Five Years of Company

Waterford’s Company Club is celebrating five years in existence and founder Kay Forristal hopes that the initiative will spread nationwide.

MEMBERS of the Waterford Company Club celebrated the fifth anniversary of its foundation with a special celebratory event at Waterford Golf Club recently.
The brainchild of Kay Forristal from Ferrybank, The Company Club has proven to be a resounding success since it was founded five years ago.
Kay’s experiences of coping with life after her husband John died from cancer in 2010 prompted her to try to provide those who are widowed, divorced or single with a social network enabling them to build new friendships.“I wanted a circle of friends, a social club, where people could have a hub and a meeting place,” she explained.
Kay embarked on her quest to establish such a club and, on Wednesday May 22nd 2013, 63 people attended the club’s first meeting in The Showboat, The Glen.
Reflecting on that very first meeting, Kay said she was shocked at how many people turned up.

Company Club Committee Members Martin Waters, Olive Cullen, Timmy Fox and Sandie Holland pictured celebrating the club’s fifth birthday at Waterford Golf Club. Photos: Mick Wall.

Company Club Committee Members Martin Waters, Olive Cullen, Timmy Fox and Sandie Holland pictured celebrating the club’s fifth birthday at Waterford Golf Club. Photos: Mick Wall.


“I thought maybe ten people would show up. It showed the need,” she said. “The Company Club was born as a result of a need in myself but I didn’t realise so many other people were in the same situation.”Looking back on what has been achieved during the past five years brings Kay a sense of satisfaction. “It has been a journey of ups and downs, hurdles and calamities, but nothing we couldn’t handle,” she said.A core group of around 60-70 members are now involved with The Company Club.
A coffee morning is held every Tuesday morning at the Tower Hotel and regular get-togethers take place each Wednesday evening in the Roanmore Centre where dancing is enjoyed. “On Wednesday nights, people love the dancing and the craic,” explained Kay.“Some people who go to the coffee morning do not come to our Wednesday night gatherings as maybe they’re not into dancing. The coffee morning is great as it’s so casual.” For just €5, members can also use the Tower Hotel Leisure Centre at any time during the week.

In addition to the gatherings on Tuesday mornings and Wednesday evenings, numerous activities and excursions are organised on an ongoing basis.
For example, members recently enjoyed a walk through the Dunmore East Woods and visited the Waterford Greenway. It’s hoped that an overnight stay in Dublin, incorporating a visit to the theatre, will also be organised soon.Kay says that being involved in such activities has huge benefits for all members of The Company Club. “It’s inevitable that we all have to age, but it’s how you age that counts,” she said. “You can’t be sad and down in the dumps when you’re laughing, having fun, making arrangements to go out, having dinner parties, going on trips away, country walks, and picnics. You’re alive, living, and involved.” Waterford is now being used as a template for what can be achieved through the establishment of a Company Club.
Kay initially tried to form Company Clubs in other areas of the country shortly after the establishment of the Waterford club.

Kay Forristal and Chris Everett pictured with the birthday cake marking five years of the Waterford Company Club

Kay Forristal and Chris Everett pictured with the birthday cake marking five years of the Waterford Company Club


“I was so enthusiastic when I saw how joyful people were,” she said.Some clubs were established around the country but they unfortunately fizzled out.
“I feel we are stronger this time,” said Kay.Along with her partner Chris, she plans to travel nationwide to spread the message about The Company Club and to encourage more people to establish clubs themselves. “I feel the five year mark is a milestone. I also feel it’s time for the next chapter to begin,” she said.
“I want The Company Club to go nationwide. There is a need for this in every town and village in Ireland. We will devise a plan on how to set up a club. Clubs will be affiliated to us in taking our constitution, rules of regulation, code of conduct etc. but they can grow their own individual clubs.”

There are also plans to develop an online Company Club for people who may not be able to attend meetings or outings. “I meet people who will never have the opportunity to attend,” said Kay.
“They may be minding elderly parents or a disabled family member but they know they can ring me and I regularly meet them for a cuppa.” The Waterford Social Circle, which is an initiative of the Company Club and which caters for under 50s, is also continuing to enjoy success. Kay is delighted with the feedback she continues to receive, however, issues remain with men and in encouraging more to get involved. Timmy Fox from Butlerstown is an active member of The Company Club who currently holds the position of Chairperson.
Timmy’s wife died seven years ago and he admits that for two years he was “all over the place”. The Company Club had just been established when he decided to join.
“I thought ‘here goes, I can sink or swim’. I joined the club and haven’t looked back since,” she said.

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