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Cope Foundation Updates

Wednesday 29th July 2020


Management and staff at Cope Foundation are acutely aware that people are feeling the strain of the last 5 months. This has been such a trying time for everyone, and we are especially concerned about the way in which the crisis has negatively affected people we support and their families. 

A dedicated specialist team in Cope Foundation has been working hard on the phased reopening and reconfiguration of services impacted by Covid-19. We are also working closely with the HSE local teams on these plans. 

Over the past number of weeks we have partially resumed over half of our day services, with more planned resumptions in the coming weeks. We are currently providing outreach/home based supports to many people across Cork City and County who are in critical need. We recognise that people need more, and we are working on the plan to increase the level of support to people as soon as is safe to do so.

Every person we support is important to us, but COVID-19 means the level of service in each setting has to change to keep the people we support safe. Some of our day services will be different to what they were pre-COVID-19. Due to social distancing and other public health advice, the numbers of people who can safely attend many of our day centres has to be significantly reduced. We are working closely with families to arrange for as much ‘face-to-face support’ as possible, with the day-service supplemented with other forms of support, such as outreach, telephone, online etc. 

We have made a commitment to contact every person we support in our day services and/or their family by mid-August to communicate exactly what level of support will be in place for September. This approach will be constantly reviewed as live alongside COVID-19 in the months ahead.  

We ask for people’s patience and understanding as we communicate these plans to those directly affected over the coming weeks. Our goal is to provide more certainty. We are doing everything we possibly can to provide the best and safest service to people we support. 

Nothing could have prepared us for the situation we have all faced together. Equally, nothing could have prepared us for the determination, resilience and innovation we have witnessed on the part of our staff, the people we support and their families.

We are asking people to contact their local service manager if they have particular concerns or needs and we will do our absolute best to support you.

In addition a press release was issued by Minister of State with responsibility for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte TD, on the 29th July 2020 outlining additional supports in place for the reopening of disability day services from August.

You can read this press release in full here :


Friday 10th July 2020

Day Services for Adults with Disabilities (HSE Guidance)

Health and Social Care responses to the current Public Health Emergency is under continuing review, including specific measures to support vulnerable people.  In this context and as part of the overall effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, providers of day services for Adults with Disabilities (including day respite) were advised to wind down day service provision from Adult Disability Day Service Locations in March.

In June a national group representative of service users and families, Service Providers and HSE was convened to work together to prepare for the resumption of day service supports in line with COVID-19 guidance.  

 The Framework for the Resumption of Adult Disability Day Services was released on the 8th July 2020 and is available on the HSE website  here

Adult Disability Day Services and COVID-19 What’s Happening?

Adult Disability Day Services and COVID-19 What’s Happening? June 2020



Wednesday 1st July

A Resumption and Reconfiguration Oversight Group has been established within Cope Foundation and this Group is working on the phased reopening and re-configuration of Cope Foundation services that were affected by Covid-19. We are working closely with our local HSE contacts on these plans. 

Our aim is to work slowly and steadily over the summer to partially resume:
Children’s Services
Multi-disciplinary Supports
Home Support
Day Services 
We will also be completing an analysis around our five-day residences.

We will not be in a position to fully resume our services due to the fact that many staff are redeployed and there are challenges in terms of meeting public health / HSA guidelines in some instances.

The Resumption and Reconfiguration Oversight Group are also looking at other issues across the organisation including the provision of support services and the working model for administration and support staff.

We are following the government guidelines closely, but these guidelines require careful interpretation in the context of our services and supports and the facilities and locations in which we provide them.

In terms of Adult Services, the following steps have been taken:
There has been a partial lifting of visitor restrictions in our residences based on individual risk assessments
We are piloting the partial resumption of adult day services in five critical areas 
We have agreement around the criteria for resumption of services for individuals in critical need
82 people we support are currently in receipt of reconfigured respite/home support/residential services.

In Children’s Services, the following steps have been taken:
Preparation for partial resumption of supports and services is underway
The teams continue to provide remote support services to children and families
Face to face interventions for children in critical need have been provided on a case by case basis.

We are acutely aware that so many people we support and their families are feeling the strain of the last four months and we are sorry that we cannot do more for you right now. We are also aware that a slow, considered resumption and reconfiguration of services, based on Government and Public Health advice, is the only way to manage the next stages safely for everyone. We are here to help, where possible, and we encourage any people we support and/or families who are finding this situation challenging to link in with their local Manager. 

Monday 30th March 2020

During this time, Cope Foundation will continue to provide as much support as we can to the people who need us. We are following the HSE and Government guidelines and we are responding to these in a very proactive way. We are working hard to think of new ways of doing things and new ways of delivering services and supports to those who need them most. We are responding and adapting daily in these strange and uncertain times. As an organisation, we are so proud of and impressed by how well our staff and people we support are managing these significant changes and disruptions to their lives.


We have had to close or stop the majority of our services and supports with a number operating at a limited capacity. Our teams are coming together daily (in the form of online conference calls) to think creatively and plan about how best to meet peoples’ needs during this public health crisis. Our internal Coronavirus Response Team is working around the clock to make plans; communicate and collaborate with staff, people we support and families; implement necessary changes and to ensure that Cope Foundation, our teams, people supported, families and friends are in the best possible position to stay safe and well during this very difficult and challenging time.


Here is an overview of our current situation:


1.    Managers are being updated each day and they are in regular contact with people we support, staff and families affected by closures or changes to their services. If you have a query about your local Cope Foundation centre or service, please contact the Manager of that centre or service. If you do not have contact details for him/her, please phone our main switchboard on 021 4643100.

2.    At present the majority of our residential centres are operating across Cork city and county. It is with thanks to the incredible staff of Cope Foundation that we are able to continue to provide warm, loving and safe homes for the people we support.

3.    As a result of the most up to date guidance there are no visitors allowed to any of our residences, except on exceptional compassionate grounds.  Staff are supporting people, where possible, to stay in touch with family and friends using video calls, phone calls and texts. We encourage families and friends to keep up contact using these forms as it has never been so important to stay in touch with loved ones.

4.    All respite services have been suspended until further notice.

5.    We are continuing to provide some home support in exceptional circumstances to meet the needs of individuals and families. This home support follows the strict guidelines as per the Government recommendations and is reviewed regularly as the advice changes.

6.    All of our day centres are closed. Where possible, some groups are continuing to meet virtually using video calls and other platforms. Again, this is done with thanks to staff.

7.    Multi-disciplinary appointments are cancelled until further notice. Staff are keeping in touch with some families and some relevant resources are being shared with families online and we are hopeful that we can further develop this so that we are able to reach more families and provide more resources during this time.

8.    Our administration services are operating at reduced capacity so we ask that you be patient when trying to get in touch with us. Staff who are able to work from home are doing so.

9.    Our main switchboard is operating as normal. Please phone 021 4643100 and your call will be directed to the person best positioned to deal with your query. Our Head Office (Bonnington, Montenotte) is closed to the public.

10. We have postponed all fundraising events and campaigns during this crisis. However, we are appealing to people to continue to support us by making a donation online (www.cope-foundation.ie). If you would like to make a donation via online banking, click here to see our bank account details.

11. We are working hard to develop some online fundraising campaigns and hope you will be able to support these. Please keep an eye on our website and social media pages for updates.

12. E-mail is the most efficient way for us to communicate and contact families of people we support. Currently, we do not have email addresses for all families. We ask that families submit an up to date email address which we can use to contact. Please visit  www.cope-foundation.ie/submitfamilycontacts


Please continue to check our website for important updates.


For the latest information on Coronavirus (Covid-19) and advice on how to keep you and your family safe please visit the HSE’s Coronavirus page.

Please ensure you and all of your family adhere to the social distancing guidance and ‘stay at home’ and above all please keep safe and well. We thank you for your continued support and cooperation on this matter.

Click here for our bank account details (fundraising)


If you are a 'Family Contact' for a person supported by Cope Foundation, we urge you to update your contact details so that we can email and text you in an effort to reduce postal correspondence. Click here to submit your contact details. 


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