In November 2006 one of the parents from St. Anthony’s Unit wrote to all the parents / guardians of 40 service users within the Unit, with a view to forming a Support Group. Seven parents responded—some families felt that as full-time carers, they could not commit any more time to meetings and fundraising events. Others did not respond. To date six members remain.
The objectives of the group were, firstly;
- to fundraise for a minibus for St. Anthony’s Unit so that the young people with disabilities might get some extra outings which they enjoy so much.
- and secondly, to campaign for a house for people with disabilities in urgent need of residential care.
It took some time and meetings with Management of CWCW (E) Ltd. to reach agreement on the use of an extra bus.
After about two months we got the go-ahead. We met with local politicians and organised a couple of events. We were very lucky to get National Lottery money and together with a concert and a couple of donations, we were able to purchase the bus by July 2007. We also had enough funds to purchase some suites of furniture for the day unit, again with large discounts from the shop owner.
Our campaign for a residential house met with great difficulty—HSE claiming that housing is the responsibility of the County Council and the County Council claiming that they do not provide care homes. The eventual outcome was that the HSE provided CWCW (E) Ltd. with funds to purchase a house, renovate it and cease renting the present respite house, leaving us still without additional badly needed residential accommodation.