The importance of Ballymahon's Bridgeways FRC in the community

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Natalia  Bialoszewska & Angus Kennedy, Ballymahon Vocational School

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Natalia Bialoszewska & Angus Kennedy, Ballymahon Vocational School

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Bridgeways FRC, Ballymahon

Grace Kearney stands in the doorway of the Dean Egan Library, where Bridgeways Family Resource Centre provides valuable services to the local community.

Grace Kearney stands in the doorway of the Dean Egan Library, where Bridgeways Family Resource Centre provides valuable services to the local community.

Bridgeways Family Resource Centre was set up in Ballymahon in 2005 due to high levels of unemployment, poverty and social disadvantages, by the Department of Community and Family Affairs.

The Centre is situated in the Dean Egan library in Ballymahon.

Bridgeways FRC is part of a national programme. There are 107 family resource centres in Ireland. Bridgeways FRC was set up 13 years ago.

This year (2018) Bridgeways was given €25,000 to create a modern youth space for the local young people.
They work with young people ageing from 0-18, adults and elders.

The vision of Bridgeways FRC is to create a safe, welcoming environment where members of the community can avail of support.

Bridgeways FRC is a voluntary organisation whose aim is to empower and support those experiencing social, personal and family difficulties.

The services provided are open to everyone. They provide educational development and social supports to all members of the community.


Bridgeways is managed and directed by a Voluntary Board of Management. There are three staff members employed by the board - Grace Kearney, Emer Maguire and Elaine Mulvany.

There are also two Tús workers, Noel and Stephen.

One of the staff members, Grace Kearney, said that the following are the greatest achievements of the facility;
“Revitalising the services to what it is today and to see some young people in education and training that many had fear of dropping out,” she said.

Grace has been working with youths for the last nine years. She also feels the growth in population within the community will have a negative impact on the area as there will be not enough services available to work with them.

Services provided at the Centre include: Youth groups; Recreational groups; Seasonal camps; Parent & Toddler groups; Women's group; Men's group; Low cost counselling; Parental support; Parenting programmes; Mental & Physical health promotion; IT Services.

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