Join us on Saturday, 15th June at 12 noon on the Salthill Prom as we try to break the current Guinness World Record for the largest ‘Rock the Boat’. We need you and at least 1,702 others to break the record. See you there.
The 2nd Best Buddies Friendship Walk took place on Wednesday, 27th February at NUIG. As it was a warm and sunny day, the walk was enjoyed by all. Thank you to Jarrad Butler, Finlay Bealham, Conor McKeon and Conan O’Donnell of Connacht Rugby for joining us on our trek!
Ability West launched its new five year strategic plan on 19th February. This plan provides a roadmap for services, supports and the organisational development of Ability West and outlines the destination that we wish to arrive at in the next five years. The plan will ensure that we are best placed to achieve our vision and mission in the most effective, efficient, fair, equitable and person centred manner. Ability West consulted widely in the latter months of 2018 to seek the views of our stakeholders about re-examining our Vision and Mission statements and ideas/contributions about the future direction of our services. We had excellent engagement from our stakeholders and have now updated our Vision and Mission statements which are included in the strategic plan and on this website.
Our Galway City Active Ageing Service in Galway City presenting their fantastic Brigid's Crosses to the CEO and staff of Ability West. We had a lovely visit this morning, great to have a cuppa and a natter together.
Ability West was delighted to take delivery of a Citroen Picasso this week which is for use by the residents of our Riverside Apartments, Tuam. The purchase of this vehicle was made possible through the funds raised at our Fashion Show last November and supplemented by funds from our capital programme (fundraised monies). Ann Lynskey, sister of Dermot Maloney, was instrumental in organising this event along with staff members Breege Creaven, Amanda Larkin, Linda Keane, Patricia Donohue and Michael Duke. Breda Crehan-Roche, Chief Executive, thanked everyone involved and the many people who supported our event. The reaction to the new people carrier has been fantastic with Dermot saying “it’s nice to have a new bus” and Tony saying “it’s excellent”
Willie Daniels, Paramount Conversions, presenting the keys of a new bus to our CEO Breda Crehan-Roche, Chairman Ray Kelly, and Chairman of the Service User Council, John Farragher. The bus was purchased as a result of the generosity of the people of Galway and beyond. Sincere thanks to you all.
Ian Haverty and Linda Keane promoting Ability West yesterday at the Galway City Volunteer Fair in the Galway Bay Hotel. A lovely surprise to be joined by Mayor Niall McNelis. A fantastic event and great to have so much interest in volunteering with us.
As we commence our 57th year of service provision to people with disability, it is timely that we take this opportunity to sincerely thank the people of Galway and beyond for their generosity and support in 2018. As always, we are indebted to our volunteers, donors, supporters and staff without whom we could not continue to provide the high quality services and supports to over 580 children and adults with intellectual disability.
Throughout 2018 we ran numerous fundraising events and all the funds raised are solely utilised for capital projects, e.g. renovating existing buildings, purchase of new buildings/sites for development, specialised minibuses and equipment. A number of building projects are underway for 2019, including: extension to a city based residential service to accommodate the increased ageing and mobility needs of the residents; an extension to an adult day service in Kilkerrin, the conversion of an existing adult day service in Glenamaddy to a respite service for adults, and the development of services in Headford. We were also able to replace a number of our minibuses in 2018 which helps to ensure that individuals we support can access the community and remain included in our society. All of this was and will be possible through funds raised by your generosity and we are extremely grateful for your support.
Ability West is indebted to its many volunteers not least our board members who ensure that the organisation is appropriately governed and all of our dealings are transparent and accountable. We continue to operate a Best Buddies College Programme with NUIG and GMIT students which is a befriending programme that matches adults with intellectual disability with a peer who has similar interests. We also have a large volunteer programme with many people from across the city and county involved in local branches, and many who share their talents, skills and interests with the people we support. This hugely augments our services and brings many additional benefits to children and adults with intellectual disability and autism for which we would otherwise be unable to support. We are sincerely thankful to you all.
Since the economic downturn in 2008 Ability West continues to be challenged by financial cuts, responding to emergencies, increased compliance requirements, responding to changing needs of the people we support and increased demands for services. Together, with your support, we will continue to work hard to ensure that the children and adults we support will continue to achieve their potential and live valued lives in their local communities.
Thank you again for your amazing support and we wish you all a happy and healthy 2019.
Go raibh míle maith agat.
Ability West held its Annual General Meeting on 28th May 2018.
As part of Job Shadow Day 2018, Ability West partnered with four employers in Galway to give adults with an intellectual disability an opportunity to shadow’ workers for one day as they go about their normal working routine.
A recap of Best Buddies' year at NUI Galway. Best Buddies is a volunteer programme that pairs students in fun, enriching, one-to-one friendships with a peer who has an intellectual disability.
The "Growing Art" exhibit was launched in Westside Library on Thursday March 22nd by artist Jim Kavanagh and Chief Executive of Ability West,