A group of German students were in Clonmel for three weeks recently as guests of the South Tipperary Volunteer Centre and the Intercultural Learning Centre (E.I.L.) Cork. During their stay they worked hard to give the art therapy room in Cuan Saor, the women’s refuge centre a total makeover and also redecorated the social work room in St.Luke’s.
The success of the project was made possible thanks to the co-operation of a number of agencies in South Tipperary. The Volunteer Centre, HSE Clonmel, Cuan Saor and E.I.L. Cork all came together to ensure this worthwhile project was an outstanding success. Also worthy of mention was the generous support of Hogan’s Toymaster, Parnell Street and George Hackett Carpets, Ard Gaoithe retail park.
The students were aided and tutored by well-known Waterford artist John Donovan while Andy Griffin from Clonmel co-ordinated the work on the ground. All are grateful to Clonmel Lions Club who helped to fund the project. The funding made it possible to include a new hand decorated toy box, art canvasses and an artistic installation in the social work room in St.Luke’s.
In Cuan Saor the students gave the art therapy room a new coat of paint, a mural, new floor covering and new toys for the children who use these services. The room also has new art work to encourage the children using the facilities to make full use of their imaginations. A lot of the students’ work was carried out in St. Mary’s parish hall and all concerned are thanked for their co-operation.
The students were hosted by local families and were delighted with the hospitality they received. While in Clonmel they attended a rock concert - as guests of Place2Bee youth centre in Morton Street - performed by Broken Glass on Broadway, which they enjoyed very much. They spent Thursday and Friday nights in Place2Bee and enjoyed the facilities provided while getting to know the local youths, whose company they enjoyed. They also enjoyed a Gaelic football coaching lesson with All-Ireland Football Final referee and coach Brian White.
The students and their leaders all expressed sadness at the prospect of leaving the town and hoped to some day return to Clonmel. They all said that they would cherish the memories of their stay.