Care Projects Updates

Lives Without Fear

We all want the best for our families and communities. Unfortunately, drug intimidation is a large part of life in many areas of Dublin, including the North Inner City.

“Lives Without Fear – What can work?” is a locally focused Drug Related Intimidation Conference, hosted by the NICDATF and NEIC PIB (North East Inner City Programme Implementation Board).

Monday 18th June 2018 from 9:00am to 1:30pm in the Ash Suite, Croke Park. Conference is free, but booking is essential.
If you are interested in going, please let us know and we can send you a registration form.

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2017 Annual Report

Every spring as we approach our AGM, we take time to look back on the last year. CEO Richard Carson opens the 2017 report with these words:

On the noticeboard in our office there is a short list of reminders. Staff, when at their most mindful, take a moment to read them while coming from or going to our community activities. One simply states “Beginning, Middle, End, Rest.” It is a reminder of how to process one’s task of being present to the people we seek to support.

This Annual Report is a moment of ‘Rest’ – a chance to take stock of how 2017 went for the ACET Team. It is full of stories of new Beginnings, of being present in the Middle, of embracing End realities and of insisting that Rest is not a means to an efficient end but part of the impactful work itself.

We look back at the Education projects, the Care work – including the story of one family – and Matilda Project in Zimbabwe plus a snapshot of our financial accounts, with thanks to our funders, supporters and all those we work alongside.

Read the 2017 annual report here.

You can always click onto our 2017 report on our ‘Contact Us’ page, along with previous annual reports and newsletters.

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Quilt Group: Here and Now, after 25 Years

The quilt group is now in its 25th year. Some of the members are from the original core group — a testimony to the fact that this gathering continues to be relevant in today’s society.

It started in an effort to immortalise those who had been lost to HIV-related illness in the Rialto Crumlin area. As this was very challenging, the group also took time to address hope issues.

New Projects:

Recently the group created some cushions from items, such as a beloved jacket, belonging to those whom were lost. Again, making these was very emotional but we felt that it was a healing project to be involved in.

Presently we are producing a quilt with all the names of those who have died, a fitting memorial to celebrate 25 years.

The journey we undertook 25 years ago was not a certain one, but as it evolved it became clear that this group formed part of bereavement support for families in this area. We will continue to work making quilts as long as it is necessary and supportive to those who grieve.

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The new face of care work

Recently, referrals for care support have become more culturally dynamic and diverse.

While migrant clients represent a small percentage of ACETs overall client group, working with HIV and health management is layered with many complexities. ACET’s care team acknowledge the additional nuances associated with a migration story:

  • language barriers
  • cultural differences
  • limited knowledge of local community and social structures.

While medication adherence and clinic attendance tend to be consistent, migrant clients often discuss negative experiences and fears of disclosure, stigma, racism and segregation from their local community.

Unique challenges

Clients who are undocumented or living in direct provision experience further challenges associated with marginalisation and lack of education and employment opportunities. This is often combined with a concern about accepting support from external organisations and becoming identifiable and risking deportation. Finding appropriate working spaces for care support can be challenging when clients are living in direct provision centers or overcrowded homes on the outskirts of communities. Often clients are unable to travel as a result of limited finances and lack of childcare, further isolating them from necessary supports.

ACET sometimes only support

While some clients have made positive steps towards education, work and integration and have opportunities associated with being granted leave to remain or citizenship, others continue to face significant barriers associated with their undocumented status. The care team, sometimes the only support, continue to develop their understanding of the impact of the migration process and sensitively engage with clients on care plans which are reflective of ever-changing circumstances and support needs.

 

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Friends Remembering Friends

You are invited to join us in St Andrew’s Resource Centre on 30 November to remember friends, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, and community members who have passed away.

With songs, inspirational readings, and reciting of names, Friends Remembering Friends gives a space to reflect on those we love who are no longer with us.

Hosted by ACET board member Tony MacCarthaigh and the quilt group, who will unveil their most recent work, the event is both memorial and celebratory, as together we look to the life that is around us.

Thursday, 30 November, 12 noon, St Andrew’s Resource Centre, Rialto, Dublin 8

FriendsRememberingFriends

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New referrals

One theme of our care work over the last few months has been an influx of new people being referred to us. Different stages of the year yield different levels of referrals, and this past Autumn/Winter has seen us meeting a lot of new people. Meeting someone for the first time can be brilliant, inspiring, challenging, and nervy– all at once! Usually, in the first meeting, through listening to their story, and speaking about how ACET could work alongside them, the conversation runs on to sharing at a deeper level, and that opens the door to real connection with them and their context.

The initial stage of working with someone new can be challenging as we get to know their circumstances, learn what motivates them, and how best to support them. Sometimes, it may take a while before a person regularly keeps meetings we arrange. Lack of familiarity can be a major barrier, but perseverance and patience help overcome it. To use a horticulture analogy, this is the sowing season; putting in the work now in hope of future success. One of the people we recently started working with reflected, “At first, I wasn’t sure about you, but now I know I can call you and feel really supported”.

 

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Flower pots along a window sill.

Care Work Day to Day

In the past few months, our care work has focused on:

  • Medical support: particular clients have been motivated to engage with testing, adhere to new and existing medication regimes and attend clinic appointments with the support and encouragement of care staff.
  • New referrals: needs range from housing, health and migration issues. While building new relationships we have also assisted with applications and interagency work, alongside the appropriate health focus.
  • Linking with extended family members of existing clients: as a result of already established relationships, we have been able to provide immediate support in areas of health promotion, advocacy for social justice issues and boundaries within family units.
  • Mid-term and Easter respite: visits to museums, the zoo, Malahide Castle and Farmleigh provided a welcome break for families and individuals. Creating memories also helps strengthen intergenerational relationships. Respite is an invaluable support: we are grateful for the funding for it.

IMG_5532 IMG_5641 IMG_5735

Respite in many forms: family baking projects; rock climbing; playground time.

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Care work: Unearthing Joy

The care team have had a busy few months so far in 2015, continuing to meet with individuals and families in their homes, out and about in cafes and clinics, and working with emerging and ongoing challenges, as well as celebrating and acknowledging the positive moments. Our hope is to continue with our ongoing family care projects, as well as putting together respite activities for young people and individuals’, depending on funding and client needs.  This is always a huge focus of the summer months as there are more opportunities to come together, joining in on activities and continuing to build relationships.  We are receiving new referrals from various hospitals, which gives further opportunity to support and care for those living with and affected by HIV.

Upon some reflection, we see our care work a bit like preparing for the Irish weather – you never know exactly what it will bring, but you try to be prepared for whatever is coming!  You acknowledge the rainstorms and work through them, but rejoice when the sunshine is out and appreciate every moment of it.  Some days are chaotic, some are beautiful and many of them are mixed but it really does seem so much easier when you have someone you trust who shows up and stands with you throughout it all.  The care team aim to be the ones who show up in the midst of this, communicating to those we work with, “I hear you, I see you, and I’m here with you.” With the plans we have in place, we also want to acknowledge the space where God leads us to stand in the gap of hardship or isolation or hunger or sickness. We plan to help find goodness and beauty throughout hardships and disappointments, to unearth discarded joy and use it as a resource through those personal battles.  Alongside these ideals for clients, we continue to help source the practical and emotional ways that ACET’s collaborative relationship fits into their life stories.

We look forward to the summer and all of the adventures and opportunities for relationship-building that lie ahead – whether it’s practical resourcing for clients, long chats over cups of tea in an inner-city cafe, a DART journey with young people headed back from the beach singing One Direction songs, or sitting beside someone in an overcrowded hospital; we are blessed to be in it with them, and pray for goodness and joy to abound in it all.

 

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2015: Looking Forward

We closed out 2014 visiting with clients and client families and offering practical support in the form of Christmas hampers. What has been striking about the start of the New Year is the need for many people to talk, reflect and take the necessary time to refocus before moving forward in to 2015. It is at this critical moment ACET care staff spend time planning and discussing with clients how we can continue to support them with ongoing needs while also establishing new goals in areas including health, finances and family relationships. While we look forward to seeing what 2015 holds for our care work we recognise that it is these times of transition which often act as a reference point as challenges emerge in the months that follow. With this in mind our work will prioritise this time allowing it to frame care strategies as we wait to see how the year unfolds.

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