GROW Celebrates 25 Years in North Cork

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GROW marked 25 years since the establishment of a weekly GROW group in Kanturk at a special celebratory dinner attended by its members.

GROW is one of Ireland’s oldest mental health charities and provides a 12-step practical programme for anyone experiencing stress, anxiety or any form of mental or emotional distress. GROW began in Australia, with the first GROW group established in Ireland almost 50 years ago.

GROW Southern Regional Chairperson, Diarmuid Cronin, making a presentation to Nora Daly in recognition of her commitment to GROW as a volunteer for the past 25 years.

It now offers over 120 free, weekly support groups nationwide including two weekly meetings in Kanturk. GROW’s establishment in North Cork is thanks to Nora Daly, from Newmarket.

As explained by GROW Area Coordinator, Noreen O’Sullivan: “Nora read an article about GROW written by the late Maureen Fox in The Examiner Newspaper. She believed that there was a need for GROW in North Cork and set about commencing a GROW group in Kanturk.

“The meetings were initially held in a room, kindly provided by the Sisters of Mercy at their convent. Later, the meeting moved to the Duhallow Resource Centre (at the rear of Kanturk Community Hospital) where it still meets to this day.”

Like any group in its infancy, the weekly meetings required a lot of work, effort and commitment to get off the ground.

Nora Daly with the GROW 25th anniversary celebration cake

“Many people have been helped and supported us throughout those years, and the fact that GROW has sustained its group in Kanturk over all this time is testament to the effectiveness of the GROW Programme and the peer support offered by the group,” highlights Noreen.

To this day, Nora Daly continues to work tirelessly on behalf of GROW. She still supports the weekly GROW group in a voluntarily capacity some 25 years on.

“This is an amazing commitment by any standards, and GROW is extremely grateful for such wonderful support,” adds Noreen.

GROW meetings are free, confidential and held in a friendly, supportive and relaxed environment. As Noreen highlights, the need for GROW’s services is even greater now than 25 years ago.

“Approximately, 17% of the Irish population suffer from some form of social anxiety, one fifth of people will experience at least one panic attack, and one in ten will suffer from depression. If you feel isolated, alone, or depressed, or just feel you can do with support, come along on Monday nights at 8pm to the Duhallow Resource Centre. You will get a warm welcome. We also have a Day Centre Meeting on Thursday mornings, but attendance at this is by referral only,” emphasises Noreen.

GROW would like to thank the people of North Cork for supporting the organisation down through the years, especially the volunteer collectors at its various fundraising events.

If you would like to learn more about GROW, visit www.grow.ie or telephone GROW’s infoline on 1890 474 474. Alternatively, you can contact local GROW Area Coordinator Noreen O’Sullivan on 086-1726004.