For over 30 years, parents of persons with an Intellectual Disability have been strongly supported by the South West Branch of the Parents and Friends Association.
When the group was set up by the late Seamus Cleary and Bernard Egan, the membership numbered close on 70–80 people.They worked tirelessly to forward the cause for services and entitlements. Every month without fail, a meeting was called in the Central Hotel, for parents and guardians to meet and exchange experiences and to support one another. There was a major Fund Rising Drive to refurbish the Old Cleary School, which housed the first Special Education Class, then, with due progress, St Agnes School was built and the Cleary Training Centre was established.
Fast forward to 2012, a meeting of the branch was held on March 6, with just 7 members!
One would wonder, if the need for this Support Group is still there? Regardless of the low membership, the work continues to the benefit of persons with intellectual disability.
The branch was very fortunate in receiving on two occasions a very generous donation of €10,000 from the Communications Workers Union. This money was used for the renovations to Cilaobhain Centre in Killymard and for renovations which will commence in the near future to St.Agnes Centre.
We are sure that there are many new young parents who would benefit by the support of the monthly meetings.
Its not all about fund raising, its about communicating and talking with other parents who are in the “same boat”.
The association is not just for parents. It is for siblings, guardians, and friends of persons with intellectual disabilities. There is no membership fee, just a small commitment to attend a meeting.
The AGM of the Association will be held in the Offices of Gallagher McCartney, New Row, Donegal Town on Tuesday, May 8 at 8pm.
Come along and join us. Everyone is welcome.
For more information, please contact Mella Britton. PRO, on 074 972 2656
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