Drogheda’s Irish Wheel­chair As­so­ci­a­tion branch asks for your help

Drogheda Independent - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

As the COVID pan­demic starts to drag into win­ter 2020, many char­i­ties’ re­serves are se­verely de­pleted and in Drogheda, the Irish Wheel­chair As­so­ci­a­tion is ap­peal­ing for sup­port, as they have been forced to can­cel their vi­tal an­nual street col­lec­tion. The dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion has been made to pro­tect the health and safety of the pub­lic, its vol­un­teers and the peo­ple it sup­ports. In ef­forts to counter the dam­age to the ser­vice lack of funds could bring, the char­ity has launched an on­line ap­peal called ‘With­out You, We’re Stuck’ and is ask­ing peo­ple to make a do­na­tion through its web­site, www.iwa.ie.

Irish Wheel­chair As­so­ci­a­tion’s an­nual col­lec­tion, which nor­mally takes place across the coun­try, raises €300,000 to­wards the char­ity’s work with peo­ple with phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties. This is the first time in the col­lec­tion’s 30-year his­tory that it has been can­celled.

‘ The loss of this crit­i­cal in­come is con­cern­ing at a time when our lo­cal fundrais­ing events have al­ready had to stop. We es­ti­mate that we will have lost al­most €1 mil­lion in fundrais­ing in­come na­tion­ally by the end of the year. With­out this sup­port, our ser­vices and the peo­ple we sup­port, will be stuck,’ says Louise Cahill of the Irish Wheel­chair As­so­ci­a­tion in Co. Louth.

‘We rely en­tirely on the gen­eros­ity of the pub­lic to fund our wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble buses, which are a life­line for con­nect­ing peo­ple who can­not ac­cess pub­lic trans­port, to our ser­vices. Our chil­dren’s sports clubs, driv­ing school and many other ser­vices are also sup­ported through lo­cal fundrais­ing ef­forts,’

She re­minds ev­ery­one that we are all in this to­gether as we face this pan­demic and they are com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing pub­lic health and that of their mem­bers and vol­un­teers. As they sadly can­cel their street col­lec­tion, they are ask­ing peo­ple, if they can af­ford it, to make a do­na­tion at iwa.ie.

Irish Wheel­chair As­so­ci­a­tion is Ire­land’s largest mem­ber­ship or­gan­i­sa­tion for peo­ple with phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties. It sup­ports 4,000 peo­ple ev­ery week in ev­ery county of Ire­land.

‘ This year is our 60th an­niver­sary, and while we have had to post­pone many plans, our front­line work­ers through­out Co. Louth have re­dou­bled their ef­forts to en­sure that no­body we sup­port has been left alone and iso­lated through­out the cri­sis,’ adds Louise.

‘Our mem­bers in Co. Louth de­pend on our ser­vices, and as an or­gan­i­sa­tion, we are work­ing tire­lessly to keep ev­ery­one we sup­port con­nected to their com­mu­ni­ties.’

Even dur­ing the worst days of the lock­down, no one was left with­out sup­port.

‘Our lo­cal com­mu­nity cen­tres were turned into out­reach ser­vices within hours of the lock­down be­ing an­nounced. Our as­sisted liv­ing team, which pro­vides home sup­port, has con­tin­ued their es­sen­tial work in peo­ple’s homes, with an emer­gency team of coura­geous front­line staff ready to work in full PPE with peo­ple who have to iso­late,’ she adds.

‘Our ser­vices are needed now, more than ever. We would be in­cred­i­bly grate­ful if peo­ple could re­mem­ber Irish Wheel­chair As­so­ci­a­tion ser­vices in Co. Louth this week and make a do­na­tion through our web­site.

To sup­port Irish Wheel­chair As­so­ci­a­tion’s ‘With­out You, We’re Stuck’ ap­peal visit www.iwa.ie.

A very happy Ed­die Lambe at the Louth SFC fi­nal 2020

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