Minister of State, Aodhán Ó Riordáin, TD, (Minister with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy) visited SAOL. Here are some pictures taken during the visit:
Orla starts the visit off well with a home-made pancake.
Belinda and Aohdáin examining the work of the After Care Groups
Half an hour before - Martina and Orla working hard, getting the room ready! And below, Katriona finishes off a poster for the 'Still Locked Out' publication.
Gary explains our plans for the Children's Centre while also whistling and spinning the decks! Sean is not impressed.
Jean risks life and limb getting the room ready for the visit.
Worth the acrobatics, Jean! Our art tree is filled with the mindfulness mandalas - hand painted by the CE group.
And after the work, the posing! Jean, Pamela, Edel and Louise - ready to meet the Minister.
Vanessa presents the first set of feedback from 'It's Talk Time' to the Minister, on the topic of Health
Minister listens intently as Pamela presents feedback on Childcare.
Seanie looks a bit shell-shocked as he is caught between Orla and sue who gave feedback to the Minister relating to 'Accommodation' and 'Childcare'. A full report of all this feedback will be typed up and sent to the Minister as quickly as possible and we will publish that report on this page when completed.
The Minister thanked the women for their report and asked for a written up version to be on his desk sooner rather than later! He also acknowledged that the work completed by the aftercare group was very important saying that the real voice of women in recovery was needed. We asked him to do his best to ensure that this voice was included in the next National Drug Strategy.
Sabrina listens in from the back room, cup of tea in hand!
Martina explains the difficulties for women who are trying to detox and mind their children.
Yvonne looks very serious as she listens to some of the harrowing stroies shared by the women.
At times it was hard for everyone to listen to the stories of poverty, powerlessness and lost years of waiting.
So as a means of lightening the atmosphere, we gave Aodhán a 'Rita Says' mug. And her question? "Are you sure you can handle it? Would a little help make it easier?" And in fairness, he is asking!
Catriona Crowe, our chairperson, explains matterts further with Mel (NICLDATF co-ordinator) listening in and Gary breathing out!
Gary looking very pleased with himself - probably because he has just handed over a pile of SAOL publications to the Minister!
You come to visit a project and they give you a library worth of reading material; it's just not fair. But at least you get a mug!
Aodhán with Carolanne, a former student.
With the group.
Sue and Ger pose in the garden.
More posing, this time from Karen, Sue and Janet.
And Minister, you may have the Task force's but we have 'Charlie's angels'! AKA Nora, Meadhbh and Orla.