Funding boost for St Mary of the Angels

Beaufort facility gets top prize in Aviva-run community awards fund

Tadhg Evans

There were well-placed celebrations recently for St Mary of the Angels in Beaufort, as the campus was named as one of just two initiatives to receive the maximum €10,000 allocation from the AVIVA Broker Community Fund.

A presentation recently took place at AVIVA's headquarters in Dublin, and Chairperson of St Mary of the Angels Parents and Relatives Group Jack Fitzpatrick was delighted at the recognition. However, the hard work of fundraising for upgrades to the Beaufort facility continue, and Mr Fitzpatrick is calling on cyclists to support St Mary of the Angel's in this year's Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle.

"We were delighted to receive the top award," he told The Kerryman.

"It is also very heartening to see a company of AVIVA's standing recognising Saint Mary of the Angels.

"But our aim is to reach €350,000 to add extra bedrooms to one of our houses; and adding a living room each to our two houses.

"We want to reach our goal this year and make Saint Mary of the Angels fully compliant with HIQA requirements.

"We're one of the main beneficiaries chosen for this year's Ring of Kerry cycle, and we'd be hoping to see people register for us."

The fund-raising was sparked by fears in recent years over a HSE plan to move residents into homes in the community, in line with the 'Time to Move on from Congregated Settings' policy.

Mr Fitzpatrick explained that the Beaufort facility - which currently has 74 residents, with 55 children attending St Francis' Special School - has in the past been guaranteed that residents will not be moved against their will or the will of their families, after a hard-fought campaign.

Gallivan Murphy Hooper Dolan (GMHD) Insurance put St Mary of the Angels forward for consideration, and Fergal Smith of GMHD was delighted that they went on to scoop the top allocation.

"We nominated them because we felt they were a worthwhile cause in our local area," Mr Smith said. "I'm delighted at the recognition AVIVA gave them."

To register for Saint Mary of the Angels in this year's Ring of Kerry Cycle, visit