January 2014: Strawberries and cream

Strawberries and cream

Earlier this year I had the privilege of visiting St Raphael’s school where we met many of the extraordinary teachers and motivated students who fill their bright, joyful classrooms. This was the first time we had the opportunity to show our Talk Around It apps to staff at a special needs school and we were delighted by their response.

During that short visit we heard many stories but the tenacity of one teacher sums up the spirit that prevails ...

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July 2013 India: Changing my perspective

July 2013 India: Changing my perspective

At first I felt guilty. Here I was in one of the poorest countries in the world, sitting in a beautiful hotel stuffing myself with the best food I have ever tasted. When I heard I was coming to India with Journeys for Change I thought that I would be living in rough conditions and helping to deliver polio drops or distributing food parcels while learning about social enterprises here. I could not have been ...

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April 2013: When ‘It’ hit me

April 2013: When ‘It’ hit me

 When I told people that Social Entrepreneurs Ireland was sending me on a journey through southern India I was frequently warned to expect a moment when “It” will hit me. “It” can be anything; for one of my fellow travellers it was a meeting a beggar who shared the same severe disability as two of her children.

Each surgeon completes 100 operations a day

 ‘It’ hit me in the ...

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February 2013: The start of my adventure in India

February 2013: The start of my adventure in India

In February 2013, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland sent me on the trip of a lifetime to meet social innovators in the India. We started in Bangalore; it was wonderful: perfect weather, incredible people and the best food I’ve ever had.

As I listened to the fascinating insights of the people we met I was struck by one word that seemed to colour every conversation: “contradiction”. I began to understand this during an incredible walking ...

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June 2012: My first night away in 13 years

My first night away in 13 years

‘Man is nothing else but what he purposes, he exists only in so far as he realizes himself, he is therefore nothing else but the sum of his actions, nothing else but what his life is.’ (“Man Makes Himself” by Jean-Paul Sartre)

Since Steve had his stroke in 2006 I had not spent a night away from him and our girls. Since our eldest daughter was born almost 13 years ...

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April 2012: Stepping into an Oasis

Stepping into an Oasis

 I remember the first time I went to Trinity College Dublin. It was my final year in school and I had been invited to the Trinity Ball. As I stepped through the gates, the noise of the traffic disappeared and the grey cityscape was exchanged for the magnificence of the Exam Hall and the music of Strauss. I remember feeling as though I had been transported into a perfect oasis.

That memory was in stark ...

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February 2012: A change of direction

A change of direction

In the summer of 2011 my blog stopped appearing, my Facebook stopped posting and my Twitter stopped tweeting. There are lots of reasons for this, the main one was my intense focus on an incredible opportunity that I had to grab with both hands.

Research & Hope has always been a labour of love. I poured my heart and soul into creating the website and I am just as passionate about my ‘baby’ as I was at the start. ...

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June 2011: Chance meetings and life changing moments

Chance meetings and life changing moments

On 15th June 2011 I hosted the first ever Research & Hope event. When I realised I had the opportunity to host a talk by Professor Vincent Walsh on ‘Brain stimulation and stroke’ I was thrilled … and then I panicked.

I have attended and spoken at numerous events but I had no idea how to organise one. I am very grateful, therefore, that Care Alliance came to my rescue. They agreed to co-host the event ...

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May 2011: My first encounter with SEI: seeing Ireland in a new light

My first encounter with SEI: seeing Ireland in a new light

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) runs an extraordinary competition to win funding and support over two years. I started to write this blog when I had reached the final 18 of the competition in 2011 and before I knew whether I would be in the last eight who are all guaranteed a prize. I began to write the day before I submitted my final documents; I chose that ...

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April 2011: Learning to Care: The Carers’ Sanctuary Magazine

Learning to Care: The Carers’ Sanctuary Magazine

I seem to have lived many different lives. I have studied and worked in various countries. I was a university student, part- or full-time, for 12 years; I have had several careers, from lecturer to business consultant; I have been a girlfriend, a partner, a wife and a mother. As I moved through these different phases of my life, I simply adapted. I seemed to know how to adjust to each new situation, more ...

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