New committee members have been elected to the board of Wexford Disability Services (WDS) as the organisation prepares itself for the 'challenges coming down the track'.
Operated almost entirely by volunteers the charity has been providing Personal Assistant services to people with physical and/or sensory disabilities throughout County Wexford since 1997.
Following its AGM in the Ferrycarrig Hotel, Independent Councillor Davy Hynes outlined why WDS is now taking these measures. 'We've taken on new people to the board because of the challenges coming down the track. Because of governance, it's making it more difficult to run anything, to get people to volunteer, and that's a problem that's happening right across the board.'
Involved since the charity was founded 22 years ago, Cllr Hynes said that he,and fellow board members don't receive any payment for their work and do it 'just to make sure the service continues'.
What funding WDS does receive comes from the HSE. Manager Declan Denny explains. 'We're fully funded by the HSE. All care packages are referred to the charity by the HSE following on from an assessment. The charity's work is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors.'
And that work is, according to Cllr Hynes, vital for those living with disabilities in the Wexford area. 'We work with people with various disabilities, helping them to do things in their own house or shop, just to make life more manageable, that's the essence of it really. It's a very effective project and has been for many years,' he said.
Operating out of its offices in the Westlands Community Centre the aim and the ethos of WDS is, says Mr Denny, to 'enable a person with a disability to live independently in her/his own home with the assistance of a PA.'
The services provided by WDS vary from basic home help to high dependency care, those interested in availing of the service should call 053 914 2123 for further information. In 2016 WDS delivered 32,396 PA hours to 76 service-users.