Enabling Ireland

Damien Duff and friend wear the Enable Ireland shirt.

Damien Duff and friend wear the Enable Ireland shirt.

Many locals who learned to swim in the pool on Sandymount Avenue or have bought flowers from the garden centre there may not realise that these are the facilities of Enable Ireland, a very important Irish charity that supports children and adults with a range of disabilities.

The services provided by Enable Ireland would not otherwise be available to those who need them without the charity’s existence, and their absence would lead to huge difficulties for the service users. Enable Ireland in Sandymount supports children and their families, and covers all aspects of a child’s physical, educational, and social development from birth to 18 years of age.

The main building has a school with specific facilities, assistive technology, and equipment for those with physical disabilities. It also houses a service team that includes a doctor, nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, psychologist, social worker, speech and language therapist, link worker, and many childcare staff.

Like most charities, Enable Ireland has had its funding from the government reduced since the recession.

In addition, recent scandals have had their effect on general charity funding. Enable Ireland combines its government and community funding to help fund its facilities, as well as fund the expertise that is available to children and family.

Using Enable Ireland’s facilities, such as the swimming pool, or buying from the garden centre shop, helps them to fund their vital services. The swimming pool is open to the public, as well as being a therapeutic facility to enhance movement and offer a range of therapies through water.

At Christmas, they will have a Christmas Fair within their grounds on Sandymount Avenue selling Christmas goods and trees. All funds raised locally are spent on local services.

Enable Ireland also have clothes banks, which are distinctively yellow. Sean Scally of Enable Ireland’s fundraising office, Sandymount, is keen to emphasise that “through a combination of employees and volunteers we manage our own recycling. Clothes collected via the clothes bank are sent to our head office in Blanchardstown to be sorted and delivered to our network of shops. All clothes donations go directly to Enable Ireland.”

The closest locations to Dublin 4 for clothes banks are Enable Ireland Sandymount Avenue, Cornelscourt Shopping Centre, and Rathfarnham Shopping Centre. Enable also have 21 shops nationally, the closest to Dublin 4 being on Camden Street.

Enable Ireland also ran their No Limits Gym Challenge in September as part of their national fundraising and awareness campaign, which takes place every September. Nine regional heats and a Dublin heat took place in the DLR Leisure Centre, Monkstown on 13th and 14th September.

Teams of four spent 10 minutes each on the Bike, Crosstrainer, Rower and Treadmill, in order to record the furthest distance travelled and qualify for the All Ireland Final in City West Hotel, Dublin on 19th October 2014.

They also have ongoing local fundraising campaigns. See more about your local Enable Ireland at www.enableireland.ie/sandymount

By Ferg Hayden