Jeroen Holtkamp (one of the event organisers) with Gary Blanchfield from Alone.

Dilemmas in Care: ‘Inspiring’ to hear views people have

The organisers of an event in Castlepollard looking at ways to combat social isolation say it was “very inspiring” to hear people’s views.

Around 50 people attended the event in Castle Varagh Hotel on October 19, which was organised by the local support group Dilemmas in Care, as well as representatives from local community groups and national bodies.

Attendees were broken up into groups and asked to discuss a series of questions relating to social isolation, during a facilitated talk overseen by Gary Blanchfield from Alone.

“The facilitated conversation went very well and people seemed to really enjoy the evening. It was inspiring to see everyone come together as a group.

“People were asked to give their views on a number of topics, including what causes loneliness and what can be done about it,” organiser Jeroen Holtkamp told the Westmeath Examiner.

Mr Holtkamp said that he his colleagues in Dilemmas in Care are grateful for the support they received from groups and individuals, including Alone, the National Learning Network, Mental Health Ireland, the Mullingar Mental Health Association, the HSE, the Ballinalack community and the Tidy Towns committee. He also thanked the hotel and its staff.

Dilemmas in Care was founded to help people going through a hard time to connect with others. It meets on the second Monday of the month in the sacristy of St Michael’s Church.

Elizabeth Fitzsimons, Phyliss McKeon and Eamon Reilly at the registration desk.
Julia Smith and Finola Colgan (Mental Health Association) on Thursday.
Kathleen Doran, Vincent Sykes and Carol Hayden from Castlepollard Tidy Towns.
Jeroen Holtkamp (one of the organisers) with Gary Blanchfield from Alone.
Derek Walsh (Dilemmas and Care Exchange and Listening Group) with Colm McNamee from Castlepollard Library.
Philomena Brennan, Maureen Coghlan and Annie Fagan from Castlepollard.
Cliff Gurren (organising committee) and Annie Kelly from Family Carers Ireland.