29th April 2022 Caption: (front ltr) James and Patrick Ruddy, (middle ltr) Kevin and Matthew McLaughlin, (back ltr) Matt Cooper and Martin McNamee
There was a double victory for Donegal Disability Services recently when two sets of brothers – Matthew and Kevin McLaughlin and James and Patrick Ruddy from Clarke’s Place, Moville were announced as winners of the Outstanding Community Disability Service Award.
Matthew, Kevin, James and Patrick were involved in making planters for flowers, sowing seeds, making bird feeding tables, upkeep of their home’s gardens and growing their own vegetables. After receiving a huge number of entries from services all over Ireland, Clarke’s Place Community Group Home was a nominated finalist in two of the categories in the national Cara Active Disability Awards – the People Make Places Category and the Outstanding Community Disability Service Category. The winners received their awards from Matt Cooper, Todayfm. This followed their recent win in the Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo Gardening Competition.
Acknowledging all involved, Geraldine Cosgrove, General Manager Disability Services in Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo said that both sets of brothers and the staff of Clarke’s Place, were to be congratulated on the victory:
“They did fantastic work on their home and have created something that residents, staff and family members can all enjoy. As winners in Donegal for the Disability Gardening Competition initiative in Summer 2021, the residents and staff including the local community continued with their initiative and have achieved so much leading to the Cara Activity Awards. I have no doubt they will continue to progress this initiative”
Positive team working
Adding her congratulations, Anita Gallagher, Disability Service Manager noted that “Disability Senior Management Donegal is extremely proud of the residents and staff in Clarkes Place, Moville Community Group Home, in winning the Cara Active Disability Service Award. This award reflects the positive team working between the staff and residents with staff encouraging and supporting the residents to participate in physical activity and lead a healthy and active lifestyle.”
Head of Service for Disability Services in Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo, Edel Quinn, explained that “the Cara Active Disability Service Awards were developed to recognise and reward Disability Services throughout Ireland who have shown leadership and commitment to helping people with disabilities to stay active and healthy. The awards highlight the commitment of management, staff and individuals with disabilities to participating in physical activity programmes and adopting healthy practices as part of their lifestyle choices. The promotion of health and wellbeing is a key component of Sláintecare and to have this recognised nationally with four services in this Community Healthcare area being nominated as finalists and one winner is very positive.”
Expressing his pride Martin Mc Namee, Clinical Nurse Manager 2, said it was a wonderful example of where both residents and staff met the challenge of COVID-19 restrictions head on and developed their own direction in order to maintain and grow both their physical and mental health.
"I am really proud of the centre being winners of the Outstanding Community Disability Service Award. The outcomes as a result of this were new education and skill development as well as creating a number of produce lines both for use in the community group home and for sale.
Other nominees from Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo, included Health and Wellbeing – HSE Sligo / Leitrim Disability Service who were nominated for Best Physical Activity Programme; Chair aerobics and healthy lifestyle programme - RSW Day Services, North West Parents and Friends, Sligo who were nominated in the Best Health Education Programme and PhysioFit Programme – Donegal Community Inclusion Training Services, Donegal who were nominated in the Best Community Engagement Programme.