


Calling all parents and parents-to-be

  The HSE needs your views on antenatal classes, information booklets and a new child health website:

Are you a parent or a parent-to-be? By taking part in a quick online survey, you can help improve the information provided by the HSE during pregnancy and/or your child’s early years. Parents who have been through some or all of these stages are the best people to help do that.
Take part in this quick online survey

The purpose of this survey is to get your views on:

·         Your information needs during pregnancy and early childhood
·         Resources given to parents by the HSE 
·         Your experiences of antenatal classes 

  Take part: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/parentHSE

About the HSE’s Nurture Programme:

This survey is part of research with parents being under taken by the Nurture Programme: Infant Health and Wellbeing. The Nurture Programme is designed to improve the information and professional supports provided to parents by the HSE during pregnancy and the first three years of their baby’s life. 

Among the projects being delivered in 2018, there will be a new child health website, a new healthy pregnancy book, updated versions of the Caring for Your Baby and Child books, standards for antenatal education, blended learning training programmes for practitioners, an updated standardised child health record and the universal delivery of an updated Child Safety Programme.

The Nurture Programme is being delivered by the HSE supported by a grant from the Atlantic Philanthrophies through the Katharine Howard Foundation (KHF). Implementation support is provided by the Centre for Effective Services (CES). 

For more information, see http://hse.ie/eng/health/child/nurture/ or email nurture.programme@hse.ie

Parents Plus Children’s programme in Raphoe

The Parents Plus Children’s Programme, for parents of children aged between 6 – 11 years, will be delivered in Springboard Family Support Project Raphoe from Monday 29th January from 10:00am – 12:00pm. This programme is free to attend and the Parent’s Manual costs only €10.
To book you can either contact Springboard on 074 – 9173918 or  Raphoe Family Resource centre on 074 – 9145796.
Facilitators: Celine Bradley and Laura Doran. The course will be co – facilitated by Raphoe Family Resource centre and springboard Family Support Project.
Targeting the needs of primary school children, the Parents Plus Children’s Programme shows parents how to communicate positively with children, illustrating ways to encourage good social skills as well as well-researched methods to tackle behaviour problems. The programme includes DVD footage which illustrates ideas and techniques and includes interviews with parents. The aim of the course is to help parents not only solve discipline and other childhood problems, but also for parents to develop closer and more satisfying relationships with their children.
Topics include:-
Solving Childhood problems
Play and special time with children
Building children’s self-esteem and confidence
Encouraging children’s learning/supporting homework
Setting rules and helping children keep them
Establishing daily routines
Managing misbehaviour using consequences and sanctions
Problem solving/talking problems through with children.

Be alcohol aware this Christmas – and here’s how.

Donna Butler is the Manager of the Strengthening Families Programme run by the Alcohol Forum. As you will see, their work with families makes the Alcohol Forum a vital member of Parent Hub Donegal. Here Donna tells us a little about that work and also gives us a link to the Alcohol Forum’s  Festive Guide

Here at the Alcohol Forum, our vision is an Ireland where every child, family and community is free from the harmful effects of alcohol.  We aim to achieve this by creating and inspiring change through our work with individuals, families and communities.

As a national charity, we believe real change will only happen by working with communities to address the causes of alcohol harm in Ireland.  Our work provides the support, resources and expertise needed to reduce and prevent the harmful effects of alcohol on individuals, families and communities.  Our approach is shaped by evidence and is informed by the expressed needs of the people and communities we work with across Ireland.

Our Families Matter Service is providing a ‘whole family’ response through two programmes, Strengthening Families Programme (SFP), and Moving Parents and Children Together (M-PACT).  Both programmes provide children and families, experiencing significant challenges, with the support and practical skills needed to build stronger family relationships that reduce conflict and increase their capacity to manage challenges as individuals and a family unit.  They have proven to be effective across a wide range of issues including increasing coping and communication strategies, building family resilience, reducing aggressiveness, increasing parenting skills, preventing drug and alcohol misuse and supporting mental health.

We are grateful for the support of all the organisations and individuals involved in our programmes in Donegal as volunteer facilitators or referral agencies for families.  Whilst SFP does not exclusively support families where alcohol is an identified issue, 1 in 11 children in Ireland have said parental alcohol use has impacted them negatively.  In 2015, we partnered with Action on Addiction UK to bring the M-PACT programme to Ireland for the first time.  This programme supports children aged 8-17 who experience the impact of parental substance misuse using a ‘whole family approach’.  We are currently accepting referrals for our next programme.

Tips for planning a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

More people are likely to drink beyond their limits during this season than at other times of the year.  Remember that it is important that our drinking doesn’t cause harm to others, especially children.  We have developed a Festive Guide full of information and suggestions that can help which is available on our website. But if you can only remember 3 things, make it these:

One:  It is a good idea to make sure at least one safe non-drinking person who is known and trusted by you and your children is supervising children at gatherings where alcohol is being consumed.  It can be upsetting for children when those closest to them change their behaviour as they drink.

Two:  Plan some activities for your family that don’t involve alcohol. This helps children see that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time.

Three: Plan how you will get home. Never drink and drive or take a lift from someone you think has been drinking or taking drugs. Arrange a lift or book a taxi.

Your checklist for Christmas entertainment:

  • It is a good idea to have at least one safe, trusted, non-drinking adult supervising children at gatherings where alcohol is being served.
  • Know your standard measures (perhaps buy an alcohol measure), avoid ‘topping up’ and keep track of your drinks.
  • Eat before, and while, you are drinking.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Look out for people – don’t pressure others or be pressured to take a drink.
  • Drink slowly and try drinks with lower alcohol content and soft drinks.
  • Please don’t bring a child into your bed if you have consumed alcohol.
  • Plan some alcohol-free days – your body will be glad of a break.