Cope Foundation launches Christmas appeal after an immensely challenging year 

Cope Foundation launches Christmas appeal after an immensely challenging year 

Fiona who lives in one of Cope's Foundation's residential centres, enjoys a video call with her family in Australia and America. The Cork charity has just launched their Christmas appeal to raise funds for more technology to keep people connected during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Darragh Kane

Cope Foundation has launched its festive fundraiser, 'Cope's Very Cork Christmas', in a bid to raise much-needed funds for people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism and their families.

The charity is asking people to support their annual Christmas draw campaign, which this year takes place online due to Covid-19.

Funds raised from the online draw will help Cope Foundation offer more assistive technology to its centres and services to empower people supported and make everyone more connected during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sean Abbott, Chief Executive of Cope Foundation, said over the past nine months, people right across Cope Foundation have worked tirelessly to develop alternative ways to support individuals.

"The challenges we faced have been immense and unprecedented. 

"The people we support, their families and our colleagues have had to deal with so much uncertainty, upheaval and change. 

"It has been a privilege to witness the ongoing commitment and resilience shown right across the organisation from colleagues making personal sacrifices that impact their home and personal life to do their job; to people we support learning new ways of doing things and demonstrating remarkable strength and adaptability; to families who have had to manage with reduced services, no respite, and limited transport."

Mr Abbott said Cope can see the vital role technology plays in the lives of the people they support.

"This current pandemic has been an opportunity for us to engage with creative uses for everyday technologies that can support people with disabilities, their families and those who support them during the Covid-19 situation and beyond. 

"I'm hopeful the public will get behind our campaign this Christmas so that people we support can become more 'connected' and empowered to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic as best they can."

One such centre that has embraced new technologies is Rosbarra, a residential centre in Cork city. 

Fiona McCarthy lives here and uses the latest technology to keep up to date with the news from her family in Cork and across the globe.

"I get to see them every day as they live so far away (America and Australia). 

"I might watch The Late Late Show on Friday night and so will my sister in America – and then we can chat about it the next day when we have a call," she said.

Entry to the Christmas Draw is online and is open until 10pm on Sunday, December 20. 

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