Take an opportunity to help people with autism live to the fullest by supporting Ability West at the annual 5 mile Menlo Walk.
Walking in Autism’s Shoes is organised every year by the Kelly family from Menlo, whose youngest son Andrew has autism.
Now in its 12th year, this Menlo walk has so far raised €80,000 for Ability West to support the vital services it provides to help people with an intellectual disability live as fully and independently as possible.
Ability West is a voluntary, not for profit organisation, set up by parents and friends, that provides services and supports to over 580 children and adults with an intellectual disability and autism in Galway.
It provides day care, residential services, rehabilitative training, supports towards employment and other community supports at 58 centres in 13 locations around Galway.
Ability West is also the patron of four special schools located in Ballinasloe, Carraroe, Galway City and Tuam.
Since turning 18 Andrew has transferred to the adult services of Ability West where he is supported by the New Directions day service in Galway city which is a vital help for him and his family.
“Andrew is very happy in himself and it was definitely down to forward planning and an eased move from services that has Andrew in such a good happy, relaxed place” explained Ray Kelly, Andrew’s Dad and Chairman of the Board of Ability West.
The annual Menlo walk is just one of the many events that bring together friends and family in the community to raise vital funds for Ability West.
This year’s walk will take place on Sunday, February 10, starting from Scoil Bhríde, Menlo, Galway city at 12 noon.
A walking fee of €10 per person or €25 per family is payable on the day. For more information phone Ray on 087-7694153 or Brega on 087-6179886. Donations can also be made online through.
“The walk is a huge part of our year but also it’s all about community,” said Brega Kelly, Andrew’s Mum, and co-organiser of the Menlo Walk.
“The Menlo community, our friends and friends of friends who come each year and support us and Ability West. We are so delighted to have raised close to €80,000.”
Photo: The Kelly family