Ability West awarded €200k to strengthen disability services

Galway Daily news Ability West plans new Headford day centre

Galway’s Ability West has been awarded over €200,000 in two one-off grants to help improve the disability services it offers across the city and county.

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.

The funding announced by Minister of State for Disability Services Galway TD Anne Rabbitte is for two strands of improvements to the Galway charity.

Ability West will receive €140,000 for “staff development and training”, along with a further €61,000 for “IT development/upgrades”.

The Department of Health announced this week the first tranche of successful applicants for the €20 million Strengthening Disability Services Fund.

Minister Rabbitte said that a “vast array” of applications were submitted by groups around the country.

The department sought out projects that would encourage “person-centred practice” and help to further embed that in an organisation’s culture, as this is key to the practice of disability services function.

“In this first cycle of funding, projects approved include improvements to premises, such as additional recreational spaces, therapeutic spaces and sensory gardens, as well as the purchase of assistive technologies, tablet devices and other computers for service users, and the provision of broadband to disability premises.”

“Grants have also been provided for building upgrades and refurbishments, updated fire safety measures and much needed upgrades to IT systems and staff training.”

“These grants will further bolster our voluntary disability service providers and help them meet the challenges they may face in delivering services.”

It is expected that further grants will be announced later this month under the second tranche of successful applications to the €20 million fund.