SOCIAL FABRIC 2018 – A Thank You Note
When I started this journey, I had an idea for a project that would help young adult to rediscover the art of conversation.
Growing up in Italy, we sat at the table everyday as a family
And in Italy the family includes uncles, aunties, grannies, granddads, neighbours and anyone that happen to be passing by when the dinner was served.
At the time it didn’t really seem to be that important, but as I spent 50 on this earth, I realised that the conversations, nuggets of information, jokes, laughter and that very important inter -generational crossover made a positive impact to my life.
Listening to my favourite uncle talking about the good old days or my granny reminiscing about the War or even having a very animated conversation with my sisters about my favourite band, was all part of what made me.
Looking at my teenage children, looking at the importance screen time – be it phone, tablet, tv or playstation – and the lack of conversational skills – or indeed the lack of interest in conversation, saddened me and genuinely worried me.
The peer to peer conversation over Instagram, snapchat or whatever the next big thing is going to be, seemed to fall short of what I believe to be necessary and healthy for them.
Over a glass of wine and lovely conversation with a couple of friends from Brazil, I mentioned that that I was worried about the very fabric of our society and the tears that started to appear.
Social Fabric, the name, was born.
When a friend of mine, Graham Bushe, completely the incredible feat of running the Wicklow Way race, 127 km, only to turn around and run back, I thought it would be a good idea to sit down with him and ask him how and why.
I contacted the Outsider Magazine and asked them if they’d be interested in an article about Graham.
They kindly agreed to the idea and off I went to meet with Graham.
I brought my phone along, sat it between us on the table and asked him a few questions,
I thought I’d record the chat in case I missed anything for when I was going to write the story.
What developed was the idea of the podcast.
I thought that perhaps someone out there would like to know about an ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
The article was published, Graham got nominated for an Outsider Magazine award and I thought “why stop here, there are so many amazing people around and I want to know more about them and hopefully my kids will listen to their stories and get inspired”
In the meatime, I decided to do a radio course in Near FM, in Coolock, Dublin.
The course was brilliant and gave me a great taste for the radio, the studio, the recording systems and once I completed the course I put together a proposal for a weekly show.
Social Fabric, the podcast was born.
Loosely based on the fabulous Desert Island discs, in that the guests get to pick 7 songs that are meaningful to them, I decided to focus on Passion and community involvement.
9 months and 37 episodes later I have had the privilege to meet with a fantastic group of people whose lives, work, passion and drive could not have been more diverse.
I learned so much from each one of them.
From Graham Bushe – how mind over matter can make you achieve impossible things
From Paul Byrne how and why he set up a website – greystonesguide.ie that has become the go to place for anyone in the town
From Eamon O’Connor of LuckyBones, what it means to be a passionate musician and how to make a living out of it. A special thanks to Eamon for allowing me to use his songs for the intro of the podcast, Alice will be played in full at the end of this.
From Pol O’Conghaile –how to combine the love for writing and travelling to become a multi award winning travel writer.
From Patrik Albertsson – how to follow your passion and reinvent yourself from Policeman to Massage Therapist
From Mark Davidson – how to use your passion for books to introduce children to the art of writing
From Ju Ju Jay – How to overcome addiction to become a sponsored athlete and teach other how to appreciate the outdoor and learn to trail run
From Adrianne Murphy – the passion for community radio and how Faith plays a very big part in her daily life
From Ross Thompson – how to contribute to your community through the first responders scheme, saving lives through first aid course and action
From Veronica Larsson – how yoga and really getting in touch with your body and soul can help your mental and physical health.
From Steven Duggan – how working for a corporate giant does not mean that you cannot pursue your dreams of becoming a published writer
From Mark Lawlor – the importance of being in touch with Nature and moving away from technologically distractions.
From Michael Emberley – how to stay true to yourself and focus on your passion no matter how difficult it may seem
From Suzie Beggan – How to create a successful brand from a kitchen table while juggling family life and raising children
From Tom Scott – how to run a charity and what can we do to improve other people’s lives
From Barry Dempsey – how to earn the trust of kids that have lost their way through drugs and social exclusion
From Anthony Clavin – how to marry fitness and fun and blended it all with nature and music
From Steve Wall – how to dive into the world of acting after spending 30 years in the world of music
From David Flynn – How to go on a quest for social change starting with vegetables and cold sea swims
From Raj Singh – how the power of community and his Indian family have shaped him
From Jess Kelly – how hard work and perseverance always pays off
From Sarah Bowie – how your true passion can get you the job your were meant to have
From Barry Cronin – how true friends can see you through the darkest times.
From Stephen Flynn – how to stay true to your self beliefs
From Daniel Hannigan – how to turn a personal tragedy into an awareness and fundraising campaign through social events
From Ruth Fitzmaurice – how to find solace through writing and early morning swims
From Tara Flynn – how to use your voice for social change and human rights
From John O’Regan – how dedication can lead to amazing achievement
From Niall O’Murchu – how realising you true call can change your life
From Colm Mac Con Iomaire – how the importance of family and generosity
From Colm Nicell – how to turn a personal interest in an award-winning movie
From Ciara Kelly – how to recognise your true self and don’t be afraid of changes
From Charlie Wright – how to become a social entrepreneur while empowering others
From Paula McLoughlin – how to use your skills for more important things than money
From Fr Tony Coote – how to make a difference when faced a debilitating disease
From Sinead Kane – how to turn disability and bullying into a quest for a better world for all
From Tony Duffin – how to help people that most of us would walk away from.
Needless to say, all of my guests have taught me a lot more than these little nuggets of
A big thanks to you all for the bottom of my heart.
You are all making a different in our society and hopefully someone out there will find some of these useful or at least entertaining.
Plenty of music has been chosen and it’s all available on Social Fabric playlist on spotify
I’ll leave you with Alice by Lucky Bones and talk to you again in 2019.
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