Aisling works in the community to provide a support service for the many long term Irish migrant men and women who access Aisling services. Agencies working in the community refer clients to Aisling, they are assessed and we will work with them towards a place on one of our supported holidays in Ireland. Aisling organises around five supported trips a year and the client is assessed on the basis of their own particular needs and their ability to make the most of the opportunities Aisling offers.
Many returnees would prefer to visit a part of |Ireland where they have no association, at least for the first trip. It must be recognised that emigrants who feel that their emigration experience has been less than successful sometimes feel unable to return to their home place, at least initially, and it is often more appropriate for these clients to visit a neutral part of the country. The usual outcome is that when they are at last in their homeland the visit to home is less stressful and they are able to see for themselves that there is little if anything to fear and years of guilt and shame can often evaporate. This is one of the more rewarding aspects of the Aisling experience.
Before and after
When contact is made it is followed up with subsequent meetings during which preparations can be made for the return to Ireland trip. Often other social, welfare and medical issues may be highlighted during this process. Also during the Aisling trip many issues may be flagged up and we are at hand to deal with them. Aftercare is also a consideration we take very seriously and further return trips may be necessary to make contact with families and friends or to develop further the needs of a particular client. Sometimes several such trips are undertaken.
Aisling has two outreach workers each with specialist skills which complement the requirements of the project. Our Outreach Worker (health) is a qualified nurse and is able to accurately assess the clients, advise on their health needs and make appropriate referrals. Our outreach worker (substance misuse) is a trained alcohol counsellor and can advise on client’s dependency issues and refer to appropriate services as well as give professional advice and monitor alcohol use for instance and advise on harm minimisation.