Five Loaves 2008

John Shelly Bursary 2008

Wicklow Homeless Fives Loaves Charity a worthy recipient of the John Shelley Bursary 2008

The worthy recipient of the 2008 John Shelley Bursary was the Wicklow Homeless (WH) Five Loaves Drop in Centre. This charity which is based in Bray town was nominated by Ian Daly a previous Honorary Chairman for the Environmental Health Officers Association.

The presentation was made by Mr. Lorcan Shelley and was gratefully received by Ms. Jacinta Crawley at a ceremony on the 5th of December in the Clarion Hotel, IFSC, Dublin. In her acceptance speech she thanked all those particularly Ian Daly for making the Bursary award possible.

Chairman, Maurice Mulcahy noted that it was particularly fitting that a Bray based charity received this Bursary as it coincided with the opening of the new EHOA headquarters at Hegarty House in Bray town in 2008.


Overview of the Charity

WH Five Loaves was set up in response to a growing need for a “drop-in” centre for the homeless and marginalized in February 2004. This need was initially identified by Jacinta Crawley, Annette Plunkett and Fr. Derek Doyle through a soup kitchen which started up in The Little Flower Hall in 2001. Together they began to answer the cry for help that was more than often being ignored. It operated weekly, on a Saturday morning, and provided soup, sandwiches and sleeping bags to the homeless within the Bray area.

As time progressed it became apparent that a daily service was necessary as the number of homeless people was increasing. Therefore after identifying a property which was converted to the required standard, WH Five Loaves opened its doors in February 2004 to offer a warm welcoming environment to the homeless of the surrounding community.

The centre opens five days (Monday- Friday) 9.00-4.00 and it is the charity’s’ intention to extend opening times. On average 35 people frequent the centre daily and the primary purpose is to facilitate the needs of both the homeless and the “at risk” people in the surrounding community by providing nourishing meals, shower and laundry facilities and a welcoming atmosphere to all the service users.

W.H Five Loaves relies heavily on donations and fundraising as it costs on average 14,000 Euros a month to keep the drop in centre operational. Due to these phenomenal running costs including food, insurance, utilities etc. it does not leave a great deal of financial surplus. Before W.H Five Loaves became a reality the founders had to spend a great deal of money renovating the premises.

Activities and meaningful occupation are provided in the form of classes in pottery, ceramics, literacy, gardening and basic computer skills. These activities can provide a sense of purpose and feeling of empowerment as people experiencing homelessness often feel powerless and lose motivation.

Benefits of Bursary to the Charity

Revamp the dilapidated sanitary facilities

Although the current sanitary facilities were installed only four years ago some of the facilities including the shower room and toilets have become warn due to constant use. For many of their service users who are homeless W.H Five Loaves is their only access to shower and restroom amenities. Many of the service users suffer enough indignity due to the stigma attached to homelessness, so the charity believes that providing basic human requirements such as personal hygiene can help restore self worth and confidence.

New Supplies and Equipment

The wide range of activities are provided by volunteers and are financed through the charity’s own fundraising however WH Five Loaves is always in need of new supplies and equipment. The involvement of service users in activities is vital in nurturing confidence and gets people into a routine.

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Where We Are

  • Environmental Health Association Ireland
  • Heraghty House
  • 4 Carlton Terrace Novara Avenue
  • Bray
  • Co Wicklow Ireland

The EHAI is registered with FETAC to offer programmes leading to FETAC awards in the National Framework of Qualifications and has agreed its quality assurance procedures with FETAC

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