Local Faces: Janice Nutley
PICKING up a piece of litter or planting a shrub are the small steps bringing about big change for the residents in one Tallaght estate.
The community of Kilmartin in Fettercairn is a flourishing example of how communities can and want to create change in their area, and how volunteers like Janice Nutley are playing a vital role.
A familiar face around Kilmartin, Janice is out-and-about in the area around four times a week cleaning, painting, or planting.
Spending the first seven years of her life in Ballymun, Janice moved to Cushlawn in Tallaght with her family when she was seven.
For the past 12 years, Janice has been settled in Kilmartin in Fettercairn, where she lives with her two teenage daughters.
It was when Janice was getting the keys to her new home in Kilmartin that she first crossed paths with Fettercairn Estate Management, a service based in the Fettercairn Community Centre that offers advice, support and a direct link to the council for locals.
“I met Mary Keegan from the Fettercairn Estate Management team when I got my keys for my local authority house in Kilmartin,” Janice recalls.
“A while later I met Betty Cavery.
“Betty is a very active member of the estate management team in Fettercairn and we became great friends.
“I admired the work that Betty did around the estate, and I started to go out with Betty, helping her and the community tidying the estate.
“I wanted to get more involved so I asked if I could join the estate management.”
That was around five years ago, with Janice now an estate management volunteer for the Kilmartin area.
Alongside having an interest in gardening and helping to keep her area clean, Janice has two teenage daughters.
“I have two daughters and I started volunteering for them, I want them to grow up in a nice estate and for that to happen, I needed to get out and give a hand.
“I thought it might also encourage other people to get out.
“I thought maybe I could help inspire others the way Betty inspired me.”
Janice is also a link to the Fettercairn Estate Management team for residents, which creates a pathway for ideas and suggestions to get to South Dublin County Council.
“There’s plenty that can be done by residents in estates, and I think there’s a lack of understanding around what can be achieved,” Janice said.
“If we all look after our own little patch, change will grow from that.
“The community here has managed to turn Kilmartin around by coming together and helping one another.
“Everyone has helped to turn the estate into a positive, healthy environment to raise their children and it lifts the spirits of the community.
“We’ll continue doing what we can to work together and keep our estate clean, tidy and pollution free.”
Janice noted the support received from South Dublin County Council, with the local authority providing plants, shrubs, paint, paint brushes, litter pickers, plastic bags etc. – and regularly removing rubbish collected by residents.
“Huge thanks to the council for all their support and help,” Janice said.
“And to the local gardai, who support our community events.”
According to Janice, change can only come about by everyone working together, residents, the council, local gardai and services.
However, she believes that more consistent funding is needed to maintain areas and support residents in their work, as an undoing of progress would discourage people coming out in the future – especially children.
“It’s vital to encourage children to get out and help,” Janice said.
“It shows young kids that helping out in their community is what we all should be doing… it’s about trying to normalise that.”
She added: “People do not expect the council to do everything, residents understand that it’s up to everyone and most people don’t have a problem helping.
“However, communities need support, funding and encouragement.
“It has taken a few years to build up trust and comradeship, it’s not going to happen overnight, but it will, and it has in Kilmartin.
“This is a community effort, and everybody has worked together to create a positive and healthy outlook for the estate.
“It’s helping to build relations between neighbours and giving people hope, they see that people do care.
“People look forward to coming home, look forward to walking through their area.
“It gives everyone a sense of self-worth; people are contributing to the development of their area.
“And it also helps with anti-social behaviour.”
Each road in Kilmartin has its own team, which focuses on their patch and keeping it clean.
“In Kilmartin, each road has its own team, and the residents are great, it’s catching on,” she said.
“We’re also becoming more aware of our neighbours who may need help and physically can’t get out.
“We have a communal lawnmower so if someone is cutting their grass, maybe they can cut their neighbours.
“It’s bringing people together… and giving everyone the chance to put their own stamp on the estate.”
Janice encouraged anybody who would like to get involved in their area but does not know where to start to drop into their local community centre, which can provide information or point them in the right direction.