THE people of Portlaoise are being urged to help out a local voluntary group which provides an invaluable service but is in danger of closing if it can not raise enough funds from the public.
Portlaoise Arch Club is a club for adults with an intellectual disability and has been in existence for the last 25 years.
But this proud history of service is in danger of coming to an end because of a shortage of funds.
“While the club has managed to raise the funds for this year’s holiday they will not be in a position to continue next year without a huge injection of funds.
“This is a local charity providing a service for local people in your community so please support this extremly worthwhile cause,” said the Club in a statement.
While children with an intellectual disability have the opportunity for many social outings through their schools, there is little available for adults in the same position, as many of them live at home.
Portlaoise Arch Club was set up to provide a social outlet for adults in this position where they would have the opportunity of meeting up with their friends in a safe and fun filled environment.
The club is non profit making and is run by volunteers, many of whom had no previous experience in this area but who recognised the need for such a service.
It holds a disco in The Portlaoise Heritage Hotel on the last Thursday of every month, from September to June, excluding December.
The atmosphere is always electric as the members delight in each others company and in interacting with all their helper friends.
Once a year the Arch Club helpers take a group of about 40 of their members for a weekend away and this is the highlight of the year.
Having an adult with an intellectual disability at home is a full time job for parents or carers.
“In today’s difficult financial times with more and more cut backs and much less support, not only does this weekend provide an exciting weekend away for members but it also provides a very well deserved break for their families,” said the club.
Many people are not aware of Portlaoise Arch club so if you know of anyone with an intellectual disability who would enjoy a night out every month please tell them to come along to the disco in The Heritage Hotel on the last Thursday of every month.
New helpers are also very welcome.
As the club relies on fundraising to keep this very worthwhile service going they need your support next weekend for their Church Gate collection on Saturday/Sunday October 13-14. The club also hopes the public can keep them in mind if you are doing any fundraising event.
If you would like more information on Portlaoise Arch Club please contact Orlagh McCrory, Chairperson, at 0876836156.