The Fáilte Isteach project sees older people volunteer their time to teach conversational English classes to non Irish nationals from all over the world living and working in the Summerhill, Co. Meath area.
The programme was established by Mary Nally, founder of the Summerhill Active Retirement Group and the Third Age Foundation, as part of her innovative work with older people. Other projects she has initiated include the Senior Helpline, and the St. Joseph’s Hospital Project.
The most significant impact of the Fáilte Isteach programme is the improved level of integration that it has helped bring about for the newcomers who now have friends and contacts to which they can turn in time of difficulty or stress.
They are made to feel part of the community and feel welcomed and understood. Local employers have recognised the value of what the volunteers are doing and have sent some of their staff along to improve their language skills.
Mary was a level 2 Awardee in 2008; her profile and more information about Fáilte Isteach can be viewed here.
The project has been a great success. Our new residents improve weekly in proficiency and confidence. Our village relationships have been transformed in that we now know a whole new sector of our community who had been unknown before – and they know us.