Following on from its success in 2014 and 2015, Fermoy Friendship Week returns again for an jam-packed event from Monday, April 11 to Friday, April 15.

As in previous years, the overall aim of the week is to promote all things that encourage friendship within the community. The initiative is organised by the Fermoy Community Network.

The week itself kicks off on Monday with a talk on ‘Traveller Culture’ in Fermoy Community Youth Centre between 10am and 12.30pm.

Gaelscoil de hIde pupils during Fermoy Friendship Week in 2015.
Gaelscoil de hIde pupils during Fermoy Friendship Week in 2015.

The session will be delivered by a number of traveller women living in the north Cork community, under a novel initiative called Traveller Culture Awareness Training, which has been formed to promote positive relationships between settled and traveller communities.

It also aims to challenge racism and discrimination and influence policy and service provision for travellers.

On Tuesday, a Friendship Social Coffee Morning will be held in the Fermoy Resource Centre between 11am and 1pm, while a workshop with Blackwater Day Centre clients and community workers, entitled ‘Little Things Matter’, will also be held during the day.

On Thursday, the cornerstone event of the week, the Friendship Variety Concert, will be held in the Fermoy Community Youth Centre between 7.30pm and 10pm. Already a number of community groups, youth groups and schools have signed up to showcase their musical and artistic talents on the stage to the public.

The final event of the week will take place on Friday in the Fermoy Community Youth Centre – the screening of the film ‘Pay It Forward’ from 8pm. The film, starring Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment, is free to attend.

One of the central aspects of the week is the participation of all the Fermoy-based schools in the Random Acts of Kindness initiative. Over the course of Friendship Week, all pupils, teachers and school staff are asked to be more conscious about performing Random Acts of Kindness. All kindness stories will be written on a post-it note and placed on a board for everyone to see, as a reminder of the positive effect that kindness has on people.

Equally, this year, the Fermoy business community are invited to get involved in the week, with the aim of organising events to reward their customers. To get involved, businesses are asked to like the Fermoy Friendship Week Facebook page, take a photo of their premises and upload it to the page stating that they will be taking part in the Fermoy Friendship Week Business Initiative.

Once complete, the Fermoy Community Network will issue the business with a Friendship Week window sticker. Then ahead of Friendship Week, businesses can upload what they are going to be doing throughout the week.

Businesses in Fermoy are invited to contact the Fermoy Community Network, via their website or Facebook, if they would like to know more about the initiative. Additionally this year, children in the various local pre-schools will be presented with books about caring and kindness.

For more information, call Jacinta McCormack at the Fermoy Community Resource Centre on 025-32962.