Sheena McManus, Michelle Walsh and Laura Kennedy at the launch of the Pay it Forward festival in Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally Picture: Dave Gaynor
IT WAS great to have been able to play a part in the official launch of the Pay it Forward Limerick campaign this week. Pay if Forward has evolved into the Limerick Festival of Kindness which kicks off for a week this Friday.
Pay It Forward Limerick is a movement by a group of volunteers whose aim is to promote Limerick, its communities and its people in the most positive light possible.
To achieve this they use the concept of Paying It Forward. The team believes there is an in-built goodness in people. People carry out acts of kindness, compassion and support every day. Sometimes for friends and family and other times for complete strangers.
Pay It Forward suggests that if someone does you a good deed, instead of paying it back you “Pay It Forward” by helping someone else. The Pay It Forward Limerick organisation wants to make Limerick the kindest city in Ireland.
Over the past number of years Limerick has been a leader when it comes to focussing on the concept of working together to make our city a better place.
From the local authority right down to every individual there is now a sense that we can work together to help promote our city as a worthwhile destination.
However much of the focus has been on investment and job creation.
I am not suggesting that this is not a worthwhile exercise but often we can forget the most important aspect of what makes a place tick – the community.
Over recent years we have seen initiatives like the Local Heroes campaign, Tidy Towns Limerick, TLC Limerick and the Going for Gold campaign, all of which emerged from the inherent goodwill of the Limerick community.
Pay it Forward Limerick is another example of how by taking the concept of kindness we can all work together to make our community recognised as friendly, welcoming and kind.
Saturday will see a family fun day on Bedford Row from 11am where you can browse through the tents arranged by the 12th Inf Bn, Sarsfield Barracks, sample the kindness cookies or have a coffee as the children get their face painted at the arts and craft tent.
The day will also see members of Limerick Fire Brigade and ambulance service, medical students from the University of Limerick, the Munster Rugby Supporters Choir and some furry additions from the Limerick Animal Welfare.
A host of other events are planned for the week-long festival. Everyone involved is giving their time, energy and resources for free. In essence everything is paid forward. The overall agenda is to make Limerick city the kindest place in Ireland. They organisation does not have a business, political, religious or any other kind of agenda.
At a time when so much of our energy is focussed on making money, fighting general elections or worrying about big picture ideals perhaps now is a perfect time to take a moment and do just one thing that will put a smile on your neighbours face.
Business week well underway
Limerick Business Week is well and truly underway with a series of events being hosted across the city and county.
LEO Limerick is one of 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) across Ireland that will host initiatives aimed at stimulating business activity locally.
All will run hundreds of events during the week, with the ultimate aim being to create jobs among small businesses and also to encourage those with a business idea to pursue their dream.
The week-long event comprises a series of clinics, workshops and seminars to meet the growing needs of the business sector in Limerick.
It particularly offers support and services to help start, grow and develop micro and small businesses in the area.
There are also information sessions and a Back to Work Enterprise Allowance information session as well as a Women in Business networking event.
If you're interested, in attending Booking for all events can be made at www.localenterprise.ie/Limerick/Training-Events/Online-Bookings/.
Ideas to revive the city centre
As the Greater Limerick region shows strong signs of recovery with numerous positive announcements, it is imperative the city centre feels the effects of this recovery and the infamous "donut effect" is reversed.
While there are numerous stakeholders and each one has to play their part, Limerick Chamber is encouraging the business community to lead the charge and demand more of others to ensure the full rejuvenation of the City in line with our 2030 plan.
The Chamber is hosting an event at the Hunt Museum this evening which will highlight some of the opportunities we have if we get it right.
Dr Lisa O'Malley will paint a picture and facilitate debate on the night to establish what the business community can do to make this happen.
This event is an excellent opportunity for those with a vested interest in the successful future of our city to engage and play their part.
If you wish to attend the event you can log on to here to book your ticket.