KARE is an organisation that supports people with an intellectual disability and their families, across a network of 11 branches throughout Counties Kildare, East Offaly and West Wicklow. Since starting up in 1967 as a result of the efforts of parents and friends of children with intellectual disabilities, KARE has made it their mission to ensure a good quality of life for these people in their local community.
KARE has a very low base of public funding and relies on ad-hoc donations and fundraising events to support its charitable purpose. To help towards this, they are currently in the process of formalising a Fundraising Strategy and Operation Plan which is to be completed in 2021.
In October, The Hospital Saturday Fund’s Jo Moore, spoke with Audrey Collins, KARE’s Occupational Therapy Manager. Audrey told Jo about the devastating impact that the current pandemic has had upon the people that the charity supports. Firstly, she noted that these individuals are unable to come and visit their centres, resulting in them spending a lot of time a home with very little to do. In turn, those looking after family members with intellectual disabilities are also not getting respite from their often around-the-clock care duties that KARE provides.
During the conversation with Audrey, she mentioned the significant difference that a grant from The Hospital Saturday Fund would have towards their therapy services. The organisation places large emphasis on using ingenuity and creativity when it comes to their therapy methods for adults with intellectual disabilities, offering services such as music therapy, dance movement therapy, drama therapy and art therapy.
To enhance their services further, Audrey would also like to provide each of the 11 KARE centres with a recreational resource pack including tools for all sorts of art therapy. For non-verbal individuals, these therapies are particularly important, offering them a way to express themselves and communicate. These care packs will therefore be instrumental towards engaging these individuals and will be a lifeline for KARE.
Pictured, you can see a member of KARE, Eoin. This was him when he had access to art therapy, which resulted in him having his own exhibition in the local library which was attended by friends, family, and local representatives. Eoin paints using his mouth, and is an incredible artist.
With the €10,000 grant from The Hospital Saturday Fund, KARE will be able to provide opportunities like these to other individuals who use their services.
To find out more about KARE, visit: www.kare.ie/