Figuring out new ways to raise funds for Cope has been challenging but also so rewarding

Caoimhe Suipéil, who works with the Cope Foundation, who support over 2,800 children and adults with intellectual disability and / or autism, features in 'My Weekend'
Figuring out new ways to raise funds for Cope has been challenging but also so rewarding

Caoimhe Suipéil, Communications Administrator, Cope

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m from An Rinn, just outside Dungarvan in Co.Waterford. I’ve lived in Cork city the last few years and recently made the move west just outside Enniskeane. I live with my husband Conor. We just got married and it definitely hasn’t been a normal wedding planning experience but we had a lovely small wedding with our families.

I work in Cope Foundation, we support over 2,800 children and adults with an intellectual disability and/or autism throughout Cork city and county in over 70 locations. I work as a Communications Administrator in the Communications and Fundraising Department.

Caoimhe Suipéil, Communications Administrator, Cope with husband Conor.
Caoimhe Suipéil, Communications Administrator, Cope with husband Conor.

As Communications Administrator I look after Cope Foundation’s online and social media presence and our internal communications platform Vivo (we have over 1200 staff spread across the city and county). As Cope Foundation is such a large organisation there is always something happening, so I work with the team on our marketing, public relations and branding so we can get the word out there to our supporters and the wider public.

As with everyone the last few months have been very different for us, adapting to working from home, cancelling all our events and figuring out new ways to raise funds for our services and people we support has been challenging but also so rewarding.

It has been amazing seeing our staff, people we support and their families working together over the last number of months and facing the challenges of the pandemic head on. In the height of the pandemic there were some emotional days when hearing stories of resilience and strength from across the organisation. We have also received unbelievable support from the Cork community during this time. We are all truly ‘in this together’.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

In the current climate my Friday night is at home with Conor with a nice takeaway and a glass of wine, basically trying to re-create the usual nights out we would have enjoyed pre pandemic! 

We’ve recently built and moved into our new home so it’s lovely spending time there together figuring out where to decorate next and we can’t wait for everyone to come visit too once restrictions have been lifted.

Paul Sherlock, Caoimhe Suipéil and Milly Farrell from the Cope Foundation, taking part in the launch of a fundraiser, last year.
Paul Sherlock, Caoimhe Suipéil and Milly Farrell from the Cope Foundation, taking part in the launch of a fundraiser, last year.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

Up with the lark, always. It’s the best time of the day. Breakfast is my favourite meal so I always make sure to have plenty of time to sit down and enjoy that before taking on the day.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

As I manage Cope Foundation’s social media and internal communications, it does come with the territory. It doesn’t usually take up much time though, just a check in to make sure everything is working as it should.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

If money were no object I would go back to Seville in a heartbeat and we would bring along a big group of friends. 

We visited Seville a few years ago as part of a summer holiday and it is just the most special place. 

The people, food and easy breezy way of life make it the perfect city for a fun and relaxing group break away, and did I mention the food?! Amazing!!

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

I would have to say the Coinigéar in Co Waterford. If you’re familiar with the area it’s the sand spit beach that reaches out from An Rinn and almost reaches Dungarvan/Abbeyside on the other side. It’s a great one to blow the cobwebs out. We would have spent a lot of our childhood down there as it’s very close to my home and never crowded. A little closer to home there is a beautiful loop walk right outside the doorstep of our new house, a great one to start the day or clear the head after a day of working from home.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

I try to get home to Waterford to see my family as much as I can especially since the arrival of my niece Anna and nephew Tadhg in the last 12 months. Now that’s not possible (due to Level 5) but I am kept up to date with pictures and videos most days, they are both growing way too fast. Luckily with Conor I have inherited a very large second family who for the most part live near us.

Caoimhe Suipéil, with her family.
Caoimhe Suipéil, with her family.

Catching up with friends is so different now too, weekends would have usually been filled with lunches, drinks and house/baby visits but that has all stopped for now and I can’t wait until we can all see each other again.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I do enjoy watching hurling (up the déise!) but playing wouldn’t be my strong point.

I love food and trying new things. Whenever we go on holiday there always has to be a foodie element to it. I’m working on my own cooking and baking at the moment too. It’s gone well… mostly!

I enjoy yoga and walking. I also have a love for podcasts, mostly true crime. There is nothing better than a long walk listening to a good podcast, Mens Rea and Case File are definitely some of my most played. I also have a real love for fashion, which has now filtered into a love for interiors.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

I like to be entertained. A lot of our work in the Communications and Fundraising department in Cope Foundation is around organising and co-ordinating events so it’s nice to sit back and relax and let someone else worry about the logistics.

I’ll probably have to get working on a signature dish though for all our visitors once restrictions lift.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

Market Lane has always been our go to spot for lunch, dinner and drinks. So good!

Joes and Bros is great for brunch, the staff are always so friendly and accommodating.

The one and only Greenes for a special meal followed by the best cocktails in Cask.

We also popped into the Glass Curtain before lockdown and I’m looking forward to heading back there as a treat.

To be honest though I would give anything at the moment for a day strolling around Cork city popping in to all the great pubs and restaurants along the way.

Closer to home, Poachers in Bandon is a new favourite of mine.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

Sunday for me is about preparing for the week ahead. Whatever we’re doing or wherever we are at the weekend we’re home by around 6.00pm to get ready for the following week, we’ll usually sit back then and watch a good film or something on Netflix.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

I’m usually awake before my alarm, but always set one just in case I don’t wake much to Conor’s amusement. The alarm is set for 6.40am if I’m working from the office in Montenotte and 7.30 if I’m working from home.

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