20th Anniversary

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Do you remember the year when a goal by Ray Houghton made the country roar, and Ireland beat Italy in the first round of the World Cup? Or the year the interval act of the Eurovision was an overnight sensation and Riverdance was born? It was also the year South Africa held its first multiracial elections and Nelson Mandela was sworn in as President. The Channel Tunnel opened between England and France; and Schindler’s List was the big film that year.

The year was 1994. It opened with unemployment high at 15.1% – equal to the highest rate hit during this current recession. In parts of Dublin’s inner city, jobless figures were much higher. The so-called Celtic Tiger had not yet emerged. Something had to be done.

A group of Dublin churches came together to address the problem of long-term unemployment and out of this initiative Robin Boles and I founded Jobcare.

I am delighted to announce that Jobcare is 20 years old this year. In 1994 Jobcare ran its first job-seeking skills course for jobseekers. Since then Jobcare has been dedicated to delivering courses, work programmes  and relevant supports designed to help people look for, find, and keep work.

Working brings income, brings structure to the day, brings physical, mental, emotional, and indeed for some spiritual, satisfaction. Working and not working positively and negatively impact family life, friends, neighbours, and community acquaintances. Working contributes financially to the overall economy. I remain convinced that working matters.

2014 is going to be a year to celebrate in Jobcare. We celebrate twenty years of good news stories – of individuals finding work, becoming independent, supporting their families, achieving their goals, and having self-esteem and hope restored. We celebrate and thank all those who have made Jobcare such a special place – clients and staff members past and present, volunteers, funders, supporters of all kinds. We call you all Friends of Jobcare.

Here’s an interesting statistic. We calculate that over 20 years the Jobcare kitchen has served 298,098 cups of tea and 160,571 coffees!! Behind each cuppa there’s a person. The tea is important. It represents a warm welcome, a listening ear, words of encouragement and support, sometimes a ‘It’s ok, there will be another opportunity’, and very often a ‘Well done – you got the job!’ This reminds me that it’s not all about what we teach our jobseekers, but how we do it.

To mark the year we will host one or two special events to get our Friends together, launch a fundraising effort for Jobcare, and tell the Jobcare story in one way or another wherever we can. The Jobcare story is actually your story too – we would love you to tell your part of the bigger story. Find us on Facebook  or LinkedIn and share how Jobcare helped you find work, or what your involvement with Jobcare has been.

To keep up-to-date with latest news from Jobcare, and hear about events and activities to do with the 20th Anniversary, sign-up to Friends of Jobcare.

I would like to wish all friends and supporters of Jobcare blessings for 2014 and hope to have the opportunity to get in touch with all of you at some stage during the year.

Paul Mooney

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