BRAY RALLYING BEHIND LAKERS
LAKERS BEGIN TO REBUILD AFTER DEVASTATING FIRE AT BRADY CENTRE
LAKERS is rising from the ashes this week with help from the community, after a catastrophic fire at their Seapoint Road premises. The sports and recreation club for people with intellectual disabilities has already been given the use of two buses after their entire fleet was wiped out on Friday morning.
As offers and donations flood in, staff are working day and night to get back up and running for their 400 members. They were back on the road doing off-site activities this week. In the long-term, any funds raised beyond what’s needed straight away will go to a building fund for a new premises.
The fire in the early hours of Friday is not believed to have been started maliciously.
IN the days since fire engulfed the Lakers building on Seapoint Road, the group has been given the loan of two buses and other vehicles, numerous premises, and cash donations.
General Manager Jo Heath said that it looks as though the building will be condemned, so they do not expect to move back in to the Brady Centre.
Four buses were destroyed in the blaze which took place in the early hours of Friday morning.
‘It hasn’t even been viewed by all of the insurance companies,’ said Ms Heath, who said that discussions about how to proceed are still ongoing.
They met with Minister Simon Harris and the board on Monday evening.
Ms Heath said that it appears that there is substantial structural damage as well as fumes rendering the building unsafe.
‘We want to thank the community sincerely for all of the many offers we have had,’ she said.
Services manager and parent Sandra Fagan said that one bus was donated by Jerry Malone of MT cabs. Another was one he had given to the Irish defence forces veterans. They haven’t even used it yet and have loaned it to Lakers so that they can continue their activities.
The Order of Malta has promised a seven-seater wheelchair vehicle, and Ciaran Downes of Ardmore Park has offered the use of another vehicle.
As of yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, a gofundme page called ‘Lakers Needs a Home’ had raised over €16,200 in just four days.
Sandra said that there are many other offers of vehicles and premises as yet unconfirmed.
Staff and volunteers are still going through everything and working night and day to get re-organised.
Sandra appealed for a big turnout for this Saturday’s sponsored walk at Glendal- ough. Anyone who wishes to get a sponsorship card or make a donation can go to lakers.ie. There are walks for all abilities, including one suitable for wheelchairs.
‘It’s been so encouraging to have so much support from the community,’ said Sandra.
She said that members are all really upset and anxious. They are eager to get up and running as soon as possible. The club’s 400 members range in age from five to 75. ‘ The staff and volunteers have been amazing. We have such a fantastic team,’ said Sandra.
Jo said that any funds not needed for Lakers’ immediate needs will go into the building fund. ‘We will have to make moves soon to buy suitable premises,’ she said.
Finally, Jo said that everyone at Lakers would like to convey their sincere appreciation to everyone in the community for their help and support.