The July edition looks at Step 7 of the GROW Program - 'We Took Care and Control of Our Bodies'. It also includes a moving piece on depression and anxiety, Cobh Vitality Day and the honouring of GROW by Waterford City and Council Council.
Donate Now »
Friend on Facebook Find us on Facebook
Follow on Twitter Follow us on Twitter
Forward to Friend Forward to a Friend

July 2016 GROW in Ireland Newsletter

We Took Care and Control of Our Bodies

This piece on Step 7 of the GROW Program, We Took Care and Control of Our Bodies, has been kindly submitted as a Limerick paper.
A healthy, mature mind leads to us having a positive, wholesome self-image. With clear thinking and good focus, we gift ourselves the proper and deserving attention that we need to give to our physical body and our mental and spiritual requirements.

It is probably a double-edged sword. The stronger our mental toughness, the more likely we will tend to our outwardly and inwardly deficiencies. Likewise, if we can maximise how we look, whether it be a clean shave, a makeover or a hair trim then such small steps will trigger a confidence and self-respect which results in a wholesome attitude of mind. In order to self-care, it is necessary that we be always good to ourselves and accept that it is okay to treat ourselves now and then.

This further piece on Step 7 of the GROW Program focuses on a discussion about living a full life with chronic physical pain.
This discussion was in the Ceart GROW Group in Kilkenny – a unique group for people living with chronic physical pain. For more information on the Ceart GROW Group, visit the GROW website.

Ann: Chronic pain would drive you demented. Waking up in the morning, there can a huge dread of the long day stretching out ahead. It can feel like we are the only one burdened by pain. That’s why coming to the Ceart GROW group is great – we’re not alone. There are other people just like me who will listen and understand. Our families may care deeply about us, but if they don’t understand they can get fed up listening to us. It’s vital we find some place to share with people going through similar experiences.

Pat: The group isn’t just a place for us to talk. Every week we take a task. This means doing something that helps us and we share this with the group. Many of us have got back to swimming and going for small walks. This gets us out of the house and meeting people. Chronic pain and isolation are a bad mix.

When we go for a coffee on 12th Step work, some of us are getting to rediscover our local town, after years of isolating ourselves. Spending more time around people means we can enjoy having company rather than dreading it. We can let go of fears like – ‘I’m in too much pain to cope with other people’. Such fears are often a result of bad habits that we can grow out of.

[For further Ceart Group discussion on living with chronic physical pain and more details about the Ceart GROW Group, see the GROW website]


Message from the CEO

Over the past week the charity sector has once again come under the spotlight - unfortunately not for the right reasons. The situation still keeps unfolding. However, we must not lose sight of the good work undertaken by charities on a daily basis by volunteers and staff delivering high quality and essential services within communities. 

We in GROW are one of those charities who deliver a much needed service to those who have or are struggling with mental health issues. It is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that we operate in an accountable, transparent and trustworthy manner. 

It is important we all understand the structure of the organisation and the responsibilities and accountabilities that exist. The organisation has a robust governance structure including financial controls, monitoring and evaluation as well as reporting structures both internally and externally (HSE and other funding agencies, auditors, our members and the general public).

GROW has undertaken the PQASSO (Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations) journey which covers all aspects of the organisation, from governance to service delivery and monitoring outcomes. We have applied for our audit to take place and, if successful, we will be the third organisation to achieve it in Ireland. This is an independent external audit which is conducted by personnel from the UK.  

I would like to assure you that the Board of GROW in Ireland work extremely hard on your behalf ensuring that:
  • The organisation is fit for purpose
  • Has robust financial controls across the country
  • Is transparent and accountable in all of its reporting to its funders and donors
  • Monitors and evaluates programmes
  • Is compliant with Employment, Health & Safety, Finance Acts and other Acts
Regional Teams, volunteers and staff also play a significant role in ensuring good governance, compliance, transparency, trust and accountability.

I have for your convenience included a link to our Audited Accounts 2015. These were ratified by the Board on June 18th, 2016. Our Annual Report will be available shortly. This will demonstrate the impact of our services across the country.   

An outline of the legal structure and requirements that are placed on the organisation along with the role and function of Board, CEO and National Program Coordinator and the powers associate with them are available on the GROW website.

Michele Kerrigan
Chief Executive, GROW in Ireland


GROW Honoured by Waterford City and Council Council

It was a very special occasion in Dungarvan when GROW received an award from Waterford City and Council Council honouring its work. 

On Monday, June 27th, Chris Mulcahy, Mary Hennessy and Sr. Gertrude Howley attended the event at the Civic Offices in Dungarvan to receive an award from the outgoing Area Chairman, Liam Brazil, in recognition of the fantastic work done within the community by GROW. Each received a commemorative pen and a donation of €200 was made to GROW by the Council. 

Speeches were delivered in recognition of the vital work done by GROW. A number of other  organisations received awards including Aware, Samaritans and Pieta House. 

Our sincere thanks to Sean Byrne for the photographs.


GROW Southern Region Annual Walk

In keeping with this month’s theme of 'Taking Care and Control of Our Bodies', the GROW Southern Region participated in their annual walk on Saturday, June 18th.  

To help compel those muscles and limbs into action, the beautiful cliff walk of Ballycotton was again chosen as this year’s venue.

There was a great turn out on the day, with various walking abilities catered for. Starting off along the cliff path, just on the edge of Ballycotton village, the group made their way along the meandering foot track, taking in the glorious views of the countryside and meadows on one side and the ocean on the other.

The group was very fortunate with the weather too and were able to complete the walk followed by a well deserved picnic lunch at the end of the hike, in good weather and sunshine.

Thanks to Michael Manning for organising the day and to all those who turned up and participated in the 12 Step Walk. Well done to all!


Event to Commemorate Con Keogh in Co. Wexford

For the fourth year running, GROW in the South East are delighted to remember GROW’s founder Con Keogh at a special event near Gorey in Co. Wexford. 

Con’s birthday was in July so it is fitting to honour his memory in this annual event, which takes place on Friday, July 22nd in Courtown. The event is a wonderful way for GROW members to remember anyone they have lost through suicide and remember those who are still struggling with mental health issues. 

Those interested in attending should assemble at Courtown Pier at 7.30p.m. Tea and scones will follow afterwards in the Taravie Hotel. It promises to be a pleasant evening, with plenty of chat and laughter. 

If you are interested in attending, please contact Area Coordinator Ellen Ryle on 087 2291718 or email


Mid West Region Collections

Fundraising is hard, but essential work for every charity. In addition to raising much needed funds, events such as church gate collections also provide an opportunity for GROW to highlight the services on offer within the community.

GROW in the Mid West would like to thank the Limerick City parishes who generously contributed €1,150 at a recent collection.

GROW volunteers will be in Shannon and Newmarket parishes in Co. Clare on the weekend of July 9th-10th; in Raheen, Dooradoyle and Nenagh on July 16th- 17th and in Templemore on August 27th-28th.


Cobh Vitality Day 

It was another glorious, sunny day in Cork for the Cobh Vitality Day, which was held on Sunday, June 26th at the beautiful and historic Promenade in Cobh.

The aim of the event was to promote all forms of wellbeing - mental health, physical health, sexual health and social health, with an emphasis on loneliness and isolation for all ages and backgrounds in the Cobh Community.

Although competing with the audiences for the Ireland v France football game, there was a good turnout on the day, with exhibitors from the local mental health organisations, including GROW, and various local sports and health related organisations.  

There was also entertainment in the centre of the Promenade in the form of live music, comedy and children’s entertainment. The Promenade, being a central location, was an ideal venue to showcase the various services on offer to the public in Cobh and surrounding areas, in what now looks likely to be an annual event.

Many thanks to David O’Mahony from the Tuesday Gurranabraher Group and to Michael from the Tuesday afternoon City group, for assisting Area Coordinator Finola O’Callaghan to man the stand for the day, providing information on our services and meetings to interested parties.


GECAS Fundraiser for GROW

As part of a recent ‘HealthAhead’ Day, aimed at promoting positive mental health and wellbeing amongst its employees in Shannon and Dublin, GE Capital Aviation Services organised a charity raffle in aid of GROW. 

The top prize was kindly donated by Adriaan Bartels, manager at the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co. Waterford. 

A total of €4,484 was raised and Noel Kennedy of the GECAS HealthAhead Committee presented a cheque to GROW volunteer and GECAS employee, Rob Stephen

GECAS is a fine example of a company which takes the health and wellbeing of its employees very seriously and GROW would sincerely like to thank all those involved in this fundraiser.


Piece Kindly Submitted by Martin

Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time.
It’s the fear of failure but no urge to be productive.
It’s wanting friends but hating socialising.
It’s wanting to be alone but not wanting to be lonely.
It’s caring about everything but caring about nothing.
It’s feeling everything at once,
Then feeling paralyzingly numb.
It’s wanting to fit in,
But wanting to stand out.
It’s wanting to belong,
But not wanting to be part of anything.
It’s wanting to be reached,
But wanting to be distant.
It’s wanting to be warm to everyone,
But being numbingly cold to everyone.
It’s wanting to love,
But being unable to love.
This unfortunately is the tormented mind that goes with anxiety and depression.

Thank you very much to one of our GROWers, Martin, for kindly submitting this very powerful piece on anxiety and depression, aptly titled 'Two Minds'. The sentiments are ones which a lot of us will relate to.


Ronan Completes 'Hell and Back' Challenge for GROW

Our heartiest congratulations to Kildare man, Ronan Holland, who recently completed the 'Hell and Back' challenge in Bray, Co. Wicklow in aid of GROW.

The gruelling 8km challenge took place in Killruddery House in Bray, Co. Wicklow on June 26th.

Ronan hails from Maynooth and chose GROW because his mother, who only passed away a little over a year ago, experienced some mental health issues through her life. As a result, Ronan decided to raise money for a mental health charity and chose GROW.

If you would like to sponsor Ronan for this event, you can do so by clicking this link:

Hell and Back Appolo is an 8km obstacle course including rivers, lakes, swamps, -50 degree ice baths, 10ft walls and a lot more. It's a huge mental and physical challenge so please support Ronan and GROW. See more at:


GROW Family Day in Dungarvan

Preparations are underway for a fantastic GROW Family Day which will take place in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford on Sunday, July 17th. 

The Family Day, which is free to attend and open to all GROWers and their families, will get underway at 12p.m. in St. Mary’s Church of Ireland in Dungarvan and continue until 6p.m. An action-packed day is assured with lots of fun and festivities. All are urged to come along, bring their family and friends, learn more about GROW and join in the celebrations.

An array of events and activities are planned including afternoon tea, an impromptu music session throughout the afternoon, walking tours of Dungarvan, a display of crafts as well as a come-along and sing-along gathering in the church at 4.30p.m. 

Other attractions include an ice-cream booth while there will also be lots of surprise attractions on the day – come along to find out more!

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP immediately to Mary ‘Hen’ by email at or on 087 7855107 to ensure enough cakes are baked and delicious deserts whisked up for July 17th. 


Community Education Programme in Artane

A Community Education Programme was held in Artane Day Centre, Kilmore Road, Artane, Dublin on June 28th. 'Carry The Message to Others in Need'  was the theme of the morning. 

Staff from Artane Day Centre along with members who attend the centre and members of the community enjoyed a full morning, obtaining information about GROW.

EVE, an organisation that provides vocational training for people struggling from mental health issues, also attended the morning. Dan, a trainer from EVE, informed the group about EVE and courses available.

Dan spoke with GROW Area Coordinator, Louise, at the end of the morning and expressed how much he had enjoyed the morning. Dan said he had gained so much information about GROW and was very happy to take leaflets, pens and welcome packs back to his training centre to pass onto students attending EVE.

A former member of the young adult group dropped in to share her experiences of attending a GROW group. Fiona shared with all who attended how her life had progressed since joining GROW four years ago.

GROW are working towards opening a GROW Group in Artane Day Centre. Please note the following dates and times: 
  • Meetings will take place from 10.00am to 12.00pm (address above & directions on the GROW website) 
  • July 12th - Open Day
  • July 26th - Introduction Day
  • August 9th - GROW Meeting
  • September 13th - GROW Meeting
Louise would like to thank the staff at Artane Day Centre for their warm welcome to GROW and for offering a room to hold GROW Meetings. Thanks to Dan from EVE for informing us about courses available and thank you to Fiona for sharing her experiences with the group on the morning of June 28th

For any further information regarding the Artane Group, please contact Area Coordinator Louise Carroll on 086 7706067.


Post Natal Mothers Information Morning

GROW Midland Region, in conjunction with the HSE, held an Information Morning in Portlaoise Parish Centre on Thursday, June 16th for post natal mothers experiencing depression. 

It is hoped to start a special GROW group for post natal mothers in the autumn, which will be facilitated by Assumpta Lyons, Area Coordinator, and held in Porlaoise. This group will be open to all post natal mothers who suffer from depression.


'Better Together' Video Suggestions

It's time to get thinking about video ideas for The Wheel's 'Better Together' Campaign. This is an opportunity for GROW to share its story and to tell the positive weekly impact which GROW makes in people's lives. 

From September 12th, charities like GROW can enter two types of video stories in the video competition. These can be either Epic Tales (YouTube videos between 30 seconds and two minutes long) or Micro Stories (Instagram videos up to 30 seconds long). 

The video/s should demonstrate how GROW is making Ireland Better Together.

If you have any suggestions, stories to share, editing expertise etc. or if you would like to feature in a GROW video, your suggestions and feedback would be most welcome. Contact Communications Officer Aisling Donnelly at

For more details on the Better Together competition, visit


Copyright © 2016 GROW in Ireland, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp
unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences | © Copyright GROW in Ireland 2015 Charity No. 20023294