Local Faces: Yvonne Anderson
Yvonne believes in the value of family support

Local Faces: Yvonne Anderson

COMMUNITY development has always been at the forefront of everything Yvonne Anderson does.

Working as a project manager at St Kevin’s Family Resource Centre (KFRC) in Kilnamanagh, Yvonne took up the position in November and has big plans for the centre and the community.

Hailing from Ongar on the Northside of Dublin, Yvonne has worked in the Tallaght area since 2010, having previously worked as a youth officer and youth justice officer in Foróige.

“I got involved in family resource centres because I was the director on the board of management and I used to run youth clubs – that is how I got a really positive feeling for the centres and believe in the value of the family support and family resource programme,” Yvonne told The Echo.

“My role here is to oversee all of the different activities that come in and out of the centre. We have community education programmes – for example we have a craft group, and the tutor comes in and we would then identify the needs in the community, and that is how our community education groups go on.”

Yvonne Anderson

Established in 1994, the centre serves the communities of Kilnamanagh, Tymon North and Kingswood. With an ‘open-door’ policy, the resource centre is a non-profitable organisation which is run by a voluntary board of management, offering a wide range of services such as counselling, community education, holistic therapy, childcare and rooms available to rent for the community.

Speaking about the responsibilities in her new position, Yvonne said: “I would also provide a lot of family support at the minute, which is really good because it is not something that has really been done before.

“The families I work with have been referred in through the public health nurse, so I would work with them on a one-to-one basis. We are in the process of hiring a community and family development worker, so that a staff member will continue on the community and family development in the new year.”

Yvonne previously worked as a youth justice worker with Foróige, starting back in 2010.

We provide a Rainbow service for children

“I worked in Jobstown on the Garda Youth Diversion Programme,” she explained. “Basically, my role there was to divert young people from crime.

“I would have worked with people who were referred in through the Gardai and also those that we knew of in the community who would have been at risk of becoming involved in crime.”

Yvonne worked with the young people who were referred in through group work about drug and alcohol education, sexual health and also on a one-to-one basis in hopes to divert them from going down the wrong path.

“We were looking at why they were involved in crime and how we could overcome it. We also would have looked at support in school and attainment of employment opportunities.”

Yvonne decided to take a break to go travelling, before returning to work as a youth officer at Foróige, which gave her the opportunity to work with volunteers, recruiting and training them to set up youth clubs in different areas across South Dublin before taking up her most recent position at KFRC.

Yvonne Anderson

KFRC are setting out their five-year strategic plan next year, which will seek community engagement and undertaking a needs analysis and public consultation which will shape the overall plan and goals.

Speaking about what she personally envisions and hopes for KFRC and for the communities it serves, Yvonne says she would love to see “a variety of people” coming into the centre.

“We are currently running very successful programmes for the community, but I would love to see a social group for children on the spectrum, which I am actually in the process of setting up,” says Yvonne.

“I would also love to see a lot more being done on parenting programmes, providing support. We provide the Rainbows service here for children who are experiencing separation, either parental separation or bereavement.

“We are the only local centre that runs it and we deal with a lot of parents who are looking for support around parental separation and wondering how they can talk to their child about it – I think the parental support is something that would be greatly needed in our catchment area.”

Yvonne says she hopes more people will avail of the services that are offered in the centre.

“There are people born and bred in Kilnamanagh that walk by us every day but don’t know that we are here,” she explained.

“I think it is really important that people know we are here, and one of my main goals would be to raise the profile of the centre. We probably have about 100 people who come through our doors every week, but if you look at the population of Kilnamanagh, Kingswood and Tymon, there are a lot of people we aren’t reaching.”

For more information on the services or groups offered at KFRC, you can go to the website at www.stkevinsfrc.ie or get in touch at info@stkevinsfrc.ie or by calling (01) 462 7149.

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