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Cheshire Ireland E-zine July 2012

A message from Mark Blake-Knox CEO

I am delighted that we are now putting together this Cheshire Ireland online magazine called the Cheshire E-zine, which takes over from the Cheshire Voice. It will be an exciting way for the organisation to communicate stories about activities and events being planned or that have taken place. We want to let people know about some of the very positive work that is happening in Cheshire Ireland. This may change people’s vision of what can be achieved by those who happen to have significant disabilities. It will also help us to attract volunteers and participants in fundraising events.

Unfortunately the cost of printing and distributing the Cheshire Voice became prohibitive. This new online version will be a very low cost solution to replace the Cheshire Voice which I know lots of people liked to read. It gave people all around the country a real sense of being part of a wider Cheshire Ireland community.

The Cheshire E-zine will be bi-monthly initially and, as soon as possible, will be sent out every month. It will be emailed to Cheshire Ireland, service users, service managers, staff, volunteers, external supporters of Cheshire and will also be available on the website. It can be read online using Browse-Aloud and one colour copy will be printed and sent to each service for their noticeboard. A braille copy can be made available on request.

The success of the Cheshire E-zine depends on people who get a service from Cheshire, its staff, and volunteers emailing your stories and photos to the editor. All contributions are very welcome! I hope you will be pleased with this initiative.

Mark Blake-Knox

Cheshire Adventure Motivation Project

Visit www.camp.ie to see the calendar of events for the year ahead.

July 19th- 21st – Sligo, 4 day  Mini  CAMP.

Aug 18th- Rathfredagh, Co Limerick,  Mini CAMP.

Sept 4th-10th- 6 day CAMP trip to France.

The CAMP Ball is always a great night out in November/December so lookout for details on their website.

If you want to contact CAMP, simply complete the Request a call back section online or phone 086 1508859.

Cara Garden Makeover to outfox the deer!

An exciting volunteer project took place recently at Cara Cheshire House.

A generous offer came from Biotrin, a manufacturer of diagnostic kits, who offered over 50 volunteers for an afternoon, to help revamp the gardens and the poly tunnel.

The sun shone on the afternoon as the volunteers and residents planned where to plant out over 400 various shrubs and plants and made up over 25 colourful containers and hanging baskets.

The ‘makeover’ of the garden’s poly tunnel was a great success. The volunteers raised the soil level of the vegetable bed inside so that it can be accessed easily. Stephen Conlon who is pictured here, is the main poly tunnel enthusiast at Cara was there to lend a hand and to ensure the job was done well.

When all the work was completed, Des O’Leary, Biotrin’s General Manager presented Terry Donoghue, Service Manager at Cara Cheshire with a cheque for €2,000.

Click on the following link to read more;

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Cara garden makeover to outfox the deer!

An exciting volunteer project took place recently at Cara Cheshire House. Deer from the herd in the Phoenix Park had become regular visitors to the gardens there. While the deer are certainly nice to observe close up, they had eatenall of the flowers, plants and vegetation from the flower beds and garden.

A generous offer came from Biotrin, a manufacturer of diagnostic kits, who offered over 50 volunteers for an afternoon, to help revamp the gardens and the poly tunnel.

Biotrinfunded the significant cost of ‘deer resistant’ plants including digitalis (foxgloves), stachysbyzantine (lamb’s ears), lavandulaangustifolia (lavender) and provided the manpower to do the wheel barrowing and planting.

The sun shone on the afternoon as the volunteers and residents planned where to plant out over 400various shrubs and plants and made up over 25colourful containers and hanging baskets.

Jody Price, formerly of the Mill Lane Garden Centre in Leixlip offered his services free of charge to design and help with the project. He was on hand to provide advice and answer any gardening queries from the volunteers.  Jody also donated a selection of his favourite plants for the front flower beds.

The ‘makeover’ of the garden’s poly tunnelwas a great success. The volunteers raised the soil level of the vegetable bed inside so that it can be accessed easily. Stephen Conlon, the main poly tunnel enthusiast at Cara was there to lend a hand and to ensure the job was done well.

Prior to the makeover, the OPW Park Ranger’s staff agreed to repair the holes in the fence through which the deer were accessing Cara Cheshire’s grounds. So, hopefully the new plants will continue to thrive and the gardens will fill out to look lush and lovely once again.

When all the work was completed, Des O’Leary, Biotrin’s General Manager presented Terry Donoghue, Service Manager at Cara Cheshire with a cheque for €2,000.
Biotrin is a world leader in diagnostic tests for Human Parvovirus B19, a virus that can cause miscarriage in pregnancy. Biotrin is a DiaSorin Group Company, based in Sandyford, which employs over 60 people.


Carmen Sidro, European volunteer, June Mills, Cara Cheshire, FilipJaros, Biotrin
Some Before and After photos!



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Mini CAMPs at Cara and Waterford Cheshire

CAMP kicked off its exciting programme of events when they visited the residents and staff of Cara Cheshire in April and Waterford Cheshire in May.

Activities on offer were rock climbing and abseiling on the 40 foot high climbing wall (which is certainly not for the faint hearted), water sports and the Argo all-terrain vehicle. Mini CAMPs provide a small taster of the bigger camps available later in the year.

All of the CAMP activity personnel were seriously impressed with the sense of adventure and fun shown by the residents, staff and volunteers at both venues.

CAMP would like to thank all concerned very specially for their kindness, cooperation and hospitality!

Pictured here; CAMP's Damien Purcell assisting a Cara adventurer going up the wall.

Tullow  mini CAMP, with Ardeen

CAMP were back in action again in Tullow on Saturday 16th June.

St Patrick’s Cheshire Home very kindly invited residents of Ardeen Cheshire Home to participate in the mini-CAMP in Tullow. Eight residents from Ardeen arrived in Tullow for the exciting day – everyone participated in at least one of the three activities that day, and a super time was had by all. Many thanks to the residents and staff of St Patrick’s Cheshire Home for their hospitality – staff, residents and volunteers from Ardeen felt very welcome and looked after and had a great day!

Photo: Andreas Link, a volunteer, and Eileen Kelly, a resident of Ardeen Cheshire Home.

Women's Mini Marathon

On Monday June 4th Mossie Forde from CCL North travelled from Navan to participate in the Women's Mini Marathon in Dublin. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon.

The route was 10km from Dublin city centre via Ballsbridge to UCD and back via Donnybrook to the finish line at St.Stephen's Green where Mossie was presented with her medal  - Congratulations Mossie!

There was a huge crowd of over 40,000 women who participated in the event, many of whom collected sponsorship for their favourite charities. There were bands playing at each km along the way and some men dressed as women which added to the jovial atmosphere!

Thank you to Blackstairs Vintage Club

Blackstairs Vintage Club are had their annual Vintage Rally last weekend and have very generously  agreed to donate the proceeds of their event to St Patrick’s Cheshire Home, Tullow, Co.Carlow. A great day was had by all, despite the showery weather.

A big thank you to all who attended !

The President opens the hydrotherapy pool at Rathfredagh

President Michael D Higgins paid his first official visit as President to West Limerick on Thursday 26th April.

His Excellency visited Rathfredagh Cheshire Home where he met with staff and residents before officially opening the new hydrotherapy pool. During the visit, the President was entertained by a spectacular display of integrated dancing performed by the residents and students of Copsewood College, Pallaskenry and members of the Spoken Dance company.

Two Slovenian volunteers  Jana and Katarina had the pleasure of dancing with this group and entertaining the huge crowd who turned up to see the President.

Resident Christopher Ryan presented one of his beautiful landscape paintings to the President on behalf of all the residents of Rathfredagh.

Pictured here are Michael O'Mahony, Chairman of the Board, Mark Blake-Knox CEO, President Michael D Higgins and Denise Leonard Sevice Manager, opening the hydrotherapy pool at Rathfredagh.

Click on the following link to view the presentation to the president

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The Presentation to the President in Rathfredagh
Pictured below is the President is holding up a painting by Resident Christopher Ryan that was given to him by all the residents of Rathfredagh.

From left Willie McAullife, Irish President Michael D. Higgins, his wife, Sabina Coyne, the Manager of Rathfredagh Cheshire Home, Denise Leonard and the president's shamrock-capped military aide, Col. Pat Herbert.

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Brent Pope, Elenor Goggin,Men's Lunch, St. Lawrence, Cork

The annual Men’s Lunch took place on 5th April at Maryborough House Hotel with approximately 180 men in attendance. The sun shone and many stayed way past their bed time. Rugby pundit Brent Pope was the guest speaker and was very well received. Over €12,000 was raised.

Pictured; John Crotty, Chairperson 'Friends of St Laurence', Brent Pope, Eleanor Goggin, Sean Marti,n Deputy Lord Mayor and Tom Dwyer, Vice Chairperson 'Friends of St Laurence'.

Rathfredagh Cheshire Home Garden Fete

All roads lead to Rathfredagh last Sunday July 1st for their Annual Garden Fete.

Despite the rain the fun activities were not spoiled and it was a great success. €27,000 was raised for Rathfredagh Cheshire Home. The Garden Fete is their signature annual fundraising event. There was a grand raffle with the first prize of €500, a wheel of fortune, children's sports, lucky dips and various stalls with a huge range of goods such as games, books, toys, shoes, handbags and many more fashion accessories. There was also a dance performance by Spoken Dance, a huge vintage display and much more that ensured the Garden Fete was  a most enjoyable day.

Cheshire Ireland would like to thank the organising comittee. The generosity of all of those who attended is very much appreciated.

Cork Fundraising - Future Events

Our annual Golf Classic will take place in Monkstown Golf Club on 23rd August. The cost of entering a team has been reduced to 300 euro, given the economic climate, corporate teams' involvement has become thin on the ground and we are hoping for more individuals to take part. The food is wonderful in the club and a meal is included in the price.

Our Ladies' Lunch will take place in September/October, the date has yet to be decided. Again it will take place in Maryborough House Hotel and is always a great day.

St Laurence Cheshire Home and Enable Ireland are the beneficiaries for Norma Smurfitt’s ‘Spring Clean for Charity’ in Cork City Hall on the Sunday of the October Bank Holiday weekend, and St. Lawrence's are looking for donations of clothing in good condition, bric a brac, books and anything else that will sell. We are also looking for volunteers to man stalls on the day.

Commitee groupThe opening of the Rathfredagh polytunnel

The opening of the poly tunnel at Rathfredagh Cheshire Home was the culmination of 9 months of endeavours in which it was envisaged that the tunnel would provide new life and new hope for the residents. The tunnel aims to provide residents with a multi-sensory environment, a relaxing space and therapy space where people can work with their hands while growing organic food and assisting in making the kitchen in Rathfredagh self sufficient. It is also their intention to sell the produce from the tunnel to the local community as an enterprise. West Limerick Resources, TÚS and FÁS, through their representatives on the ground, ensured that this poly tunnel was built to the highest spec to enhance the daily lives of the residents in Rathfredagh.

Photo: Anna O'Donnel and Majella Ryan from FÁS, Shay Riordon and Dearbhla Conlon from West Limerick Resources, and Mary Angela Downes, Activity Coordinator in Rathfredagh Cheshire Home.

Click Here for the full story.

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The opening of the Rathfredagh Poly Tunnel

The opening of the poly tunnel at Rathfredagh Cheshire Home was the culmination of 9 months of endeavours. It was envisaged that the tunnel would provide new life and new hope for the residents.

The tunnel aims to provide residents with a multi-sensory environment, a relaxing space and therapy space where people can work with their hands while growing organic food and assisting in making the kitchen in Rathfredagh self-sufficient. It is also the intention to sell the produce from the tunnel to the local community as an enterprise.

Back in 2011, LoudiLammers, Brigid Madigan and Mary Angela Downes came together and dreamt a dream of having a poly tunnel in Rathfredagh. The in-depth knowledge and experience of LoudiLammers from her many years in organic gardening and coming from a horticulture background gave the project a huge head start.

Brigid Madigan, also a unique and wonderful person, was an invaluable asset in ensuring the realisation of the tunnel. Her knowledge and assistance was made available to Rathfredagh through local agencies and bodies and her forthright manner and initiative has ensured that this tunnel came to its new home, at no expense to Cheshire Ireland. Indeed, that assistance, and especially now in the most challenging of times, just shows us country folk the valuable assets of community development through funding from local and national government.

West Limerick Resources, TÚS and FÁS, through their representatives on the ground, ensured that this poly tunnel was built to the highest spec to enhance the daily lives of the residents in Rathfredagh.

Sincere thanks must go to Dearbhla Conlon, Tom Madigan and Shay Riordan of West Limerick Resources for providing funding for this project but a special word of thanks must go to Dearbhla for her invaluable support and assistance throughout and for ensuring all deadlines were met.

Thanks to Mary Murphy and Gerard Meehan of the TÚS office in Newcastle West who provided 2 TÚS workers Mark Daly and Patrick. Mark and Patrick have worked tirelessly since their arrival last September. Thanks to the FÁS workers for their services, reliability and top-class workmanship, and to Gerard McCoy and his maintenance staff, Tom O’Sullivan, Charlie Kelly, Denis O’Donovan, John Hartnett, Stephen Sheehan and Pat Sheehan. Sincere thanks to you all!And to Michael Moran and Pat Hannon who have just left the scheme, we want to remember them too for their great work and contribution to the tunnel.

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Sligo Car Boot Sale

Abbeyview Residences in Sligo have run a series of car boot sales recently, the latest being on Sunday May 20th 2012. It was a great success. €320 euro was raised and this has been used to decorate a new bathroom. There were many stalls inside as well as the cars outside. There was a nail bar, a homemade bread stall and various bric a brac stalls. A great day out was had by all the service users, staff and those who attended.

A message from Paula Corcoran, Abbeyview, Sligo

Tuesday morning June 19th, is a morning I will always remember. I was absolutely excited, as I went to Our Lady of Mercy primary school, Sligo, to deliver this speech to the amazing 2nd and 6th class girls and boys. I totally loved having this very special opportunity to do this; we showed a video of CAMP, which really went down a treat.

I hope you will enjoy reading it!

Pictured here is Paula Corcoran telling her story to a captive audience at Our Lady of Mercy primary school in Sligo with their teacher and Deirdre Chapman, Service Manager.

Click on this link to read Paula's speech

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Paula Corcoran, Abbey View residences, Sligo with schoolchildren from Our Lady of Mercy primary school in Sligo.

Hello girls and boys,

Well, my name is Paula Corcoran, and as you can see I use a wheelchair. This is because I have a physical disability, called Cerebral Palsy, or as I say, CP for short. Basically, your brain sends signals all through your body, to tell your legs to walk, your hands, and arms to move the way you need to feed, dress and write your school work yourself. Well, this part of my brain doesn’t work as it should.

But this does not stop me from living a full and very active life. As you can see, I have a tube in my neck, it’s called a Trachi. In 2003 I became seriously ill because, when I ate by my mouth, food was going the wrong way and it went into my lungs. So since then, I have what is called a PEG tube in my tummy. I get my food, tea, coffee and the odd glass of wine through this tube. It’s cool as I don’t have to cook! I’m very independent; I have my own apartment, in Abbey View Residences, just around the corner from here. I do all my own shopping with my fantastic Personal Assistants.

I work as an artist, both computer art and hand painting. I am working toward having, my first art exhibition, this year, probably in August.

As you can see, I can’t talk myself, so I’m using this cool little notebook laptop to chat with ye guys today! Really, Assistive Technology plays a massively important part in my life. I am using computers all my life, just like you, I went to school, bringing a big computer back and forth. I got homework to do. I have a cool power wheelchair, which I control with my head switch, and a scanning software program calls, Click 2 Go. This gives me great independence. I can visit my neighbours in the evenings etc.

Every year, we have a fantastic CAMP i.e. Cheshire Adventure Motivation Project. Where the Air Corps and army guys, do an amazing 4-day action packed full of activities, such as water sports, rock climbing and working in teams. We are extremely thrilled to be hosting CAMP this July in Sligo.

I am very honoured to be here. You can ask me any questions.

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Know Your Neighbour

Macra na Feirme are running their annual ‘Know your Neighbour Weekend’ on 14/15 July this year. It’s a good chance to take a little time to extend the hand of friendship. Every Cheshire Ireland location is being encouraged to run some kind of event over that weekend, if possible. Engaging with neighbours and our local communities is very important. You never know what knock on benefit you could create!

Central Office plans to kick off the weekend calendar with a ‘Pot Luck Lunch’ on Friday 13th July. We are inviting employees from all of the other companies who work in Bracken Business Park to pop in. Each member of staff is cooking up something exciting to serve for lunch so it’ll be pot luck what we have on offer. Read all about it next month!

If you haven’t already got something planned for your location, put your thinking cap on now. Your event could be something as simple as an offer of a cup of tea (and a Marietta biscuit, of course!) Just don’t forget to send in your stories and photos for inclusion in next month’s E-zine due out at the end of July.

Wicklow 100 Cycle for Cheshire Ireland

On Sunday June 10th, Breda Maguire from Central Office did the Wicklow 100km Cycle Challenge while fundraising for Cheshire Ireland.

So far €700 has been raised in sponsorship for Cheshire Ireland and it will be used to buy a fundraising kit for events around the country and assistive technology for service users.

If you would like to sponsor Breda, login to www.mycharity.ie before the 10th July and click on 'sponsor a friend'. Breda very much appreciates your support in helping her to raise funds for Cheshire Ireland.

We would like to encourage all of you who know somebody interested in sporting activities to pick an event from the huge list on mycharity.ie and seek sponsorship for Cheshire Ireland. A sample of the fun events are listed below:

Date Event Link
15-05-2012 Summer Parachute Jump
13-07-2012 Coffee Mornings & Pot Luck Lunches!
21-07-2012 Rás na Ríochta 2012
28-07-2012 WAR- Wicklow Adventure Race Glenmalure
09-08-2012 Tour de Bog Cycle
11-08-2012 Connemara 100 2012
02-09-2012 Ironman 2012
08-09-2012 Achill Roar adventure Race
08-09-2012 Killarney Women's Mini Marathon 2012
15-09-2012 Valentia Island Half Marathon 2012
15-09-2012 Dublin Half Marathon 2012
16-09-2012 Evening Echo Women's Mini Marathon
17-09-2012 Dungarvan Diamond 2012
29-09-2012 Liffey Descent 2012
06-10-2012 Galway Bay Half Marathon + 10K
06-10-2012 Killarney Adventure Race
28-10-2012 London Half Marathon 2012
29-10-2012 Dublin City Marathon 2012

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