Residents unite to bring hope and love to their community

By Aura McMenamin

Residents in Russell Square came together last weekend to remember those who died, as yet another community grieves a recent spate of deaths by suicide.

Jobstown resident Jennifer Wickham, decided to organise a Tree of Hope planting after what she describes as an increase in suicides in the estate in recent times.

Tree of Hope 12 Russell Square 31082017

The estate has been plagued by anti-social behaviour and loss, but people living in the area are hoping to build a stronger sense of community, with a Meet Your Neighbour event held after the tree planting.

Jennifer has been living in the Jobstown estate for five years. She’s a member of the newly-formed Residents Association, which was formed by her and other women in the estate as a solution for anti-social behaviour.

Speaking to The Echo ahead of the two events, she said: “There’s a lot of negativity in our estate. Over the last few months, there’s been [several] suicides. There’s been overdoses. Just a lot of death here lately.”

The event was marked by releasing yellow balloons in memory of the people lost, and attendees were encouraged to bring a photograph of their loved ones.

Jennifer reported feeling that she felt the event had gone successfully with 50-60 people attending the planting ceremony on Saturday morning.

Jennifer added: “This Tree of Hope isn’t just for people lost to suicide though, it’s for everyone who’s lost somebody.”

Cheryl McQuillan has been living in Russell Square for over ten years. She spoke to The Echo about the urgent need for communication and fraternity among neighbours to support mental health struggles.

Cheryl said: “This Tree of Hope is the beginning of the link; it’s for the ones we lost, but it’s mainly for the ones we still have here.

“When we plant trees, we plant seeds of peace and seeds of hope, so even in the darkest days there’s seeds of hope.”

She had a message for people struggling with mental health problems and contemplating suicide: “I just want anyone who is suffering to know it might be tough at the moment, but there is help out there and things will get brighter.

“It will not always be like this, you just have to hold on. You may not realise it but the world needs you in it.”

Jennifer said the ceremony, which was followed by a Meet Your Neighbour event in the Jobstown Community Centre, was to encourage the community to combat the anti-social behaviour and isolation felt by residents.

She said she met several neighbours through the two events and had even recruited two new members for their Resident’s Association.

Russell Square will hold a Family Fun Day on September 9. Admission is free.

The Pieta House Helpline can be reached at 076 6805278

The Samaritans 24-hr helpline for Ireland can be reached at 116 123.

Prev Residents too frightened to report anti-social incidents
Next Video captures Tallaght residents being intimidated and threatened by young thugs

  • Clondalkin St Patrick's Day parade gets underway
  • Crowds turn out for Clondalkin St Patrick's Day Parade 2019
  • The Echo 2019 Amateur Sports Awards launch
  • Sean Cox GAA charity match presentation
  • Ballyfermot's Dragon Twirlers rock the Ireland's Got Talent stage

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.