16 November 2020
By Tom Collins
Cork disabilities organisation appeals to businesses to offer suitable space to assist in the full resumption of essential services
Cope Foundation is appealing to businesses and groups to provide suitable, spare space to enable them to continue providing a day service for the people supported by the organisation. Cope Foundation, a registered charity working with people with an intellectual disability and/or autism, is seeking suitable space to either sub-let or use on a pro-bono basis.
The ongoing restrictions caused by Covid-19 means that almost all of Cope Foundation’s day services have had to limit the numbers of people who can safely attend. As a result, many people across Cork have seen their day service hours significantly reduced and Cope Foundation is concerned about the impact this is having on people and their families. The organisation is now looking for suitable space to allow elements of its day services to be delivered in these new locations as an interim measure so that it can provide more services for people.
Ideally, the space would be:
o private i.e. not shared or used by others at the time
o accessible for people with disabilities
o equipped with bathroom facilities
o available for use Monday-Friday during the daytime
o accessible by public transport
Cope Foundation supports people across the city and throughout Cork so the current appeal for space applies to the city or any of the larger towns.
Sean Abbott Chief Executive at COPE Foundation says, “It is so important to us to continue to look at ways to continue the good work done by the team and Cope. We are committed to doing everything we can for the people we support. Cork businesses and the community have always been supportive of us and now we can help this worthwhile initiative to keep a sense of normality for the people we support.”
Marian Hennessy, coordinator of Cope Foundation’s Ability@Work Programme says, “For the first few months of the initial lockdown my team worked remotely for safety reasons. When it was safe for us to resume our service we found we didn’t have adequate space for the team to do this effectively. I contacted Kathleen Linehan in Trigon Hotel Group – with whom we have a fantastic working relationship – and told her about the barriers we were experiencing in terms of work space. Without hesitation Kathleen offered us a weekly space to use in one of their function rooms in The Metropole Hotel. The sheer size of this room afforded us the opportunity to do face to face work with participants. It would be great to see more of this happening across the city and county so that more services can be available for people supported by Cope Foundation.”
Companies, community groups and workplaces who have some space capacity that can be offered to Cope Foundation are asked to contact Derval McDonagh, General Manager Person-Centred Services and Supports. Telephone 021 4643100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .