The history of SHARE
The late 1960s was a time of change as much in Ireland as in the rest of the world. Where many saw this as a time of crisis, others saw it as an opportunity. Against this backdrop of societal change, a workshop on Christian Leadership was organised by Br. Jerome Kelly, Headmaster of Presentation Brothers College Cork in 1970. The workshop accommodated the students during the school day and their parents at evening time, with the entire exercise being facilitated by former communist and editor of The Daily Worker, Douglas Hyde. In his role as facilitator, Douglas Hyde sought to dispel misconceptions, identify causes of frustration in the world around them and channel the participants’ energies and ideas into reaching out to people in need and being a catalyst for the change they wanted to see. He appealed to their “obvious idealism” and focused their attention on immediate practical realities.
At the end of the three-day workshop, senior students went out into the city, in twos and threes, to witness with a fresh perspective, the realities facing people in the community and then to determine a way of how to address the social issues being faced. There, they discovered that overwhelmingly, it was the older people in the community that were facing the greatest disadvantage, living in poor conditions and experiencing loneliness and isolation.
SHARE (Students Harness Aid for the Relief of the Elderly) was a direct outcome of that workshop, founded by Brother Jerome Kelly and run by the students who set about overcoming these problems and whose legacy continues to this day.