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Saturday 15 December 2018

Turnip festival money presented to IWA

At the presentation of €1,000 to the Irish Wheelchair Association at Porter’s Bar, from left (front), Eoin Murphy and Sarah Louise Fortune; (back), Sean Furlong IWA, Stephen Furlong, Service Support Officer, Selina Power, proprietors, Simon and Orla Besanson with their daughter, Grace, John Sugrue and Ger Jordan
At the presentation of €1,000 to the Irish Wheelchair Association at Porter’s Bar, from left (front), Eoin Murphy and Sarah Louise Fortune; (back), Sean Furlong IWA, Stephen Furlong, Service Support Officer, Selina Power, proprietors, Simon and Orla Besanson with their daughter, Grace, John Sugrue and Ger Jordan

Brendan Keane

The Irish Wheelchair Association has expressed gratitude to the people behind last year's Turnip Fest in Gorey after money raised at the event was presented to the organisation.

A cheque for €1,000 was handed over to the IWA's Service Support Officer for Wexford, Selina Power, in Porter's Bar, Killenagh.

'The presentation would have been made last year but unfortunately there was a fire in the venue and that was why it was delayed so they decided to hand it over last week,' said Ms Power.

'Everyone in the organisation is so grateful to everyone who helped raise the money,' she added.

'It was collected just from donations in the pub during the Turnip Fest.'

The money will go towards the IWA Wexford's bus fund which is aimed at securing a new mini-bus for the organisation.

'We have three buses at present but two of them are off the road,' said Ms Power.

'One of them is probably not going back on the road while a second one is in at the garage every other day,' she added.

However, she went on to emphasise the necessity of having the buses running and how access to them gives service users independence in addition to helping combat loneliness.

The IWA hopes to get the new bus in the New Year and as Ms Power pointed out every bit of money towards it is a great help.

'The community spirit in and around Porter's is fantastic and we are so appreciative to everyone in the area who contributed to the fundraiser,' said Ms Power.

'A lot of our members need transport and if they don't have it they literally don't get out of their home and that's why the buses are so important because it's good for their mental health as well as physical well-being,' she added.

The IWA has two branches in Wexford - one in the town and one in Ballycanew. However, the bus service provides access to the two centres for people all around the county and that's why having buses is invaluable to the organisation and its members.

'The buses are very important to our members and we are trying to grow our service across the county,' said Ms Power.

'It's lonely if you cannot be as independent as you would like to be,' she added.

'They are a vital part of the service we provide.'

The next fundraising event for the organisation will be its annual Angel Collection which is part of a nationwide initiative that will take place on Thursday and Friday, November 8 and 9.

Over the two days TY students around the county will be collecting money for the organisation and as Ms Power pointed out the money raised from that will also go towards the bus fund.

Anyone interested in helping out with the Angel Collection initiative can contact Ms Power directly on 085-8048177 or email: selina.power@iwa.ie.

Gorey Guardian

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