A UNIQUE networking group of tradespeople have come together to voluntarily refurbish an elderly sheltered housing scheme.
Residents of the Carroll Meade Development in Dundalk are to have their area transformed by members of the Louth Trades Network (LTN) - a gesture inspired by the TV series ‘The Secret Millionaire’.
The Network was formed 18 months ago by a group of seven tradespeople allied to the building industry as a means of referring business to each other.
The group has since grown to 22 members from across the county and meets once a week in Dundalk.
“A number of members came together to form the organisation in an attempt to fight back against the shrinking amount of work in the building and allied trades, and thankfully, it has been very successful,” said committee member Cormac Malone, a financial services consultant.
“We are based around the construction trade and our members include a plumber, roofer, electrician, carpenter, ground worker, bricklayer, auctioneer, architect, civil engineer, solicitor, financial consultant and so on.
The group is using their combined skills to rejuvenate part of the Dundalk Sheltered Housing Scheme’s Carroll Meade Development, near the centre of the town.
The development consists of 24 houses and a community hall, and was founded by Agnes Carroll of the Carroll tobacco family 41 years ago to provide a community experience for elderly people who may be otherwise alone or isolated.
The LTN are building a new footpath, painting the exteriors of four houses, painting and installing permanent presses in the main community hall, building a shed for a ride-on lawnmower, and cleaning all windows, facias and soffits as well as power washing the main building.
“I had the idea after watching the Secret Millionaire on TV. We have the skills, all we had to do was to find the people that needed them most,” said Cormac.
The footpath was laid last weekend by a group of LTN volunteers, with the main body of work taking place on Saturday, May 12.
“This group have been magnificent in showing that community spirit is flourishing amid this recession,” said Anthony McArdle, chair of the Dundalk Sheltered Housing Scheme committee of seven.