Fermoy Dancing Daisies, a weekly coffee morning with a music session for parents and their babies and toddlers, recently celebrated its first anniversary after a successful first year.
The group met for the first time in the Anderson Room of the Fermoy Community Youth Centre in April of last year and new members are always welcome to join in and reap the benefits of this social and active initiative.
Dancing Daisies in the brainchild of Fermoy native Maeve Murray who, after having spent time living in Cork City and East Cork, returned home to discover that the activities available locally to parents and children under the age of three was somewhat lacking.
“I felt there was a lot offered for children aged five and up, loads of clubs, but there wasn’t as much for the younger age group, especially before your child goes to playschool,” she said.
“At a young age you literally have them from 6am until bedtime, you can’t really bring them to a café once they get to a certain age, especially when you’ve two, as they’ll just run riot. So you actually end up with a lot of time on your hands and nothing to do. It’s that time from zero to three that I felt wasn’t adequately catered for, there are groups here but there’s no music activity and there’s a lot of that in the city.”
Dancing Daisies runs every Monday from 10.30am to 12 noon, upstairs in the Fermoy Community Youth Centre (during term times). Parents, both mothers and fathers, can have a tea or coffee and cake on arrival, before the music starts at 10.45am. For half an hour, the group will sit around in a group and parents can engage with their children while the music plays. From 11.15am to the end of the session, the children play with toys while the parents can use this time to socialise over refreshments.
“It’s going really well,” Maeve said. “We have around 15 to 20 at each coffee morning and there’s people coming from all over the local area. It’s an opportunity for parents to get to know each other and for their children to socialise too.” Dancing Daisies costs €5 per session and has received funding from Cork County Childcare.
Another local group, under the umbrella of Dancing Daisies, provides information and support for mothers on wearing slings. Fermoy Sling Meet is held on the last Saturday of each month in the Fermoy Community Youth Centre between 11am and 12.30pm, where a trained babywear consultant is on hand to offer support and advice to mothers about wearing slings.
Another local group, recently re-established for North Cork, offers caring support for parenthood and those looking after young children. Cuidiú North Cork runs on a weekly basis, with coffee mornings every Thursday in mothers’ homes and in the Fermoy Community Youth Centre on the last Thursday of the month. Cuidiú started in Ireland in 1970 and the charity has grown to a nationwide organisation. Maeve said the group brings parents from all over the region together.
“Cuidiú is really active down in East Cork. When I moved back, I always wanted to start it here. It was weird because it was so popular in East Cork but nobody had heard of it here just 20 miles up the road. It’s going really well. I had my worries because people didn’t seem to have heard of it. It’s hard to explain because it’s kind of unique, but it’s a support service, really, for parents,” she said. Between five and ten parents attend each event which, apart from the last Thursday of the month, is held in different parents’ homes each time.
Membership to Cuidiú is €25 per year, which supports a range of nationwide services, including free breastfeeding support and information for new parents from trained breastfeeding counsellors. The Cork branch of Cuidiú runs a range of events throughout the county during the year. For more information on Dancing Daisies and Cuidiú, contact Maeve on 087-9819276.