Community Stories  >  Case Studies

Ballyfermot Family Resource Centre

It has been at the heart of the community for 21 years, providing services and supports for young and old and every age in between. From childcare to counselling, from job training to job opportunities, from art classes to good old fashioned bingo, the Ballyfermot Family Resource Centre has played host to them all. It is so much a part of Ballyfermot’s social and physical landscape that other key service providers see the centre as the natural home for their own activities.Thus, it houses a FÁS Training Centre, the John of Gods’ Day Care, the Money & Budgeting Advice Service (MABS) and the Active Balance Clinic.And that’s not to mention the shop, the restaurant serving over 100 customers daily and the huge diversity of local groups utilising the space for meetings - the centre has over 120 room bookings every day.

But heating has always been a problem.Built in 1953, the centre suffered from poor insulation and cost almost €60,000 every year to keep warm.The centre’s management approached Sustainable Energy Authority (SEAI) for help.The idea was to transform the premises by weather proofing it and installing state of the art insulation.The SEAI approved a grant - but there was a catch.

The grant was approved in early October, but all work had to be completed by November’s end, a matter of weeks.Matters were further complicated when it became clear that the building contractor would have to be paid as the work was being done, while the grant was only payable on completion.

A local bank was approached for support, but proved hesitant and uncertain.Time was running short.

Here was a project that would deliver jobs and ensure long-term sustainability for a key community service.And it was threatened by a banking system that seemed frozen and incapable of action.

So the Ballyfermot Family Resource Centre turned to Clann Credo for a way out of their dilemma.Their request for assistance was considered, evaluated and approved in just two weeks.

But just as the on site work began in November, the eastern half of the country was literally buried under a deluge of Arctic snow and immobilised by record, sub zero temperatures.It would have been a cruel trick of fate had snow and ice prevented the insulation project from being completed.

But it didn’t.As the country froze over, workers at the site performed daily heroics to get the job done; making sure that the insulation project was delivered on budget and on time.

Sometimes a crisis brings out the best in us.

Location: Ballyfermot Dublin

"So the Ballyfermot Family Resource Centre turned to Clann Credo for a way out of their dilemma. Their request for assistance was considered, evaluated and approved in just two weeks."