THE issue of funding was once again raised by CoAction West Cork, when its AGM was held recently, and families were urged to lobby for a reversal.
The AGM, held at St Mary’s National Senior School in Dunmanway, commented on the €1m in funding cuts.
Reggie Chambers, Dunmanway Branch chairperson addressed the meeting, followed by CoAction chairperson, Mary Molloy. Mary remarked on the successes of the organisation, developments in HIQA and governance and the challenges brought by the €1m in funding cuts.
She urged more local volunteers to become involved in the branches to help support the organisation. ‘Challenges and changes will always come our way and where appropriate CoAction must be willing to challenge change and embrace it,’ she said. ‘We must continue to represent and fight for the interests of our people whom we serve and most importantly enable and encourage them to fight for themselves.’
Chief executive Maurice Walsh launched the 2015 annual report on the theme Journeys in Partnership, which focuses on supporting people to live their own lives as part of their own communities. He spoke of the impact of funding cuts in the areas of respite, residential, multi-disciplinary and transport services, the additional costs borne out of HIQA and the growth in numbers of people requiring CoAction supports.
With the new Government now in place, he urged parents and families to take an active role in lobbying local and national politicians to have funding restored for essential services.
On a positive note, despite the challenges faced, Maurice was delighted to note the establishment in 2015 of a new West Cork Adult Autism Service based in Skibbereen and continued collaboration with local groups and services.
Michael Butler, disability manager, HSE Cork South, said he was pleased to see CoAction continuing to support people within the HSE New Directions framework and was very complimentary of CoAction’s work.
The people of West Cork were thanked for their continued generosity and support through fundraising and volunteering activities which are invaluable to the organisation and the people it supports. The meeting concluded with the appointment of incoming directors, and retiring directors were thanked for their valuable contributions.