15 June 2021
By Mary Bermingham
People supported by Cope Foundation are sharing their stories, lived experiences and insights to raise awareness and promote equality and inclusion as part of the organisation’s latest virtual fundraising challenge, 5 Peaks 1 Week.
The challenge itself involves virtually scaling Munster’s five highest peaks which can be taken on by teams or individuals covering their equivalent distance (50KM) in one week. The 50KM can be done in any way – running, walking, rolling, cycling, swimming etc. People are also welcome to take on the five mountains in person – if they’re up for the mammoth challenge.
During the challenge, participants are encouraged to listen to the Learning For Life Ireland Podcasts, which have been hosted by students and staff in Bonnington and Doras Training Centres in Cope Foundation. The podcasts will be available to download on streaming platforms in the coming days and will focus on bringing awareness to five key human rights.
The organisation hopes the challenge will create an opportunity for people to support its work through fundraising, but also support and share its vision for a more inclusive and diverse Cork. Cope Foundation is inviting companies, sports clubs, and individuals to get involved in the challenge and develop a deeper understanding of what equality should look like for people with disabilities – and the role we all play in developing inclusive and accessible communities.
Working from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the five key rights, which were selected by people supported, include the right to equality; the right to accessibility; the right to inclusion; the right to employment; and the right to live independently. During the 5 Peaks 1 Week Challenge, participants are asked to stand up to the peaks and stand up for the rights of people.
Shane, a student from Bonnington Training Centre in Cope Foundation says: “I have the right to be treated the same as everybody, even though I have autism. I’m still a person. People who have disabilities and other problems have feelings too. If I am not treated the same as people with no disability, I feel I am being discriminated against which makes me feel down and not confident in myself. I need people to be patient with me, and then I can better myself. So treat me with respect please.”
Lauren, a student from Bonnington Training Centre in Cope Foundation also says: “We’re asking people to climb Munster’s highest peaks; this event will help raise awareness for Cope Foundation. I have the right to work and live independently, I have the right to live. I have the right to equality, I have a right to be treated the same as everyone else. I’m so happy to be taking part in 5 Peaks 1 Week.”
Sean Abbott, Chief Executive of Cope Foundation says: “At Cope Foundation, we are guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRDP). People with disabilities simply must experience the same opportunities, choices and options as others in society. The 5 Peaks 1 Week challenge is a great way for people we support to promote and advocate for their rights. The fundraiser is also a unique opportunity for the Cork community to learn about the UNCRPD and join us in our work to create more inclusive and diverse communities across Cork.”
The 5 Peaks 1 Week challenge must be completed by a team or an individual within one week, starting any time in June until the end of August.
The five mountains include Carrauntoohil, Galteemore, Knockmealdown, Moylussa, and Knockboy. The challenge can be completed virtually or physically and can be achieved by running, walking, rolling, cycling etc, all while raising funds for Cope Foundation.
To sign up and take part in the challenge, please visit https://www.cope-foundation.ie
All funds raised will go towards projects and programmes that empower and support people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism across Cork city and county.