08 Aug 2022

Irish Wheelchair Association in Clane needs support through pandemic


Irish Wheelchair Association in Clane needs support through pandemic

Clane IWA drivers hard at work delivering food

The John Sullivan (Irish Wheelchair Association) Centre’s frontline workers in Clane are delivering vital services to people with physical disabilities in homes in Kildare throughout the Covid-19 crisis. The organisation has also set up an emergency response team to continue to reach people with disabilities, who may become sick with the coronavirus and isolated.

Tina Ging, service manager, Clane said: “This is a very worrying time for people who use our services and are dependent on our assistance to allow them to remain living safely in their own homes. Many of them are aware that due to their disability, they are extremely vulnerable to Covid-19.

“Members of our community outreach and assisted living teams are among the many heroic frontline healthcare staff who are courageously committed to reaching the most vulnerable during this very difficult time.

“Our assisted living workers are visiting people’s homes, helping them to live independently and to carry out vital everyday tasks such as personal care, cooking and household chores.

“Our outreach team is providing social support such as shopping, collecting prescriptions, providing transport to banks and post offices, helping people to pay online bills and assisting people in applying for welfare payments as well as calling for a chat both in person and on the phone.

“Activities that would usually take place in our community centres are being brought to people’s homes, such as arts and crafts. We are developing an online physical and mental wellness package, so people can access low-impact exercise classes and mindfulness tools to help people stay well physically and mentally as the crisis takes hold.

“The new emergency response team will act as a third layer of support following family and the HSE if one of our service users has to go into self-isolation. Since the start of March, we have recruited a large number of volunteers from our staff and started training them in the use of PPE and the protocols around working in a high-risk environment.

“This emergency team will work on a case-by-case basis supporting essential care needs. This level of determination and willingness of our frontline staff is a testament to the dedication they have to the people they support and their willingness to go above and beyond in their work.”

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Irish Wheelchair Association has been forced to postpone its nationwide fundraising activities and close its network of charity shops. The charity supports 4,000 people with physical disabilities every week in Ireland across a spectrum of needs and is now appealing to the public for support. It needs to raise over €2m annually to keep vital services running.

“We are aware that it is a difficult time for everyone and we’re asking people to donate to support our frontline workers if they can afford to,” added Tina.

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