ATD Ireland 2022 in review

As we approach the end of 2022, we would like to pay reference to some of the highlights and main projects of the past year.  It was a time to rebuild after things began to open up again post Covid- 19 and was ultimately a much brighter time.  However, it is important to acknowledge this was still a difficult time for many families and individuals living in poverty.  We will continue to work towards our goals next year in supporting families and creating a more equal and just world for all.  See here to read ATD Ireland’s strategic goals for 2022- 2026.  Thank you to everyone who supported us this year including our community activists, families, volunteers, interns, funders and all the organisations we worked with.  We wish you a merry Christmas and happy new year!

Family visits and family support

Family visits were made a lot easier this year post Covid. We noticed many families continued to face difficulties this year, particularly in the context of the cost- of- living and energy crisis, as well as ongoing issues related to living in poverty.  We also have tried to be there for people during the many happy moments had over the year.  Next year we will continue to support families we know and make efforts to reach out to new families and individuals who are struggling.  Read more here.

Chooseday Tuesdays- This was introduced as a way to encourage families to come into the office after the pandemic.  Some good art workshops have taken place over the year- mosaic, planting, painting, woodworking, etc. It has also been good to have an informal drop-in day always available.

Poverty Aware Practice

ATD Ireland continued to deliver poverty- aware practice sessions this year to social work students.  In April we delivered the first in person session at Trinity College after the online sessions during the pandemic.  We have worked with both undergraduate and masters level students.  The module has also begun to reach outside of Trinity College. In October we were invited to an Irish Association of Social Workers conference and in November we first delivered the session to students at UCD. 

This is a project which continually has engagement from community activists, who have played a big role in the content shared during the module.  The activists who have at one stage or another taken part include Paul, Gavin, Andrew, Lorraine, Kye, Jimmy, Christina and Ann Marie. The classes have evolved over year and there has been evidence of progression in conceptual thinking.  We will continue to work on how to improve this module in the long term for both community activists and students alike.

Thank you to all the community activists and univertsities involved particularly Robbie Gilligan, Erna O’  Connor and Joe Whelan from Trinity College, Joe Mooney from UCD and the IASW.

We have continually received positive feedback from professors and students.

It really resonated with what we’re trying to impart in class and I think the students really got a lot from it. Sincere thanks to Gavin, Paul, Lorraine, and Andrew for the time and insights… invaluable.

It was important to present it at trinity because it is a well renowned college not only in Ireland but across the world and where better to try and get the message that we are trying to convey than on such a big platform.”

After today’s class, and especially after Lorraine’s experience, I will be even more mindful of client’s experiences

Read more about these poverty aware practice sessions and watch the new video here.

Hidden Dimensions of Poverty educational Resource– In February, in a collaboration with the Margaret Aylward Centre for Faith and Dialogue, we delivered three sessions of the Hidden Dimensions of Poverty.  This included an online zoom session and a workshop with 5th year students from St. Mary’s Holy Faith Secondary School.  Thank you to Dymphna Mallon from the Margaret Aylward Centre, Brian from the Presentation Sisters and Martin from Christian Brothers, St. Mary’s Holy Faith secondary school and all who attended any of the workshops during the week.

We found it really interesting when the lady was talking about putting dignity and potential together, we said it’s all well and good when you’re nice to someone and you’re polite to them, but when you’re believing that you’re fundamentally different based on how much money they have, then you’re not actually doing anything for them”.

Learn more about the hidden dimensions of poverty educational resource app here.

Read more about the workshop with St Mary’s Holy Faith here.

Read about the zoom session here. 

Next year we hope to deepen our engagement with those involved in academia through promoting and academic support of the Hidden Dimensions of Poverty Participatory Research Toolkit which was released this year, further poverty aware practice sessions and the potential of a jointly led academic paper, involvement in academic led research projects and #Addthe10th Breaking Barriers IHREC funded project.  The purpose of this project is to come up with a definition of socio- economic status/ socio- economic discrimination that may be considered in any potential changes to the equality legislation and to come up with this definition in a participatory way. In the process we will develop a series of tools to raise awareness and challenge perceptions of socio- economic discrimination to be used in our poverty aware practice sessions at universities and other settings.

The #Addthe10th campaign

The #addthe10th campaign ramped up this year. Through our online jigsaw piece campaign and petition we gained further public, political, academic and community and voluntary sector awareness. 

We had the opportunity to raise this issue to relevant members of government at various events including visits to the office from government officials including Mary Lou McDonald, and the #Addthe10th alliance presentation at Leinster HouseThis was an important moment in breaking barriers between high level politicians and people with lived experience of poverty.  This event will be something to build on in promoting a more participatory process in anti- poverty policy making.

“I just hope that the work we did there on that day is a beacon of hope for Ireland”. 

Further Andrew presenting at the United Nations was significant in this regard. Read more here.

Through our lens at last- We successfully completed another IHREC funded, #Addthe10th oriented project this year.  Making this a youth oriented project gave us an opportunity to get to know more young people in the area.  It also gave us a better link with different organisations and an understanding of the positive actions taking place.

Thank you to the ATD Ireland community activists, Bradog youth project, Ballyfermot familibase and Ballymun youthreach for being involved.  Thanks to Steven Daly and Catriona Loughlin for filming and editing and thank you to IHREC for funding this project.  Read more and watch the film here. 

We attended almost all ATD European youth events this year with community activists Andrew and Gavin and hope to continue to be involved next year and bring more new young community activists.  Read more here.

Leave No One Behind Series 3

We began LNOB series 3 in the latter half of this year. We carried out workshops in our office on Tuesdays with DALC (Dublin Adult Learning Centre).  We carried out various art projects with them including painting, woodburning, poetry and had deep conversations about the stigma of illiteracy, socio- economic discrimination, good health and wellbeing in communities, and unease with current government politics and policy. We also got to learn about the positive work and new projects happening at DALC.

We also visited Donegal for a mindfulness workshop and had the opportunity to learn about mental health and wellbeing in rural communities. 

Thank you to Finola in Donegal and DALC for being involved and Concern for funding this project.

Next year we will plan further workshops in Dublin and across the country.

Read more here


17th October

We had a successful 17th October event this year.  It was the first event in a few years without any Covid- 19 restrictions.  Thank you to all who attended, especially those who gave a testimony.  Thank you to the 17th October committee and thank you to the Department of Social Protection for funding this project.

Read more here

  • We participated in membership organisation events this year- including ATD Fourth World International, ATD Europe, the #Addthe10th alliance, Community Platform, EAPN, Coalition 2030 and Dublin city PPN and others.

Read more here.

  • We added new younger members to the team including several interns and Rebecca joining the team.

See you all in the New Year!