The Cuidiu DSE committee is made up of 4 officer roles which come up for renewal every 2 years along with representatives from all of our core activities. Our committee meets each month to discuss current events and allows each of the representatives to raise any issues or updates from their particular area. We also hold an Annual General Meeting in February each year where we discuss the previous year, review the accounts and elect new members to the committee for roles that have become vacant. And of course have a glass of wine or two!!
Anyone who is a member of Cuidiu DSE can join the committee. It is a great way to be involved in the branch, meet new people and shape the role Cuidiu plays in the community. There are many roles to suit a wide range of skills, interests and involvement.
Below is a summary of each role and their specific responsibility.
Chair / Co-Chair
This is the headline role. The chair and co-chair are responsible for the direction our branch takes to serve our members. They chair committee meetings and co-ordinate with all other people on the committee. These roles are also central in liaising with Cuidiu board of directors to ensure that our branched adheres to policy and procedure. This is a role for experienced members and those looking to take Cuidiu’s message out in to the DSE area. As such this is a role that requires time to be dedicated on a daily or weekly basis.
This is an officer role. The secretary is responsible for organising committee meetings on a monthly basis. Agenda items are sent to the secretary by all other committee members, with the secretary then circulating the agenda prior to meetings and ensuring the meeting covers all agenda points. The secretary is also responsible for taking minutes during the meeting and distributing these to members afterwards to allow for any action points to be completed. This is a monthly requirement for the secretary position.
This is an office role. The membership secretary is responsible for processing all membership forms received in paper format and also keeping the excel database of Cuidiu DSE members up to date. The membership secretary updates the committee each month with current membership numbers and they also liaise with both the treasurer and any other member who requires membership information for their role (for example newsletter distribution). This role can be attended to monthly, with busy periods when new memberships open.
This is an officer role. The treasurer is responsible for the lodging of all cash from Cuidiu activities along with paying all invoices. They also keep a record of all income and expenditure throughout the year providing monthly updates to the committee on cash levels, fundraising and areas of interest or concern.
The treasurer compiles and produces the annual accounts to be agreed by the committee and the AGM and submitted to the Cuidiu board of directors. Accounts and records must comply with the latest Charity Act and be in a position to be audited by either Cuidiu or the Government. As such this role is for members with accounting experience. This role requires monthly input, with trips to the bank for cash lodgements in addition to keeping the accounts updated.
Toddler Group Representatives (x2)
Cuidiu DSE runs two weekly baby and toddler groups; Wednesday in Glenageary and Friday in Foxrock. Each group is run by volunteers but a point of contact person from each group is needed to report to the committee. These groups are one of the pillars of our offering to the community. They are well attended by a variety of mums, dads and child minders.
The representative is responsible for applying for a council grant each year and ensuring that the necessary paperwork is completed and submitted to the council within their deadlines. The committee representatives also provide updates on attendance patterns, grant spending and any requests they have for additional funds. These roles are suitable for someone who attends the group each week. In addition to the 2hrs a week the groups is open, there are occasional additional hours needed for grant applications etc.
Coffee Morning Representative
Cuidiu DSE runs weekly coffee mornings each Thursday at the house of one of our branch members. These mornings are one of the pillars of our offering to the community. They are well attended by both pregnant mums and mothers of both babies and toddlers. The mornings alternate between Bumps and Babes and Breastfeeding Support, with the latter simply being a coffee morning attended by a Cuidiu-trained breastfeeding councillor.
The coffee morning representative is responsible for ensuring that the host receives the flask and plate each week (makes hosting easier as less kettles to boil!), and ensuring that all attendees sign in. The representative also collects the money for the treasurer (coffee mornings receive voluntary cash donations from attendees) and adds new mums to the Cuidiu WhatsApp group. Finally the representative helps the committee complete the event sheet by organising who will host the meetings for the upcoming quarter. This role is best suited to a mum who is able to attend the coffee mornings most Thursdays, for example someone who is newly on maternity leave or who does not work on Thursdays.
Cuidiu have a number of breastfeeding councillors currently trained within the DSE branch. These councillors have their names and numbers promoted on both the website and event sheet. They attend the bi-monthly breastfeeding support coffee mornings and are responsible for getting the message of breastfeeding out to our community. The representative from this area must be a breastfeeding councillor.
Cuidiu offer support to mums throughout their motherhood journey. One of the offerings is Antenatal courses which are run by Annemarie O’Dowd who is our Antenatal Representative.
Parent to Parent (P2P)
Cuidiu DSE offers monthly coffee mornings hosted by trained Parent to Parent supporters. Whilst not councillors the supporters are trained to be a listening ear for anyone who is finding parenthood challenging. These groups are one of the pillars of our offering to the community and set us apart from other, smaller branches who do not have either the membership numbers or the trained supporters to facilitate such an important service.
The P2P representative is responsible for coordinating the monthly coffee mornings, liaising with the event sheet coordinator for dates and locations. The representative from this area most be a parent to parent supporter.
The committee is aware that much of our offerings centre around daytime activities which are well attended by mothers on maternity leave. However many mums return to work and are no longer able to attend. Hopefully friendships have been made during this leave, and the evening events are a way for our branch to facilitate socialising in the evenings after children are asleep.
This representative is responsible for organising events to run in the evenings. Recent events have included a monthly book club, cinema outings and even swimming in the 40 Foot! This role is suited to a mum who has returned to work but would like to remain active within the branch.
A perk of being a Cuidiu DSE member is receiving a quarterly newsletter by post. The newsletter contains articles submitted to the representative from a broad range of fields that fit with the ethos and message of Cuidiu. Birth stories, gardening, health, nutrition, education and environmental issues have all made an appearance.
The representative is responsible for collating all stories, formatting in to the newsletter, printing and posting to all members. This role is suited to someone with good PC skills and who is able to co-ordinate and organise articles from people, along with an editing ability to ensure articles are in a published condition. Due to the nature of this role it is possible to split this between collating & editing and printing & distributing roles should people be interested in either of these aspects specifically. This role takes up quite a bit of time on a quarterly basis, but is then input-free for the remaining months.
Every quarter Cuidiu DSE issue their event sheet detailing all weekly and special events available to both members and non-members. The event sheet co-ordinator is responsible for collating all the information from the other co-ordinators and completing the event sheet. Details of coffee mornings, P2P mornings, evening events, antenatal events and any special courses are included along with information on breast pump rental and breastfeeding councillor contact details.
This role is suited to someone with good PC skills and an ability to meet a tight deadline. This role takes up quite a bit of time on a quarterly basis, but is then input-free for the remaining months.
Our website is an important source of information for both members and prospective members. It holds all the information on who we are, what we do and what activities are coming up. The website must be maintained and updated on an ongoing basis.
This role is suited to someone with knowledge on website creation and maintenance.
In recent years the use of social media has increased and allows Cuidiu DSE to reach a much wider audience on an immediate timeframe. The social media co-ordinator is responsible for posting information about weekly events each Monday, creating events for special courses that are being run and generally keeping the social media presence current and within Cuidiu guidelines. They are also responsible for monitoring spam and removing inappropriate posts.
This role is suited to someone who is familiar with social media and is able to dedicate the time needed to keep our social media sites running smoothly. This role is a great one for anyone who has access to social media throughout the day, but who maybe does not have the time to dedicate to one of the other committee roles.
Cuidiu a Do
Over the summer months the majority of Cuidiu DSE’s usual weekly offerings stop as the schools are out. We continue to provide our service to the community through the Cuidiu a do meets. The co-ordinator is responsible for organising weekly events during summer for our members. Events can be free (such as picnic, beach or playground meets) or can be reasonably priced (OWL nature events). This is a great way for families to continue to build social networks during the whole year, and is a perfect time for dads to join us.
This role is suited to someone who is available through the summer, so particularly suits teachers or stay at home mums.