The Tipperary Gold Star Initiative along with the South Tipperary Disability Groups Forum and Community and Voluntary Forum hosted a hugely successful Disability Awareness Day at Knockanrawley Resource Centre on Thursday, December 13.
The purpose of the day was to bring together all groups, agencies and businesses in Tipperary Town that provide services for people with disabilities, their families and carers.
“The open day at Knockanrawley was very unique because there was the mix of agencies supporting the project,” said Anne Bradshaw, HSE. “The Gold Star Project is about everyone working together to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities. The project was successfully piloted in Cashel with no statutory budgetary funding and all of the work and achievements there were based on public and private businesses working together collectively to ensure universal access could be achieved.”
A huge range of information stalls was present on the day ranging from local community and voluntary groups to statutory agencies and private service providers.
The uniqueness of the Gold Star project is highlighted in the partnerships between all sections of the community. Enormous effort and willingness to work with the project has been seen from private service providers.
“The Tipperary Chamber of Commerce have been hugely supportive of the initiative and without their support the project could not work,” added Ms Bradshaw. An example of the support was clearly evident at the open day last week where a large number of private business providers came alongside public and statutory agencies to display a diverse range of services available for people with disabilities in Tipperary Town.
“For example Kingston’s Shoes offered to provide shoe measuring services for children with disabilities on the day, Kissanes Tipperary Pharmacy displayed medication dispensing aids, Storage Solutions showed creative accessible outdoor furniture pieces and Adapted Living showed a vast array of aids and appliances to assist mobility available locally in Tipperary Town,” said Ms Bradshaw. Other information stands included the HSE, DeafHear, Citizens Advice, Genio Dementia project and Brainwave.
“An immense amount of organisation goes into such events and the entire day was hosted with no budget so thanks must go to agencies such as Knockanrawley for hosting it, to The Nationalist Newspaper and Tipp Mid-West Radio for helping promote it, to all the agencies and volunteers who hosted information stands and aids and appliance stands,” added Ms Bradshaw.
The Moore Haven Centre held a free draw. Pat Meyers and Michael Martin won prizes. Storage Solutions also offered a free prize winning draw where Phyllis Doody, Davis Street, win a storage boot box. The Gold Star Task Group would like to thank everyone who helped coordinate and promote the day in any way. Thanks in particular to Catriona Reardon of the South Tipperary Community and Voluntary Forum.