Who we are and what we do
Ciunas Centre are a small, unfunded not for profit, CLG with revenue commission charity status since 2009. RCN:20080396. We provide rapid access to very affordable and specialist wellness-based therapies and counselling in our fully accessible community-based centre in Feakle.
Who we do it for
Although Ciúnas is now open to all, when we opened in 2009, our particular expertise and focus was in helping the more vulnerable in our communities such as carers (paid/unpaid) and their families, the elderly, those with intellectual and physical disabilities, those with serious illness, we still continue to support these clients today but have also now evolved our services to include professionals working with vulnerable people, e.g. nurses, health workers; Anyone working in emotionally demanding positions, e.g. special needs assistants/teachers, paramedics, emergency services, and of course anyone at all in need of some self-care in the short or longer-term.
We also continue to work with other services including Brothers of Charity, Enable Ireland, and Shine who refer and/or bring clients to us for care and support and more recently have been supporting the Ukrainian families based in East Clare
Why we do it
We want to provide a sense of place and be a source of comfort to those who need us with the aim of pre-empting the onset of family and personal crises and to be accessible to those that are unable to get timely/affordable access to mainstream services. By actively helping to address feelings of isolation or alienation in the community, and often the shame or stigma of having need, we are helping to deliver positive social impact locally. Ciúnas has achieved so much since 2009, particularly in terms of the diversity of its client group and the benefits it has brought to the more vulnerable and hidden in our community. We welcomed almost 1500 clients for wellness treatments and/or counselling services in 2019, a 35 fold increase since we opened in 2009, and demand for services continues to increase meaning we are seeking additional therapists to join our small team.
How we do it
Our centre is run and managed by a core team of three founders and a volunteer manager so we do not incur any staff costs. We have self-employed therapists (insured and Garda vetted) providing their expertise at greatly reduced rates. We have a Board of Directors - all community volunteers and two community-funded job-share receptionists.
We have a very successful and proven low cost operating model and governance structure. As we are unfunded, it is an ongoing challenge to cover our core costs and meet required legislation requirements, but we are very proud that for the past ten years that we have never incurred debt and continue to operate with only volunteer support and any surplus (usually very small) at year-end goes directly back into providing our services.
To cover our core costs we charge affordable sliding scale fees to our clients as well as holding our own local fundraising activities such as bag packs and church gate collections. As a very small team of volunteers having the capacity to hold these events is really difficult for us so we welcome donations big or small.
Some of our core values
A not-for-profit philosophy - Reinvesting any surplus back into the provision of core services
Providing accessible, reliable and affordable support to those most in need in our local community (when they may have been turned away by others or cannot afford to access services)
Providing a low-cost sliding scale charging model, so the ability to pay is not a barrier to accessing our services
Non-discriminatory - Offering a warm welcome to all who need us