Stories from the Frontline: We hope the Goodies were of benefit to members of RAMS and Newcastle ladies

The South Dublin County Volunteer Centre, in partnership with South Dublin County Council, is running a campaign called Stories from the Frontline in recognition of all those who volunteered or are still volunteering during COVID-19

This week Matt and Deirdre Dowling shares their story of volunteering... 

On March 12, the RAMS (Retired Active Mens Social) suspended its weekly activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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Matt and Deirdre Dowling

At first, the RAMS thought it would only be for a few weeks.

When the government recommended those over seventy to cocoon, this was a major blow to all members of RAMS, particularly our neighbours who were widowed, live alone or are unwell - and their only social interaction of the week was visiting RAMS on a Thursday morning.

As both RAMS and the Newcastle Ladies Social Group held weekly activity meetings where everyone enjoyed freshly baked scones and goodies, there was lots of ingredients to use up when the lockdown started.

Due to the restrictions of cocooning and staying at home, my wife Deirdre and I decided to do some home baking and made soups, brown breads and treats for the members of RAMS and the Newcastle Ladies Social Group who lived within walking distance of our home.

We were able to provide this service with assistance from the South Dublin County Council Covid-19 emergency grant, and donations of vegetables from Cllr Francis Timmons.

The Newcastle Community Centre gave us the facilities of their kitchen to cook and bake the scones and brown bread.

As the Newcastle Ladies group met on a Monday and the RAMS on a Thursday morning we decided to do our drop-offs on these days.

Monday was scone-making morning and we delivered these to our recipients, still hot and accompanied with jam and butter - all while ensuring we were Covid and HACCP compliant.

On Thursday morning, we delivered fresh soups, brown breads, croutons and a treat, varying week to week from apple tarts, fruit salad, spotted dick, banana bread, and rich fruit cake.

Our neighbours loved their weekly treats and loved having the quick visit to break their days. Sometimes it was the only visit they received.

We continued this for 10 weeks, and reluctantly finished when funding depleted, and some restrictions were relaxed.

Our final letter was hard to write, after our neighbours were enjoying the eats and treats.

We hope the “goodies” were of some benefit to the members, and we look forward to the return to our various clubs in the near future.

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