Cooley Country Market July 2017 fundraising success

Cooley Charity Country Markets raised the wonderful sum of €5736 on July 9th 2017 for The Birches

The organisers of Cooley Charity Country Markets would like to express their sincerest thanks to all who supported their recent charity market on 9th July. From early morning, eager shoppers waited patiently for the doors of the hall to open at 9 am. A constant stream of shoppers called, and by close of the market at 1 pm, a massive total of €5736 euro had been donated to The Birches Alzheimer Day Care Centre. Cooley Charity Country Markets were born to create awareness of dementia. They continue to generate funding towards the cost of supporting those living with dementia in Cooley and its surrounding areas. They are held twice per year in July and December. Each market is unique, with an ever changing range of goods being offered for sale. From a small group of volunteers who once started the markets, that group has now grown and expanded. Each time a market takes place, the market welcomes more new willing helping hands to the hall. Kind souls who wish to grasp the opportunity to play a part in this pretty special community event.

The Birches opened its outreach centre in the Community house in Rath Abbey, Grange Carlingford in July 2013. Since then, the local community have seen at first hand the importance of the work of the Birches. They have witnessed dedicated Birches carers delivering understanding in the Grange Day Centre each Monday. They deeply appreciate the Birches team who now travel the roads of the local community. Families caught in an unknown zone of caring for a loved one with dementia are finding a lifeline. Explanations and answers have been given to their questions. An oasis of understanding and education regarding the needs of their family member has been created. A priceless commodity when the one you love with all your heart appears to be in distress. The strongest of family bonds can often be challenged when a dementia diagnosis is delivered.

The unique Cooley Charity Country Markets do not have a commercial agenda. The prices charged for goods at the market reflect this concept. They are based on the importance of creating awareness of dementia. They provide an opportunity for the local community to stand in solidarity with families whose lives are touched by dementia. Their aim is to promote the rich benefits of The Birches in the local community. The people from Cooley and surrounding areas have welcomed the Birches into their hearts. They have responded to the appeal of ‘Cooley Charity Country Markets’ with a generosity all of their own. Sensitive ladies whose hearts are touched by the plight of a much loved neighbour now living with dementia can quietly reach out to that person by arriving to the hall with arms laden with baking.

Donations pour in from the local area and indeed much further afield. Companies donate goods for resale, others donate prizes for the raffle. Some loan equipment. More give coffee, sugar and milk. Some plant vegetables, others donate the fruits of their labours - baking, knitting, jams etc. Farmers dig many potatoes, and hen’s nests are raided. Some give their creative talents to transform a simple kitchen into an elegant tea room. Such wonderful generosity in a small rural area seldom attracts national media attention. It is carried out by an entire community - quiet unassuming people who for them it’s the most natural thing in the world to help their neighbour. It’s a beautiful Irish tradition which thankfully is very much alive and flourishing.

The next Cooley Charity Country Market will place in December. As one market ends, the next challenge is grasped by many supporters of the market to continue to source good quality saleable items for the next market. The organisers of the market would like to express their deepest gratitude to all who supported the markets in so many ways. Such constant and loyal support reflects the esteem in which the Birches is held in North Louth. A huge thank you to all who baked, donated goods for sale, and donated prizes for the raffle. Many thanks to all who worked so hard in the hall and kitchen on the day of the market. Thank you to Cooley Parish for the use of the hall. Thank you to The Dundalk Democrat and Argus newspapers for their loyal support in promoting the market. Thank you to all who travelled from far and near to shop at the market. As we all march on into the future’s mystery, let us do so in confidence knowing that we are always within reach of a helping hand.