Just recently my sister Lorraine and I had the pleasure of presenting a cheque to the Wexford Clubhouse of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland. The amount of €1395 had been raised earlier in the year when we organised a Ladies Fashion Exchange for this worthy cause.
Ladies were invited to bring along some unwanted clothing in exchange for tokens which they used to acquire new items, a win win situation.So many people gave up time and their services free of charge, : Martina Monaghan at Rathangan Temple Bar, Johnny G Whizz, Diane Goff at Centra, Lisa Marie Goff at Odlums in baldwinstown, Jackie Murphy and Ger Walsh alongside all the people who contributed some lovely prizes and vouchers for our raffle and the businesses who provided items for the goody bags, all whose help made the night a great success.People enjoyed a sweet cart and a cheese and wine reception as they perused the many aisles of clothing. Leftover clothing was split and was donated to Womens Refuge Wexford and Reach Suicide Prevention shop Wexford so there was no waste and a few charities benefited from one event.
As some of the readers of this post are aware, sadly Lorraine and I lost our Mother last year from a Cerebral Brain haemorrhage, at only 55 years young.
In the Blink of an eye...life is turned upside down everything changes. So much is lost.. A wife, a nanny, a sister, an aunt , a great aunt, a cousin, a friend , a carer and most importantly a Mother. Not just any mother, but my Mother. My Mother who carried me for 9 months, who played with me as a child, tought me important lessons, reared my sister and I into the good people I believe we are, the same Mother that we fought with as kids as most do, the same Mother who became a good friend to us as we grew older and wiser, the same Mother who was absolutely crap at playing charades, but was brilliant at being a nanny, the same Mother who’s biggest passions in life were her grandchildren Brooke and Ethan, and cleaning of course lol..Dad Lorraine and I hardly got a look in !!!. That was our Mother, and she was gone…In the Blink of an eye.
Acquired Brain Injury Ireland (ABI Ireland) is Ireland’s leading provider of community based neuro-rehabilitation services for people who have acquired a brain injury in Ireland. Founded in 2000 as the Peter Bradley foundation, ABI Ireland enables people between the ages of 18 and 65 with an acquired brain injury to maximise their abilities to live an independent life.
Lives are shattered by the trauma of brain injury. Approximately 13,000 people acquire a brain injury in Ireland each year. Individuals can acquire a brain injury from a variety of reasons including road traffic accidents, strokes, falls or assaults among others. ABI believe that with the correct assistance in the appropriate environment, people with an acquired brain injury can live a full life.
ABI help rebuild lives after a brain injury through the provision of a range of neuro-rehabilitation services specific to the needs of the person with a brain injury. Their services include community, clinical, day resource and residential services. They support those with acquired brain injuries and their families though training, advocacy and practical help. They provide information on acquired brain injury to those living with an acquired brain injury, their carers and healthcare professionals.
In the Wexford services ABI provide residential rehabilitation to 4 clients, community rehabilitation support to 10 clients and the Wexford day service (the clubhouse) supports a varying numbers of clients (between 26-33) and their carers per month.
The Wexford clubhouse day service provides support to between 26-33 clients each month. The Wexford Clubhouse receives no financial support from the HSE and is reliant on an annual grant from BNY Mellon and Fundraising donations in order to operate. They also receive grants from organisations, such as the WWETB which fund the artists and they continually apply for various grant schemes in order to support the running of various individual groups.
Had our mother have survived she may very well have needed the services that ABI offer, and that was one of the deciding factors in doing the fundraiser. My sister currently volunteers in the Wexford clubhouse and she loves it and the interaction with the women who avail of the service. I was lucky enough to sit in on a recent pottery making session with the group and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Money raised from donations and fundraising events go directly to support the running of groups in the clubhouse and other vital services in the Wexford region. From the money they receive they purchase materials and equipment necessary to ensure the groups run; this includes but is not limited to cooking supplies, art supplies, craft supplies, exercise equipment, gardening supplies and sewing materials. At times they use the money to pay for external activities for the members; such as aqua aerobics, pitch and putt etc. The money may also contribute towards specialised groups run by external facilitators which the members are interested in getting involved with – for example neruophysio and yoga. Money raised may also support the clubhouse to bring the clubhouse members away on day trips.
Understandably these days, there are constant charity events fundraisers etc and the sad fact is there is no such thing as a bad cause, but I would really like to stress the need for to keep funds being raised for ABI as you never know the minute you or a loved one may need to avail of their services.
If anybody reading may be interested in making donation, organising a fundraiser, or would like any info they can contact Louise or Marie Louise in the Wexford clubhouse, they are very approachable ladies and would be glad to hear from you.