A social club for Laois’ adults with intellectual disabilities has received a donation of €1,000, which organisers say should help to ease their growing financial struggles.
Laois ARCH Club hosts regular discos and weekend breaks for its members. The club will celebrate their 25th birthday this year, but are struggling financially to keep going.
“We need to raise between €10,000 and €12,000 each year to remain in operation,” says Treasurer Rose Williams.
“As we receive no grants or government funding we rely on donations and fund raising. This year is the first year in operation that we are seriously struggling, which shows the generosity of Laois people to date, and it would be such a shame if we were not able to continue.
We are absolutely thrilled to receive this substantial cheque from Life Style Sports Bootcamp Ireland,” she said.
The donation came about after an employee of the bootcamp, Shelly Browne, got chatting to Josie Kelly, mother to ARCH member Angela, while visiting The Heath.
Josie explained to Shelly what the ARCH Club means to Angela and how much she looks forward to getting dressed up and meeting her friends every month.
Shelly was so impressed that she returned and asked her company to donate the proceeds of their Christmas fundraiser to the club.
“We are a friendship club which fits in very well with the ethos of Laois ARCH Club. We are delighted to be able to support this extremely worthwhile cause,” said Shelly.
Laois ARCH hold their discos on the last Thursday of every month in The Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise. This month they invited along Transition Years pupils from Scoil Chriost Rí, to promote awareness and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities, as as our photos by Tim Keane show, the night was a great success.
Once a year they also take about 40 members away for a weekend break, which Chairperson Órlagh McCrory is a very big commitment for their volunteer helpers,
“This is a very worthwhile service. There are many social outlets available for children with disabilities, but not for adults and as more and more respite care is being cut in Laois, our club is a vital link for our members. It also provides a very welcome break for parents or carers,” she said.
Both the club and Ms McCrory were nominated for awards at this years Laois Forum Community Awards.