Phoenix Clubhouse: Twenty years a-growing
THE Phoenix Clubhouse in Clondalkin kicked off three days of celebrations marking its 20th anniversary with a community event in their premises on Monastery Road last week.
The community mental health service invited councillors, mental health teams and members of the community to their first day of celebrations last Wednesday morning, November 9.
Attendees at the event got to see photos of the clubhouse over the years, which first opened in a unit above the Ulster Bank in Clondalkin and was then based on Station Road.
Eight years ago, the HSE-run service moved to its current location at 96 Monastery Road where it provides support for people who are in recovery from mental health issues.
Margaret O’Connor, manager of the Phoenix Clubhouse, told The Echo: “We’re a support service for adults with mental health issues, to help them on the road to recovery.
“We’re non-medical, so we help with things like confidence, and helping people to get back into the community, or upskilling and going back to work.
“It’s a HSE-funded service, and you need to be well enough to attend – we help people on the road to recovery, where they’re managing their mental health but need social support.
“We help people with conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar and schizophrenia.”
The clubhouse has provided its services without interruption – even during the pandemic – over the last 20 years, which was acknowledged at the event.
This acknowledgment was in the form of a booklet and poster that commemorated how the service supported its clients throughout the course of the pandemic and continues to do so.
“We never closed during Covid,” explained Ms O’Connor. “We had a booklet and a poster to commemorate how the clubhouse supported clients through Covid.”
Last Thursday the clubhouse had a moment of remembrance for club members who had passed away during the pandemic, and a tree was planted in the grounds of the clubhouse in their memory.
While the pandemic is now a notable part of the history of the Phoenix Clubhouse, so too is the growth of the service from when it first opened its doors in 2002 to the present day.
Back then, the service had a staff of two, and five members. Now there is a staff of five and 76 members on their books.
“What’s of note over the years is the continuation of the essence of the clubhouse,” said Ms O’Connor, who’s worked there for the past six years.
“It’s all about the members and the staff working together. That continuity of support, and it being a place where people are proud to come to and want to be here, that’s what stands out to me.”
The service continues to go from strength to strength, with members from all over the county, including areas such as Tallaght, Lucan and Ballyfermot, attending.
When asked what she finds most fulfilling about working in the Phoenix Clubhouse, Ms O’Connor said: “It’s working with people and alongside different types of people and giving everybody a voice.
“Everyone shows each other dignity and respect.”