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A Message from the Co-Founders

First and foremost, we wish you, one and all, an abundance of blessings throughout this New Year just begun. May the lengthening of the daylight hours, albeit almost imperceptible as yet, be a symbol of hope for all of us during this harsh winter weather as we join our voices to that of P. B. Shelley in his rhetorical question:

“Oh Wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

And yes, HOPE is the theme of this greeting!

Those of you who have been with us in one way or another in the course of Tara’s 21 years+ journey to date will be aware of how we, as Co-Founders, were engaged in envisioning and developing the Centre and its services throughout that period of time. You will also be aware that another critical dimension of the Centre’s growth and development was simultaneously on-going during those years, namely, ensuring that sound governance structures were put in place for the Company. This work progressed steadily down through the years thanks to the selfless dedication of a robust Board of Directors and its associated Finance Committee, all of whom worked and continue to work, tirelessly with us on an entirely voluntary basis. Our gratitude to all is deep and abiding as Tara moves forward into a whole new era directed and supported by the strong governance structures which are now firmly in place.

The Challenge for the sustainability for the Centre down through the years, and in particular since 2013, is also something of which you are well aware. We have kept you appraised you of the steady climb back to the robustness Tara enjoyed at every level prior to that dread moment in 2013 when funding issues constituted a serious setback for us. Sustainability will always be a challenge for organisations such as ours in the Third Sector but experience has taught us the intrinsic value of having the strong hands-on support of you, the many and varied friends of Tara, as a back-up to the structures referenced above as we continue to engage with the sustainability challenge into the future. For your crucial role in this regard to date you have our sincere, abiding and deep gratitude. You must know that we count on you for the future too.
Against the foregoing background we are delighted to share with you the giant strides towards sustainability “on the ground” which have borne fruit in the course of 2017. The most significant of these sustainability steps is the appointment of Margaret Spencer, as of January 2018, to the leadership of Team Tara as CEO of the Company.

Margaret has been at Tara since 2016 in the capacity of Co-Ordinator of Therapeutic Services (COTS). During this time, she has distinguished herself as a trustworthy leader whose professionalism, dedication, and wholehearted embracing of Tara’s vision and values inspires us with great confidence. Margaret has an authentic quality of presence which reflects the energy and ethos of this Centre – a quality which she brought with her from the very moment she first graced the Centre with her presence in 2016. We are confident that you will experience this quality for yourselves in whatever dealings you may have with Margaret as Tara’s CEO. But that is not all ….
The post of COTS, vacated by Margaret, has now been filled by another person in whom we have cause to have great confidence, by name, John Friel. Prior to 2013 John was a highly valued counsellor/psychotherapist at Tara for fully eight years. Subsequently he held a position in the Belfast area akin to the one he now holds at Tara. We invite you to join with us in extending a very warm welcome to John in the key leadership position he now occupies among relevant staff at the Centre.

Furthermore, two new Counsellors/Psychotherapists and a Marketing and Administration Officer have been added to the highly dedicated, experienced and appropriately qualified professionals who have, for varying lengths of time, borne the heat of the day in being “… in the service of healing, peace and holistic well-being” at Tara down through the years.

In the context of all the foregoing we invite you to share in our sense of gratitude that, thanks to the quiet dedication, generosity of spirit and commitment of so many from within and without, Tara has now opened a whole new chapter in its story in the Spring Season of 2018. The energies pulsating through life at Tara at this time find a resonance for us in that beautiful line from Gerard Manley Hopkins’ sonnet on Spring:

“A strain of the Earth’s sweet being in the beginning in Eden garden ….”.

By way of conclusion let us say that, being aware that in this greeting we speak to you in the name of the entire Tara Company, we deem it appropriate to share with you the Vision Statement which seeks to express the soul of all that Tara aspires to be, in essence and in practice, at this present time and for many a long day to come.

May we be blessed, one and all, throughout 2018 agus le fada an lá ó shin amach!

Mary DalyMaura Twohig