19 November 2021
By Elaine Murphy
The true “SHARE spirit” will be extended across the schools of Cork on November 26th for the second annual Yellow Day. In recognition of the challenges the pandemic has brought to organised events, the students of Cork will once again wear yellow on Friday November 26th to raise funds and awareness of the isolation felt by the vulnerable elderly. On the day, hundreds of students from schools across the City will don the familiar yellow jackets to raise awareness of the SHARE (Students Harness Aid for the Relief of the Elderly) organisation.
The annual street collection fundraising campaign will happen as usual in December where a number of students will take part in the annual SHARE 24-hour fast, and keeping with tradition, students will attend the crib daily in the run-up to Christmas as they co-ordinate the daily fundraising effort. Students will collect right up until Christmas Eve, raising much-needed funds for a charity that has looked after the elderly in the region for half a century.
Yellow Day was introduced in 2020 as an outreach to schools across Cork wishing to participate in the annual campaign. Schools and students readily embraced the initiative of wearing yellow for one day and seeking sponsorship for the worthy cause and the response to date has been phenomenal.
Speaking at the recent launch of Yellow Day, Chair of the 2021 Executive, Ronan McAuliffe said,
“This is an extra special year for the SHARE team. The isolation felt by the elderly has no doubt been exacerbated by the pandemic. This year, we’re asking everyone in Cork to ‘Say Hello To Someone You Know’, to recognise that many have borne hardship and been left behind, that there is a lingering pandemic of isolation and loneliness, and that each and every one of us can do a little daily, by remembering that every person matters, and that how saying hello can lift someone’s day.”
Luke Whelan, who is leading the Yellow Day initiative said, “It’s a simple but very meaningful gesture. We want everyone to ‘Say Hello To Someone You Know’ this year, and together we can combat loneliness. All of the schools involved this year have been enthusiastic and hugely supportive of Yellow Day, so we will all be working hard to make it even bigger and better this year.”
Those wishing to support SHARE can donate at https://sharecork.org/donations/.
What is SHARE?
SHARE is a registered charity, founded in 1970 by students from Presentation Brothers College, Cork, who raised funds to try and make existing housing more comfortable. The organisation has gone from strength to strength since then, now encompassing schools across Cork city and county, whose students fast and fundraise annually at Christmas time for SHARE.
Since its foundation in 1970, SHARE has provided a unique link between students and the elderly. It has created a blueprint for positive engagement between students and the elderly community, gaining national and international recognition.
Since its inception, SHARE has tackled the housing crisis for the particularly vulnerable elderly people of Cork City. Evolving over the last 50 years, the organisation, led by students, runs 140 homes in the area, across seven different locations. Students visit these homes on a weekly basis, offering much sought-after social engagement. In addition to this, the Brother Jerome Day Care Centre caters for up to 125 clients each week (with the exception of Covid-19 restriction periods) , offering a social environment, hot meals, fun and activities.
SHARE’s 140 housing units, located around the City, are comfortable, secure and homely, and are overseen by SHARE personnel on an on-going basis.
The continuous maintenance and running of SHARE’s homes, situated around the City at Blarney St, Shandon St, Blackpool, Grattan St, Sunday’s Well, Abbey St and Sheare’s St, is an ongoing commitment for SHARE – a commitment all members of SHARE are happy to undertake, to ensure residents can live in peace and comfort.
- May 1976 – 12 houses built and furnished at Clochán Barra, Coach St
- Dec 1976 – Accommodation provided for 13 people in 3-bedroomed furnished houses at Glendalough, Grenville Place.
- Dec 1977 – 11 homes provided at Ard Mhaca, Sheares St
- Feb 1978 7 – One-storey houses built and furnished at Skellig, Rope Walk, Sunday’s Well
- Dec 1978 – 13 houses completed at Cnoc Mhuire na Toirbhirte, Fair St
- May 1979 – 19 houses completed at Cnoc Mhuire Seandún
- Nov 1980 – Accommodation for 18 people at Teach Chill Chré, Dyke Parade
- Dec 1980 – 15-house complex, Gougane Barra, Abbey St
- Dec 1983 – Ardfert Village, 21 houses at William O’Brien St
- Dec 1988 – Dún Rís, 32-home complex at Grattan St
- Nov 1993 – SHARE’s 200th home was opened as part of a 42-apartment complex at Ard Iosaef, Blarney St
- Dec 2000 – Br Jerome Kelly Day Care Centre opened at Sheare’s St to cater for 50-100 people daily, offering medical and social support, as well as fun and warm meals.
- Feb 2017 – Redeveloped 20 bedsits into 10 apartments
- 2019 – Remodeled 8 homes in Mount St Joseph
SHARE also provides medical and social support through its Day Care Centre on a daily basis, which involves an activity coordinator and support staff. In addition, the HSE provides a nurse and two care assistants who help the clients secure the extra resources and help they require.
In recent years, SHARE has piloted a dementia outreach programme, to visit those living with dementia in the wider community. Where, once vetted, an adult volunteer and two students go on these visits for two hours each week. In addition to keeping the person living with dementia company there is a benefit to the carers as it allows them the freedom to take some time out for themselves, as normally they could be on call 24/7.