Major inter-agency effort with 2,000 activity packs for Dundalk and Louth families

Major inter-agency effort with 2,000 activity packs for Dundalk and Louth families

2,000 ‘activity packs’ for children aged 4 to 12 years are being distributed this week following a huge inter-agency effort to support families staying at home at this time.

The Initiative has been led by and jointly funded by Louth Children & Young People’s Services Committee (CYPSC) and The Genesis Programme (lead agency Louth leader Partnership).

They have worked in collaboration with early years services, schools, community groups, Tusla, HSE, An Garda Siochana and School Completion Programmes amongst others. A Steering Group comprising representatives of the above have overseen the development of the initiative.

Packing took place at assembly centres in Drogheda (Marymount NS), Dundalk (Redeemer Resource Centre) and Ardee (Parish Centre) on Tuesday (12th May) as 45 volunteers, observing all public health guidelines, helped put the packs together.

At the same time 75 services, schools, agencies and organisations collected their allocation at designated pick-up times from their local centre.

The packs will be delivered to 2,000 families across County Louth and each pack contains colouring books, craft packs, balls, skipping ropes, chalk games and lots more - 15 items in total.

They do also include a beautiful Louth Heritage colouring book, which has been reprinted especially for the packs.

The Packs have been designed for 4-12 years. The contents were also chosen to ensure minimal parental involvement as it was felt that the capacity of parents will vary for different reasons at this time – personal issues, working from home, working out of home etc. and the children should be able to open out the contents and get on with playing with them by themselves.

Joanne Murphy, Coordinator with Louth CYPSC said: “Louth CYPSC are delighted to support this initiative. During this Public Health crisis, it is so important that children's wellbeing and development are supported through play. All the county's children and young people’s services are to be congratulated in bringing this initiative to fruition. In addition, special mention needs to go to The Genesis Programme who have worked tirelessly on the project. We look forward to hearing and seeing all the fun children will have with the Activity Packs.”

Hugh Doogan, Programme Manager with The Genesis Programme added: 2It has been a huge logistical challenge as much as anything with over 30,000 items being sourced, sorted and then distributed. However, there has been great goodwill and as always here in Louth a lot of collaboration. It was great to work closely again on a project with Louth CYPSC. From the first meeting of the Steering Group on Zoom to the packs being distributed it has only been 15 days and that shows that everyone put their shoulder to the wheel. We have received very positive feedback on the quality of the packs and they have been assembled at a cost that represents really good value for money.”