News

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health

Mental Health and Suicide

 

This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week. So what is it and what can you do?

 

Mental Health is defined, as per the World Health Organisation as; "a state of well being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community".

So, by that definition it is safe to presume we can all suffer a little from Mental Health and it is one of the most common of all health conditions. For most individuals 'depression' is a factor we all face at some time in our lives, through many factors and many reasons. Many of us have the capabilities of overcoming these, for many reasons, whilst some do not.

What about those who do not have the capabilites of overcoming a feeling we all experience? Many feel there is a stigma attached to feeling "depressed" or feeling "low" and often people have nobody to talk to, to listen to them or to share their problems with. They continue to suffer in silence constantly caught in a struggle with their emotions. Indeed many individuals may seem to be able to take things in their stride and manage the situation, but underneath they are being torn by anger, pain, hurt and lonelieness.

So how does this effect Survivors of Institutional Child Abuse?

It is commonly known and understood that experiences of Childhood Abuse, doubles your risk of suicide, and whilst there is no research, as of yet, into Institutional Childhood Abuse, I am sure that figure is even greater. Anecdotally through our front-line support we have spoke to many Survivors who can recall, friends and family who have committed suicide struggling to cope in their everyday lives and/or struggling to cope with the pain of the past.

So what can we (as an organisation) and you as individuals do?

When you look at the figures, it is commonly accepted that over 70% of cases of suicide are borne about after the individual has told somebody of their plans, or give some other type of warning signs. If we familiarise ourselves with the common warning signs, perhaps we have an opportunity to prevent it. Here's a list:

  • Observable serious depression
  • Increased or risky alcohol or drug intake
  • Recent impulsiveness or risk taking
  • Expressed direct threats of suicide
  • Expressed indirect threats of suicide
  • Making a suicide plan
  • Unexpected or uncharateristic rage or anger
  • Experienced Significant Loss in their Personal Life

* Taken From Console Information (Charity To Support those at "living with Suicide")

Important Notice (Please Read) - Reduced Staffing Hours

Important information Please Read Fully

Right of Place Second Chance, since establishing ourselves from the previous Board of Directors have undertaken some seismic changes within the organsisation. Many of these changes have been completed and some are still being developed.

Our aim has always been to offer practical every day support to Survivors of Institutional Abuse and their families. When the new Board of Directors were democratically elected to Right of Place and changed direction, we were aware how monumental the task we were going to undertake was. Despite this knowledge all of us became involved and passionate about what we were (and will continue to) do for Survivors because we only need look at Survivors history to know they were never treated fairly and justly. We wanted and want to change this.

We looked at the History of Right of Place and how despite it's best efforts, times had changed and Right of Place failed to change with them. The supports that were offered by our organisation, did not match the actual needs of Survivors and this left many angry and disillusioned with the services on offer. Many Survivors voiced their concerns and many were listened to. We needed to offer more services, to more people and allow access to supports across the country. It is safe to say, from the (record) numbers that contact us, we largely achieved this.

We achieved this, despite a cut of over 45% in our budget within a 24 month period.

So how did we achieve this, what did we change / enhance within the organisation?

  • Established a website to inform and keep appraised of the work undertaken,
  • Created correct structures for Accountability, Transparency
  • Signed up (Voluntarily) to be evaluated yearly and ensure we are following best codes of Practice
  • Published a Newsletter once a quarter to any person who wished to see what was happening,
  • We publish our Annual Accounts,
  • We created an Annual Report, that has never been done by any Survivor support Group,
  • We opened additional offices in Waterford, Limerick and Galway (where there was already a need),
  • We hired Three Outreach Officers to meet Survivors and assist them to enhance their lives,
  • We created links with existing Support agencies, to make them aware of Survivors needs,
  • We have spoke in Local, National and International Media outlets to heighten awarness,
  • We have had over 5,300 contacts from Survivors looking for support and information,
  • We have visited over 1,000 Survivors in their homes to assist them in practical, every day needs,
  • We have offered Social EventsDrop - in service,Art Exhibitions which allowed Survivors a platform to display their hidden talents,
  • Continued to assist Dependents, ensuring they are never forgotten in future supports,
  • Offered and assisted in repatriation of Survivors back to the country of their birth,

The above are just to name a few.

The main difficulty we have, is that depsite the obvious understanding that we are working well within our budget, the legacy issues we were forced to deal with from the Previous Board of Directors has eaten into our existing budget.

 

 

It is with this in mind and to ensure that we as an organsiation survive into the future the difficult decision has been take to reduce the hours off all staff within Right of Place Second Chance. This decision has not been taken lightly as we are already aware that demand far outweighs what we had available so we are forced to again ask for your patience and understanding that for the foreseeable future there may be a delay in responding to your enquiry.

The following hours as and from the 1st of September exist:

    1. ALL OFFICES will have the following hours;

 

Monday:ClosedTuesday:9.30am - 4.30pmWednesday:9.30am - 4.30pm Thursday9.30am - 4.30pm Friday:Closed

 

This will be reviewed on a month by month basis. The necceisty on us to fundraise over the coming months is crucial as if we do not, the organisation may not remain open into next year.

So if you want to help fundraise, can offer any ideas or would like to donate please feel free to contact (Micheál Walsh) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - our temporary staff member responsible for fundraising.

 

The Survivoral of the organisation is much more important to all staff as we see and understand the work that goes on, the potential for growth and the ultimate impact we have and could have to Survivors and their families so we will do everything in our power to overcome these difficulties that are a result of one off costs associated with Legacy issues.

 

All staff would like to thank all Survivors and Supporters for their continued support during these difficult times.

 

Any Further changes, you will be kept fully appraised.

 

 

A Wonderful Song and tribute by a Survivor - (Please Read)

A tribute to JJ from his friend Jaygo

Are Those responsible for the devestation of lives living up to their responsibility?

We recently spoke with the Composer and Singer/ Songwriter of the below video. His story, and that of which the song is dedicated, shows a very real explanation of why Survivors need to be supported.

Let me tell you what Jaygo Purcell said regarding JJ, his story and then listen to the wonderful video tribute he has done to promote and highlight JJ's Story:

JJ was just a boy when they took him away. Took him from all that he knew and all that he loved and sent him to one of Ireland's Industrial Schools.

Whilst JJ was in one of these industrial schools, he was raped. Raped by somebody who was meant to care for him, who was meant to help him. A child, taken away from all he knew, beaten and raped.

When JJ left this institution he couldnt cope with the scars that were left on him. Little support, few who understood him and a life of never being able to speak out. JJ turned to the only thing that he could - he used drink and drugs as a coping mechanism.

JJ used this coping mechanism, tried to live with the scars, but eventually passed away. JJ died, a one bedroom flat, no family and lonely from Social Isolation.

How different could JJ's life have been were it not for our state and the abject failure to protect JJ and thousands like him.

Jaygo Purcell a wonderful Singer/Songwriter produced the following to honour the memory of JJ and promote his harrowing story. Please take a look, have a listen and share with others.

Thanks Jaygo for helping to create awareness. Survivors MUST NOT be allowed to be forgotten! Their priority in supports must begin and begin NOW. How many more JJ's are out there?

This is Shadows by Jaygo Purcell

The above video is the sole and exclusive property of Jaygo Purcell and we thank him for giving us permission to use it.

Letter to Irish Times - Survivors

Basic Human Rights Denied as Children, Delayed as Adults

 

Survivors of Institutional Abuse hold a unique and distinct place in modern Irish History. Generations of Irish Children were sentenced by the courts in this country to “serve” varying degrees of years in one of Ireland’s Industrial schools.

Many of these children were amongst Irelands most vulnerable. They looked for care, for love, for compassion and most importantly basic Human Rights. Many if not all of these, whilst they were in the care of our state, had their basic Human Rights cruelly and brutally taken away from them. Their right to proper education, a safe place to live, proper healthcare and adequate food were denied. All lived in constant psychological fear, all were forcefully beaten and many were raped as children whilst in the care of the state.


When these children eventually reached an age where they could be free of this continued abuse, they left Irelands Industrial Schools with little education, limited life skills, harrowing memories and years of constant denigration ingrained into their minds and bodies. Many went on to litter the many Institutions across Ireland and further afield, struggling to cope with years of brutal mistreatment and the mental Institutions, our streets, homeless shelters and prisons bear testament to this, in a word many became; institutionalised.


Many who had the courage to speak of their experiences were ignored, dismissed as being “liars” and or “trouble makers”. They were kept silenced in some cases for nearly 40 Years. This ruined relationships, broke down marriages and split families, as they could not understand why their loved one was unable to show affection.


To re-iterate, this problem was caused by our state, and their “collective failure to intervene……to come to their rescue”

If you had this beginning in life how would you rate your chances of gaining an education, being able to hold onto relationships, providing a definitive future for you and your loved ones or having equal opportunity for employment? Would you need additional assistance as an adult, still struggling to cope with the pain of a childhood lost, from the very state that caused you so much pain as a child? It is natural as Irish people, who at our very core are naturally generous, understanding and compassionate to appreciate the importance of supporting Survivors and their families as they reach their twilight in life, offering them some form of priority in their basic Rights. Why then do Survivors of Institutional Abuse still suffer through prolonged access to their basic Human Rights, merely being considered as another statistic?


Through our frontline work with Survivors of Institutional Abuse, basic Rights such as Housing, Welfare and Health are being denied and prolonged to Survivors and their family members. Feelings of pain, anguish and mistrust are being re-ignited in Survivors life’s by this basic denial to offer Survivors a Priority of Service in areas they never had an opportunity to develop, due to their disadvantaged beginning. Our average completion rates in reaching a successful conclusion on a Survivors journey over a 90 day period is nearly 75% for the majority of supports needed.

When this same statistic is compared with Housing and Welfare / Health the figure equates to 20% and 32% respectively. This reflects poorly on a state who is failing in its obligation to adequately support the very people they failed to support as children. This is simply not good enough. We must ensure that these are improved and through simple steps, such as a designated contact in each of the Housing and Welfare departments in every corner of Ireland, a published Newsletter 4 times a year, with information on Survivors needs to ensure these contacts are privy to information when dealing with Survivors. Additionally a yearly Forum where people / organisations who have an effect on Survivors lives can share knowledge and best practice.

It is with this in mind that I write this piece, calling on the Government to initiate and the public to support nominating Survivors and their families as a unique citizen Group in Irish Society. This could be cost neutral and ensure that Survivors have the ability to live the remaining years of their lives with some dignity, respect and understanding that we as a people are truly sorry for our Government and states failure to protect our most vulnerable in their time of need.

This time of need has not concluded and we must appreciate this. Until every Survivor (and family member) has the opportunity and priority access to housing, welfare and health, we will continue to fail as a country in our response to the needs of Survivors.

We cannot heal the pain Survivors are faced with every day, but we can help Survivors live with their pain and enjoy some semblance of an adequate living standard.

Whilst I am not a Survivor myself, the supports needed is not an enigma. The History of Survivors lends itself to the creation of many vulnerable individuals and families in Ireland and our diaspora and they all have one unique trait in common. The difficulties many are faced with every day of their lives, is as a direct result of our States involvement in their childhood. Surely that very same state should have the same input into their adulthood only on a more positive and unconditional level.

As the World Health Organisation defines Health and well-being: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

Our time, as citizens, to adequately support Survivors (and their families) has to come now. No more can we hide behind "what has already been done". Until every Survivor has access to Priority in Welfare, in Health and Housing we will continue to fail them. It is time we all stood up and offered them their basic human Rights and not force them to go through a system that has failed them all their lives, it is the least we owe them.


Micheál Walsh,
Outreach Manager, Waterford & Eastern Region
Right of Place Second Chance
www.rightofplace.com for Further information

Notice: Cork Office Closed for two Weeks

 

 

To all Survivors, family members.

 

Please kindly note that our Cork Office is closed from Monday the 20th of August and will re-open on Tuesday the 4th of September.

 

The Purpose of this is to facilitate Annual Leave for the office staff in Cork. You can still call the office and leave a confidential voicemail, which will be picked up by our Outreach Officer upon her return.

 

Alternativley, please feel free to contact the Waterford office for anything Urgent. The contact number is 051 - 841 819.

 

Additionally to this please note that due to this temporary arrangement there may be an unusual delay in responding to your enquiry, however we still envisage a response time as soon as possible.

 

As always we appreciate your understanding and assistance.

Special Q&A Session

 

To All,

 

We are always commited to ensuring Survivors, their families and supporters of Right of Place Second Chance have access to correct information and as such we are holding a special Q & A Session where if you have a burning question you can directly ask it here on our website and it will be answered by one of our team, relevant to their area.

Additionally to this, there has been a number of questions and comments regarding the proposed Monument for Survivors of Institutional Child Abuse that we have answered to individuals, but we will put our responses up also.

It is important that if you have a question, to ask it, as there is only one place you can get direct questions answered.

So to questions raised over the last number of weeks:

  • Why does Right of Place have no designated Outreach Worker for Dublin?

Right of Place does have one Outreach Officer for the Dublin Region, who is based in Waterford City and covers the Entire Eastern Region. Our intention, into the future, is to secure funding to increase this as there is a defined need for one in Dublin. This forms part of our difficulty in responding to queries immediatley as it is often impractical with One office to cover an area that equates to over 2 Million people (albeit Survivor and family numbers are smaller) This forms part of the reason why we respect and appreciate your understanding and patience. We have built a structure, but this structure will only continue to grow.

  • Why does ROP never speak about the work that they do to media?

Right of Place Second Chance has always firmly held onto the belief that we needed to ensure our structures were correct, that there was a demand for the service and that in as many (because we cannot resolve all problems we are presented with) before we championed the work that we do. Sure for open and Transparency we have given all minutes of meetings, taken pictures of events and copied our Annual Report on the website but we believe there is a need to show the work that we do - and we have people who are happy to break the confidentiality. As such over the coming months, we will be promoting the actual work that we do, with stories from Individuals so keep an eye on your local and National Press.

  • Can I become a volunteer?

We would love nothing better! Up to this point we have never used or accessed volunteers outside of the usual few who have always offered it, but we want and need this to change. The overwhelming demand placed on our offices at present means we simply need it. The time it takes to respond to a Survivor and resolve their issue, is getting longer and longer as more people access the services. Our Services are strained and bursting at the seams so a Volunteer policy and document is currently being drawn up with a view to incorporating more volunteers. However this will take time as the sensitive and confidential nature of what we do has to be remembered in any assistance we receive.

  • Why did you agree to get reviewed and what does it mean?

Essentially at present the organisation is going through a Voluntary Review Process to decipher and look at how we act as an organisation. TO look at our structures, our information and to see if we are following Law, best code of Practice and that we are open and Transparent. Whilst this is an ongoing review, I look forward to the Report. We signed up to it simply because we wanted to show what we have done in the 18 months since the New Board took over, and allow a review to be carried out. It will have no direct response to you, who access our service, except for you to know that you are dealing with the best.

 

Journey To Light - Memorial To Survivors

“I believe that the winning entry, Journey of Light, will act as a testimony to one of the darkest chapters in our State’s history and what we collectively as a society allowed to happen to vulnerable children.  I hope it will serve as a constant reminder that we must never let such horrendous crimes against children happen again and we must strive to protect all of our children,” - Minister for Education and Skills Mr. R Quinn.

Fitting words from Minister Quinn, in reference to the Monument for Survivors of Institutional Abuse.

Garden of Light

 

Our congratulations first and foremost must go to Hennessy and Associates of Waterford and Studio Negri, Dublin for their design being chosen as the winning design for the Memorial to Honour Survivors of Institutional Child Abuse. Studio Negri are the architects and author of the design and the concept of the Journey to Light Memorial, Hennessy & Associates are the technicians and author of the drawings and visuals.

It is also fitting to congratulate the Committee on an excellent decision and we believe as the monument gains greater understanding, so too will its importance to the generations of Irish men and women who suffered traumatic experiences as children, whilst resident in one of Ireland's Industrial Schools.

We know from speaking to the winning team their passion at what was a very emotive and important piece. It was clear from talking to them their understanding that this had to be a fitting tribute was foremost on their minds and they do not take that responsibility lightly.

Our Outreach Manager had this to say:

"What a fantastic place for me, for my children and for my father to go to remind us as citizens the devastation that we caused to generations of Irish men, women and Children.

The symbolic nature of it all, the story of the children of Lír, cascading through the waterfall. Every fourth stone, protruding with lights on to signify the innocence of one in four children having being abused in this country.

The apology from our Taoiseach engraved onto the wall as a constant reminder to us and our visitors that it was not the childs fault, but a failure on behalf of our state.

Finally the place where it was decided could not be more fitting. An area in Dublin where we go to remember heros of our state – how telling is it that Survivors of Institutional Abuse are (rightfully) placed in the same area.

It is open to the public and yet remains private – an opportunity for those who want to view it and share in its emotion in a gated and secure complex.

I left the unveiling with a greater understanding, a greater appreciation of the work carried out by all connected to it and with a sense of pride knowing that in some small way our country would not be allowed to forget and this monument will ensure we never do."

- Micheál Walsh, Outreach Manager, Waterford & Eastern Region.

 

Chairperson

 

Picture: L - Jim Hennessy (Hennessy & Associates, Waterford) Michael Walsh, Chairperson ROP/SC and André Negri (Studio Negri, Dublin) at the Launch of the Design.

Below was the Entry Essay for the Competition, have a read it is fantastic:

Journey of Light Night

 

The proposed design reinforces the importance of State vigilance in protecting its most fragile members. It is not an attempt to find closure following the revelations of traumatic cases of child sexual abuse in Ireland. The proposal creates a fluid progression between The Garden of Remembrance, which commemorates those who died for the cause of Irish freedom, with a memorial dedicated to the young victims of abuse.

The Garden of Remembrance is composed of a sunken cruciform shape six foot below ground level with limestone walls, a large bronze sculpture of The Children of Lir on a podium and reflection pool along its main axis. The pool has mosaic patterns depicting the Celtic tradition of breaking weapons and casting them in a river to signify the end of hostilities. A cross axis links the forecourt of the Hugh Lane Gallery to the master-plan arrangement of the Rotunda Hospital.

The proposed design is an ordering principle originating where the axes intersect in the centre of the cruciform. The new geometry diverges to create a passageway through the existing podium steps and continue in line with the Irish flag to form a succession of spaces. The composition includes fossilised limestone walls and paving with a clearly defined forecourt entrance and a pedestrian crossing with semi-mature plane trees. This ensures the spirit and intent of the Parnell Square Framework Plan (2005) is respected. A universal design approach is applied to meet the needs of all users and level access is provided throughout the site for the first time.

Central to the design is the element of water which gently cascades over steel plates, symbolising the industrial schools in which many of the abuse cases occurred. The flowing of water represents a healing force for the victims and encourages calmness and contemplation in the viewer. The scale and proportion of the spaces conform to the needs of children and adults.

Journey Of Light - Dust

 

On behalf of the State and of all citizens of the State, the Government wishes to make a sincere and long overdue apology to the victims of childhood abuse, for our collective failure to intervene, to detect their pain, to come to their rescue.

The State apology will be inscribed in English and Irish at a child’s eye level on the walls, and in Braille on a bronze plaque at the base of the water feature. An aperture placed below the flag directs a shaft of light to the centre of the inter-connecting space, acknowledging the ethereal sculpture above. A bronze bell inscribed on the floor recalls the conclusion of the legend- the ringing of a bell and transformation of the swans back to an aged human form. While the Children of Lir sculpture signifies rebirth and resurrection, it is simultaneously a representation of lost innocence and a vanished childhood.

The proposal compliments the historical setting and centripetally draws in a number of iconic sites within the context. Its auditory, tactile, visual and spatial elements offer a harmonious sensory experience which suggests a movement forward, while deeply inscribed by the knowledge of past events. Above all, it is an ethical link to the sacred ground of the State and a constant reminder that the abuse of our children must never happen again.

 

Journey of Light Plan

ROP/SC 2011 Audited Financial Accounts

 

Please click on the below link to view our Audited accounts for 2011.

 

These are the most recent and most up to date accounts that are available and as advised in the Annual Report they were not published in that because there was a delay in geting them signed off before our Launch.

 

When you click on this link , the Financial Accounts will open in a seperate window.

 

Please Click Here to View the Financial Accounts

Code of Governance and ROP/SC

Code of Governence

 

As part of Right of Place Second Chance continued aim to provide the best supports to Survivors of Institutional Abuse and to constantly appraise the value of our work ROP / SC is taking another unprecedented step amongst Survivors groups.

 

Right of Place Second Chance has decided to sign up to and consequently be reviewed under the most recent Code of Governence for charities.

 

At present Right of Place is currently being evaluated to see if we are matching best practices across a varying range of governence and management fundamentals. The main five pillars that underpin this evaluation are as follows;

 

  1. Principle One: Leading our Organisation
  2. Principle Two: Exercising Control Over our organisation.
  3. Principle Three: Being Transparent and Accountable
  4. Principle Four: Working Effectively
  5. Principle Five: Behaving with Integrity

 

Once this review has been carried out, the areas that we need to improve upon as an organisation will be published for all to view and we will advise on how we plan to improve them and set an agreed date for their implementation.

 

It will make interesting reading to see how we ultimatly fare and will help us to re-evaluate the changes that we have made within Right of Place Second Chance since the New Board took over, just over 18 months ago.

 

Keep an eye on the website for more details as they come.

Fantastic Exhibition of the Arts by Survivors - Take A Look

Right of Place Second Chance Exhibition - "Walk A Mile in My Shoes"

Supporting Talents through Adversity.

 

Mandy, Waterford City - "How awfully sad yet a testament to a childs inner strength. Unfortunatley not all Survived, shame on us all!"

 

Recently Held in Waterford City was an exhibition by Survivors and their families of their various types of Art, Craft, Poetry, Prose and General pieces of Craft.

It was simply a wonderful exhibition that helped to showcase the talents that exist amongst Survivors and the comment book that was open for all who viewed it to leave their own comment was heart warming. Comments such as:

Michael, Waterford City - "Beautiful Sense of the Struggle and Triupmh over adversity"

Noelle, Kilkenny - "Praise the Lord, all of your wonderful talents can be seen at last. God Bless All of you"

John, Waterford County - "Very Powerful"

It begins to give you a sense of just how wonderful this exhibition was.

The Purpose of the exhibition was to develop it into a journey. A way of showing us and the wider public, why these pieces of artwork were such a triumph. We created a pathway that brought people into the mind and the psyche of Survivors, from their childhood to many of their empowered states of mind and creativity now.

Here's how we created this:

Step 1: The Childhood:

 

The CHildhood

The Left part of the Wall is the picture above. It depicted what it was like for many Survivors. How could one possibly expect to learn in an institution when you were not even recognised as a name only a number.

The Below picture was testaments from Survivors of what many of the sentiments that were said to them each day of their schooling. We wanted to showcase this for the wider public to see how demoralising it was for generations of Irish Children. This was to the Right of the Above picture and received a powerful understanding:

Aoife, Waterford City - "Inspiring, simply inspiring - Helped show me a Survivors Childhood"

 

The Childhood Part 2

 

STEP 2: The Victim

 

The Second Part of Our Exhibition came onto our pictures. Many of these pictures were donated by Survivors of Right of Place Second Chance and many were harrowing to say the least. There was a caption associated, "Look into their Eyes". As with any of the pictures regarding the institutions the sheer lack of facilities left a lot of people talking.

Anne from Waterford City - "Very Powerful"

Gerry From Waterford City - "Very Moving"

The Victim

 

The Above formed only a small part of the exhibition as we wanted to focus the attention on the plight of Survivors but mainly on their achievments despite the adversity they suffered. This was the reason why we then brought people onto their third section, namely;

 

STEP 3: The Survivor

The Survivor

 

The Survivor

 

The Two Pictures above, formed the centre piece of our Exhibition. We wanted to catch the eye of the wider public by having memorable quotes from our Fromer Taoiseach and Former President. The purpose of this was to highlight the fact that this issue was not an isolated incident. It was not something that was carried out by a small section of our society, but a national tragedy that was recognised at the highest levels within our country.

Alan - Kilkenny City - "I was so very moved by your work, my heart goes out to everyone"

We also began to include a number of the additional Art pieces by our Survivors. I am sure you will agree they are fantastic. They began to aid in the national transition in our journey / exhibition to showcasing the talents and showing to our citizens that despite the obsticals they had just witnessed Survivors were Empowered to achieve fantastic pieces of Art and Literature.

Maeve, Unknown - "Fantastic and Heart Rending, I never realised the sheer scale"

 

STEP 4: Empowerment

 

Empowerment

 

The Skill showcased in the Above paintings and craft is simply breathtaking. When one considers the history of Survivors, to see the work that they have built and created is simply fantastic. It is a true testament to the dedication and talents through adversity. The amount of people blown away by some of this artwork was staggering and long may it continue.

Kate, Waterford City - "Great Exhibition"

John, Waterford City - "Empowering!"

Anonymous - "Fantastic, Keep up the Great work that you do"

 

STEP 4: Empowerment Continued

 

Empowerment Continued

 

The Final Picture above was a continuation of our Empowerment. It was a collection of Poetry and Prose by Survivors and their family members. To say I was overwhelmed by the sheer passion and emotion involved in them was an understatement. They told stories, from deep within the soul of Survivors, expressing their inner most thoughts and feelings. The topics were as diverse as, Love, Mothers, The institutions, their childhood, their adulthood, nature etc. The Poetry really was excellent was of a very high standard, indeed one of the comments on our comment book advised this:

Julie, Unknown - "Was very moved by the Power of your poetry. I felt so sad that any of you had to endure what you did and very inspired by the strength you all Show."

 

So that came to the end of our exhibition. For a Pilot project it proved immensley popular, worthwile and left a lasting impression in so many peoples minds. Some of the additional comments left are as follows;

Pat, Co. Carlow - "Simply Incredible an thank you for letting us see"

Anne, Waterford City - "Very Expressive and Worthwhile"

Mr. Hearn, Unknown - "Good Work"

Terese, Waterford County - "Great Work"

Trish, Unknown - "Keep up the Fantastic Work"

Collette - "Excellent Exhibition"

Eamonn, Waterford - "A beautiful, fantastic way of making sure we never forget"

 

Final

 

Two final comment's that was left on our comment book;

Shirley, Waterford City - "The Path is sometimes long, hard and never ending. The trials suffered and conquored make us stronger and more able to face what is to come. The path will end... how we face this ending depends on us... Survivors will face their end, THEIR way"

 

Anonymous - "Wonderful to see talents promoted that were kept silent for so long. I can really begin to feel and understand the pain, but appreciate the ability to come through it with the support you offer and through the works on display"

I hope you enjoyed looking at the exhibition as I know all those that could attend were very moved by it, and the comments out lined abve which come directy from our comment book help to show this.

Finally I would like to thank All the staff in Right of Place, especially those Support Staff in the Waterford Office for establishing the exhibition, but more importantly to who the exhibition was about - You the Survivor and your family member. For wanting to display your amazing artwork, poetry etc they were simply incredible and for the many hundreds who viewed over the course of the week, you have left a lasting impression. My sincerest thanks to all those that contributed!

Exhibition of Survivors Art/Poetry/Photography/Craft Etc in Waterford Central Library 28/05 - 03/06 2012

Fantastic Exhibition 28th May - 2nd June 2012 - Waterford Central Library

 

Right of Place Second Chance proudly presents the excellent, emotive and wonderful exhibition "Walk a mile in my Shoes"

 

After offering our Outreach Service to Survivors over the last year one of the many positives of Survivors is the talents that exist through the Arts. There is fantastic Art, emotional yet eye opening poetry that explores the very soul of Survivors and craft that is natural and produced purely from inate talent. This however for many years in many Survivors was one which they never had the opportunity to showcase or even develop throughout their life, however we hope to have changed this in some small way.

As a result an exhibition of Survivors works was developed to heighten awareness to the general public of the talents that exist among the Survivor population and indeed their family member, additionally to the experience many suffered. Proudly displayed is work by Survivors that allows our citizens see the talents that exist and already the feedback has been excellent.

To all those that contributed, by sending in their pieces of work, we have no need to be thanked, it is us that should be thanking you for allowing us the opportunity to showcase your work. For anybody who has not seen the exhibition I would say if you can make it to Waterford before Saturday evening, please do and celebrate and show solidarity to your fellow Survivor for their fantastic works and their fantastic achievements.

Already we have been asked to develop it nationally and allow others across Ireland to experience the exhibition, so keep your eyes open into the future. Pictures and videos of the exhibition will follow.

 

Two Survivors Looking to Re-connect

 

Two Survivors of Institutional Child Abuse are looking for fellow Survivors whom they may have spent time with in the listed Institutions below;

 

St. Joseph's Industrial School for Boys, Passage West, Co. Cork 1945 - 1949

St. Joseph's Industrial School for Senior Boys, Greenmount, Cork 1949 - 1955

 

If any of you have any information regarding either yourself or a fellow Survivor who spent time in the above institutions and are interested in re-connecting with former Survivors from the same institution, please feel free to contact any of our offices and we will put you in touch. Alternativly, should you wish please contact our Head office in Cork and ask to speak to Ann Marie Crean directly (Outreach Manager, Cork & Kerry Region) and she will be happy to discuss this in more detail.

 

Thank you in advance.

Healing Service 27/05/2012 - Waterford City

Healing Service, a joint Project by Right of Place Second Chance and the Lamh Healing Center

 

As advised earlier this year as part of our commitment to ensuring all Survivors have access to a spiritual Healing service throughout the Year it was decided that a non religious Service would be put on for those who did not want to attend our Annual Mass.

 

As such after attending the beautiful, powerful and emotional Service created in Cork by the Lamh Healing Center we agreed to bring this service down to Waterford City and allow members of our group (and indeed any person who suffered trauma in their childhood) attend a Service, that they could in their own personal way respect the memory of those who have passed away, but suffered as children.

 

This particular event is a Pilot Project for our organisation and we hope all who attend can take something away from it. Look forwarding to seeing some of you there.

 

Joe Duffy, Outreach for the Waterford & Eastern Region and a debate surrounding the Memorial for Survivors

 

Please click the below link to listen to our Waterford & Eastern Region Outreach Manager's, Micheál Walsh (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) contribution to the deate surrounding the establishment of the Memorial on behalf of Survivors of Institutional Abuse.

Please note the podcast can be downloaded from the below website, under the title "Memorial to Victims of Abuse"

 

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/podcast/podcast_liveline.xml

Waterford's Deise AM, Outreach for Waterford & Eastern Region and the recent revelations surrounding Cardinal Brady.

 

Recently our Outreach Manager for the Waterford & Eastern Region, Micheál Walsh (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) was asked on to discuss the recent revelations surrounding Cardinal Seán Brady on the ever popular Deise AM Programme on WLR FM.

 

Please click on the below link to listen to the response:

Please note the talk begins on the second half of the show. Press the SECOND play button and it begins on the Third minute.

http://www.wlrfm.com/wlrfm-podcasts/deise-am-podcasts/150346-2012-01-03-12-37-03.html