Martha Trust Visit on 18th September, 2017
Adrian Button, the Head of Sales & Business Development in the UK and I visited the Martha Trust in Kent to assess a grant application for a new pond lining for their sensory pond.
The Martha Trust’s has a campus in Hastings and another at Deal which has two residential homes that house to 21 adults with profound physical and multiple learning disabilities. They are the result of congenital and post-natal disorders that include
underdeveloped brain, hydrocephalus, epilepsy, curvature of the spine, displaced hips, breathing difficulties, and
We met Barry O’Sullivan, Trusts and Major Donations Officer and Hayley Kerry the Deal Home Manager. This application was turned down at the Grant-making Committee in August, due to the cost of replacing the liner, which was £20,700. Adrian had carried out the original assessment.
Since revisiting Deal, Barry has managed to raise £8,200 for the project and the builder involved can reduce his costs to match the funding available. We have approved a number of grants in the past for items such as sensory gardens, mats and toys. I feel that the pond is providing the same benefit to the residents of the Deal Home.
Irish Heart Foundation Visit on 22nd September, 2017
I visited the Irish Heart Foundation to assess a grant application for funding towards a Mobile Health Unit.
The Irish Heart Foundation was founded in 1966 and campaigns to influence government policy to improve care for patients and make a real change for those affected by heart disease and stroke.
I met Laura Quinn, Corporate Fundraising Executive. She explained that the Mobile Health Unit has been to every County in Ireland, since it “hit the road” in June 2016. The Unit targets disadvantage groups and has given 12,000 health checks since the start of the operation. The annual cost of running the unit is considerable, being over €200,000. Most of this cost is for staffing the unit.
Cork Life Centre Visit on 3rd October, 2017
Mental health affects so many people and I am happy it is being spoken about more these days. More dialogue should lead to a better understanding and less negative connotations around the subject.
I recently visited Cork with Louise Kent, the Charity & Events Manager to assess a grant application for mental health first aid training.
Cork Life Centre is a voluntary organisation offering an alternative learning environment to young people who find themselves outside the mainstream education system. The
Charity caters for children between the ages of 12-18 years, who for various reasons have not thrived or coped in a mainstream educational setting.
We met Don O’ Leary, Director and Rachel Lucey Deputy Director. Don explained that the majority of children had mental illness issues due to their living/home circumstances. Don feels that these children struggle in mainstream education is not due to lack of intellect, but that it is always the welfare issues that the children face which causes educational problems.
Rachel explained that Irish State Schools do not train teachers about mental illness, and that she, Don and the volunteers teachers are properly trained in mental illness. I was impressed that Don and Rachel both knew about the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, a charity that campaigns to make more people aware of teenage suicide.
I had asked Cal Healy, University College Cork (UCC) Foundation Director and HSF Association Member about the Cork Life Centre. He informed me that the Centre had a brilliant reputation and UCC supports the work of the Charity. I was very impressed with the Centre; I feel this is just the type of local charity HSF should support.