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Goodbye to Alison

A Very Happy New Year to everyone and I hope your Christmas was a peaceful and joyous time.

I just wanted to send out a message to everyone involved with Le Chéile to welcome you all back for 2013.

I am delighted to say that 2012 was a great year for Le Chéile and one where we seen our services grow and strengthen across the board. As always, it was a true pleasure and privilege to work alongside such a passionate and committed group of people in 2012 and into 2013.

One of the major events to occur in Le Chéile in 2012 was that Alison O’Reilly, our founder and CEO for the last 7 years, departed to set up her own business. Although staff, board and volunteers alike were saddened by Alison leaving, we also wish Alison the very best of luck in her new and exciting business venture.
As Le Chéile CEO, it was Alison who took Le Chéile from its concept phase and turned a vision into a successful national project which in turn became a great asset to many communities around Ireland and the Probation Services as a whole.

Alison established Le Chéile in Dublin 7 years ago, and under her direction, it’s grown from a small pilot to 9 full-time projects around the country.  With Alison’s direction, Le Chéile broadened its remit to work not only with the young people, but with their parents and families and assisted Probation in integrating Parenting Programmes such as Strengthening Families, Parents Plus and also the hugely innovative Restorative Justice project in Limerick.

During Alison’s tenure as CEO, Le Chéile grew from working with 25 volunteers, to working with 225 individuals who volunteer as Youth and Parent Mentors, and contributors on Victim Impact Panels.

Alison’s vision for Le Chéile was to provide a child-centred, volunteer driven project to support the Probation Service in assisting children who offend and that all children have the capacity for change.  This is something the organisation continues to work towards everyday.

It would be impossible to quantify in this message all the time and commitment which Alison contributed over the last 7 years, but we would like to thank Alison for her years of dedication, enthusiasm and her drive to ensure that Le Chéile is the best it can be.

Alison’s exciting new venture is called ‘Sweet Trees’ and it’s an Artisan Food Company specialising in the making of bespoke handmade Sweet Trees. For more on this please visit the Facebook page here:  http://www.facebook.com/SweetTrees.ie or for contact details please visit the website here: http://sweettrees.ie Having sampled some produce recently, I can personally vouch for their deliciousness!

We want to wish you the very best in the future Alison and to also say we will miss you.

Take Care

Seán

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