Centre manager Linda Ledger | PICTURE: DAVE GAYNOR
TALKS are under way to prevent the closure of a popular Limerick community centre – and the end of its meals on wheels service.
Linda Ledger, the manager of St Munchin’s Community Enterprise Centre in Kileely Court, Kileely, was sitting down with HSE and council bosses in a bid to avert the full shutdown of the facility which at the moment is slated for April 5 next.
St Munchin’s had been open on a limited basis since the outbreak of the coronavirus to allow pick-ups, and the meals on wheels service for elderly people across Limerick.
However, in a video message this morning, Ms Ledger said: “Unfortunately I'm here with some bad news. I've had to close the age friendly campus and let more staff go today. Financially, because it costs €19,000 a week to keep the centre open, we are only going to be able to stay open until April 5. I'm really sorry about this. But financially we just can't do it.”
She did confirm this afternoon that rescue discussions were under way.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen people stay at home, Ms Ledger has been forced to lay-off the majority of her 26 staff on temporary basis.
It meant the social enterprises and the cafe which provide income to the centre were no more, leaving St Munchin’s unable to function as a centre.
But a permanent closure would see the meals on wheels cease, leaving hundreds of elderly and vulnerable people without a service.
Ms Ledger said she would welcome support from the council, the public, the health service and government to keep the show on the road.
As news broke this morning that we'll have to shut our doors from the 5th April 2020 as we financially aren’t able to keep going.— St. Munchin's Community Centre - Kileely, Limerick (@StMunchinsCC) March 24, 2020
We are a social enterprise, we depend on our enterprises in the centre as income to keep our doors open, but we've had to close those the enterprises.