Ability West celebrating 60 years of service

Galway Daily news Ability West celebrating 60 years of service

The Galway charity Ability West is celebrating 60 years of dedicated services to children and adults with intellectual disability this summer.

First founded in 1962, the charity currently operates from 62 centres across Galway City and County, supporting over 600 people with their services.

It began from humble beginnings, with a group parents and friends wanting to support children with disabilities and their families, and has grown to now include the work of hundreds of staff and volunteers.

It provides day care, residential services, rehabilitative training, supports towards employment and other community supports for people with a disability, and their families.

All services in Galway are directed from its headquarters at Blackrock House in Salthill.

Today, Ability West is also Patron of four special schools in Galway City, Tuam, Ballinasloe and An Cheathrú Rua.

Throughout the summer months and up to Christmas, Ability West and its community will host a series of celebratory events across Galway.

These will showcase the evolution and growth of the organisation, which has embraced much change over the past six decades.

“Dedication to enabling people to realise and achieve their goals and ambitions is a critical belief of Ability West,” says CEO Dr. Audrey Pidgeon.

“This is implemented across all levels of our team and with our volunteers but most importantly those for whom we care whether children or adults in the community or in Ability West’s residential services,”

“Testament to this is the extraordinary efforts of the Ability West team to ensure continuity of supports to people throughout all levels of restrictions during the pandemic.”

The anniversary celebrations kicked off last Thursday, with over 30 community events celebrating the charity’s extensive work in Galway City, and from Clifden to Tuam.

Leo Moran of the Saw Doctors  made a brief appearance at a Reeling in the Years Party in the Team Day Service in Tuam, and at Snipe Day Service in Liosbaun Business Park  as part of the day’s celebrations.

The calendar of events for the coming months will also celebrate Ability West’s successes through sport, arts, music in live productions, and industry work placement.

Central to celebrations will be the people involved in Ability West whether receiving or delivering services and supports.

This will highlight the enduring legacy and vision of a group of heartfelt family and friends who came together voluntarily to support children with intellectual disabilities all those years ago.