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.