Bluebird Care Presents Cheque for €5,000 from Food for the Soul Proceeds to Active Retirement Ireland

Award-Winning Cookbook Raises Funds for Active Retirement Ireland


Bluebird Care, Active Retirment Ireland in the Clarion Hotel, limerick. Picture: Keith Wiseman

Bluebird Care, Active Retirment Ireland in the Clarion Hotel, Limerick.
Picture: Keith Wiseman


An award-winning cookbook written by TV3’s The Restaurant Chef Gary O’Hanlon has raised €5,000 for Active Retirement Ireland. Food For The Soul published by homecare company Bluebird Care won a prestigious Gourmand Award last year in the ‘Best Charity Fundraising in Europe’ category.

Chef Gary O’Hanlon also toured the country in 2015 cooking recipes from the cookbook to raise money for the older persons charity which has 24,5000 members nationwide.

Operations Director of Bluebird Care, Eddie O’Toole says, “We have long-held the view that good home cooking is very important to our customers who live in their own homes. We are in the homes of hundreds of people every week right across Ireland and we understand the importance of a healthy and balanced diet. We asked Gary to write the cookbook for us and to devise recipes that had home cooking at the heart of them. It was only right that we donated 50 per cent of all proceeds to our charity partner Active Retirement Ireland.”

Bluebird Care, Active Retirment Ireland in the Clarion Hotel, limerick. Picture: Keith Wiseman

Bluebird Care, Active Retirment Ireland in the Clarion Hotel, Limerick.
Picture: Keith Wiseman

President of Active Retirement Ireland, Mai Quaid says, “Our members have a long-held love of home cooking, and when Bluebird Care asked us if we would like to come onboard with this cookbook, we jumped at the chance. The recipes are simple, yet delicious; and every cookbook sold has helped us to carry out our mission to end loneliness among older people in Ireland.”

Chef Gary O’Hanlon says the book and the cookery demos were very well received. “The cookery demos brought the dishes to life and we also recorded videos of most of the dishes in the book for the Bluebird Care YouTube channel. I’m delighted to have been part of this project which gives back to Active Retirement Ireland, many of whose members attended our demos.”

Food for the Soul is a collection of Gary’s favourite home-cooked which come with a personal back-story for each recipe. The cookbooks are still available to buy for €10 at or from your local Bluebird Care office.

Bluebird Care, Active Retirment Ireland in the Clarion Hotel, limerick. Picture: Keith Wiseman

Bluebird Care, Active Retirment Ireland in the Clarion Hotel, Limerick.
Picture: Keith Wiseman

Bluebird Care, Scoil Mhuire NS & Wexford Arts Centre to host workshops


In partnership with Bluebird Care and Scoil Mhuire National School, Wexford Arts Centre are now seeking applications from interested visual artists to create and facilitate a series of workshops with children with autistic spectrum disorder.  The workshops will take place over a five week period commencing on Friday 22nd April at Scoil Mhuire NS.

Visual arts education is at the core of the Wexford Arts Centre programme. We strive to support and promote arts education in the county, working with the belief that the arts are essential for young people offering an open platform for self-expression, communication and understanding of the world that surrounds them. The arts can provide an inclusive learning environment for young people, particularly those students requiring additional support. This project will help its young participants realise their own abilities, develop social skills and remind them of their unique talents and strengths in a calm and supportive environment.

Bluebird Care aims to meet the physical, intellectual and emotional needs of these clients and their families while providing these services in a dedicated, highly professional and dignified manner. Known for forging personal connections with their customers, Bluebird provides their services in a positive atmosphere, their approach drawing on a support plan which identifies the goals and aspirations of the individual while regularly measuring outcomes.

The successful applicant is required to have considerable teaching experience and will work with the three classes in the autistic unit with children that range in age from 4 – 12 years. The workshops will be planned to accommodate all levels of ability within the spectrum, and the resulting works will be exhibited in Wexford Arts Centre, allowing the students to see their work in a public and professional venue.

To apply please send an up-to-date curriculum vitae and a supporting letter detailing your arts-in-education experience to The deadline for expressions of interest is Tuesday 8th March 2016.

Wexford Arts Centre

Cornmarket, Wexford

Phone: 053 9123764






26 Important Qualities to be a Healthcare Assistant

Healthcare assistants are everyday heroes with demanding jobs that require a diverse range of qualities. They need to be both soft and strong – capable of empathising with the person in their care but strong enough to handle traumatic situations without falling apart. Good communication skills are a must; being a good listener is especially valuable as it provides emotional support in difficult times.

A sense of humour is desirable since laughter is the best medicine after all, but when it’s time to be serious, a good healthcare assistant can step up. They have sharp observation skills and are always on the lookout for signs of change in wellbeing. In addition to emotional strength, they require stamina and endurance as the job often requires heavy lifting and long hours. And lastly, squeamishness is not an option. Unpleasant tasks may arise and must be carried out mindful of the dignity of the person in their care. All in all, for this demanding and rewarding role, good eggs only need apply.

Qualities to be a Healthcare Assistant