IWA appeal for support as annual street collection cancelled

The Irish Wheelchair Association in County Westmeath have decided to cancel their annual street collection due to the Covid-19 pandemic to protect the health and safety of the public, volunteers and the people they support.

They have launched an online appeal called ‘Without You, We’re Stuck’ and are asking people to make a donation through www.iwa.ie.

The annual collection, which normally takes place across the country, raises €300,000 towards the charity’s work with people with physical disabilities, and this is the first time in the collection’s 30-year history that it has been cancelled.

Richard Ross (above) of the Irish Wheelchair Association in Mullingar said: “The loss of this critical income is concerning at a time when our local fundraising events have already had to stop.

“We estimate that we will have lost almost €1 million in fundraising income nationally by the end of the year. Without this support, our services and the people we support, will be stuck.

“We rely entirely on the generosity of the public to fund our wheelchair accessible buses, which are a lifeline for connecting people who cannot access public transport, to our services.

"Our children’s sports clubs, driving school and many other services are also supported through local fundraising efforts.

“We are all in this together as we face this pandemic and we are committed to protecting public health and that of our members and volunteers.

"As we sadly cancel our street collection, we are asking people, if they can afford it, to make a donation at iwa.ie.”

The Irish Wheelchair Association are Ireland’s largest membership organisation for people with physical disabilities. They support 4,000 people every week in every county of Ireland.

“This year is our 60th anniversary, and while we have had to postpone many plans, our frontline workers throughout County Westmeath have redoubled their efforts to ensure that nobody we support has been left alone and isolated throughout the crisis,” said Richard.

“Our members in County Westmeath depend on our services, and as an organisation, we are working tirelessly to keep everyone we support connected to their communities.

“Our community centres were turned into outreach services within hours of the lockdown being announced.

"Our assisted living team, which provides home support, has continued their essential work in people’s homes, with an emergency team of courageous frontline staff ready to work in full PPE with people who have to isolate.

“Our services are needed now, more than ever. We would be incredibly grateful if people could remember Irish Wheelchair Association services in County Westmeath this week and make a donation through our website.”

To support Irish Wheelchair Association’s ‘Without You, We’re Stuck’ appeal visit www.iwa.ie.

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