Volunteers in the Causeway Coast and Glens, particularly those living with a disability, have been celebrated during Volunteers Week.
Organised by Causeway and Limavady Volunteer Centres and funded by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, an event was held in The Royal Court Hotel, Portrush, in June to show appreciation for the dedicated work of the area’s volunteers.
This year’s celebration had a particular focus on the contribution made by volunteers who have a disability. Joann Dunseith from Causeway Volunteer Centre, who has muscular dystrophy, and assistants Liam O Hara and Ashleigh McClarty from CAN, brilliantly demonstrated how their abilities far outweigh their disabilities.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Brenda Chivers who attended the event said: “As one of my first official duties as Mayor, this event was a great chance to commend and value the work of volunteers in our Borough. Without the dedication of such willing volunteers our community would not survive.”
Joanne McDonald, who has a learning difficulty and works with Mencap reminded the audience that people with a learning difficulty can do most things if given some extra time and
support. This was reiterated by Catherine O’Neill from Mencap and Ruth Mormecha from Positive Futures who spoke about the fantastic volunteer experiences that can occur when people from all backgrounds and levels of ability are involved.
Following this, Andrea Begley, winner of The Voice 2013, who is blind, shared her story of challenge and success. She performed at the event, proving that regardless of her disability she has the ability to entertain and engage with people. The event concluded with James Mc Kernan from deaf charity Hands That Talk who recited a poem ‘Take me as I am.’ Both performances strengthened the message that people with disabilities can make a real difference in society if given the chance.
If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering please contact your local
Causeway Volunteer Centre (Coleraine, Ballymoney and Ballycastle). Telephone Mary or Ruth 028703458285, Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit website www.causewayvc.org
Limavady Volunteer Centre (Limavady). Telephone Ashleen 02877765438, Email email@example.com