Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place on Thursday 26th May in Heatherlee Dining Room.
Chairperson of the Board of Directors Gearóid Gilley led the meeting. He noted how refreshing it was to meet in person, and also facilitate members who preferred to meet virtually. He continued to say 2021 was a year which brought the best out of everyone as Cope Foundation endeavored to maintain services in a safe and caring manner.
Naturally, the Covid-19 situation that shaped 2021 framed many of the topics discussed. It was recognised how well Cope Foundation responded to the Covid-19 crisis and that this was only possible due to the resilience, innovation and commitment of staff.
Gearóid said: “Our values were truly put to the test and I wish to acknowledge the incredible effort made by our Cope Foundation teams throughout the organisation who demonstrated everyday throughout the crisis honesty, kindness and creativity so that we put the people we support first albeit through an adjusted delivery of our usual services.”
At the AGM, one of the main highlights discussed from 2021 was the successful development of the Community Hubs across the city and county. The aim of the Hubs is to build confidence, develop skills and to get the person we support to where they want to be, whether that’s working in the community or attending a college course. Two new Hubs opened in Ballyvolane and Nore House, bringing the total to 10 Community Hubs across Cork.
Other highlights included:
·The continued programme of de-congregation for people we support to a new home and life as part of a vibrant community where diversity is embraced and everyone is equal.
·The Ability@Work programme offered practical support to people preparing for and accessing employment opportunities with companies throughout Cork City and County.
·Assistive technology played an important role in the organisation’s quest for the people we support to stay connected.
Amy Begley, who is supported by Cope Foundation spoke about her stand out moments from 2021. Amy said: “I am a person with a disability, but Cope Foundation saw me for me and who I truly am. I have been supported by Cope Foundation nearly all my life.”
She continued to say: “My most significant achievement was designing award certificates for EASPD. Suisha Arts won the international award for Arts and Culture in supporting people with disabilities in the Arts. I not only designed the award but went on to win the award. I am an Advocate for people with disabilities with the Suisha Arts, Art’s for All and Ability Board. It is an honour to be part of these organisations that I hold close to my heart.”
Plans for the future of the organisation were also discussed, Gearóid said; “Our new strategic plan to 2025 is ambitious, we recognise the need to transform and innovate further the way we do certain things and in turn identify and grasp new future opportunities for the people we support.”
The 2021 Annual Report and Financial Statement were approved by the Members and are now available to view on our website: https://www.cope-foundation.ie/About-Us/Annual-Reports
The 2021 Annual Report will be distributed to all centres/locations shortly.