Record year for Cope charity despite cuts

A Cork charity with a €59m spend in the city and county said it is continuing to help over 2,000 people “live life to the full”.

The Cope Foundation’s mission is to enhance the lives of people with an intellectual disability and or autism.

Over 70% of the adults and children it assists have a mild or moderate disability.

Cope said 2012 was a record year of achievement in spite of significant cutbacks from Government and restrictions on staff recruitment.

In its annual report, Cope’s chief executive Colette Kelleher described 2012 as a challenging year which also demonstrated the foundation’s resilience.

“We learned together to better manage the resources at our disposal, including making the most of Cope Foundation’s capable workforce, our money and facilities,” she said.

“Against a background of significant cuts and a staffing moratorium, we protected services and supports by working together, being more efficient, tackling absenteeism and getting better value for money.”

She added: “Against the odds, we finished 2012 in a financially healthy position.”

Ms Kelleher noted while there was a €370,000 loss, it was “mainly due to depreciation, a non-cash item”.

“This does not affect Cope’s overall financial position, having stayed within budget. We have done a lot and much more to do in the year ahead,” she concluded.

The HSE’s allocation to Cope was €43.7m while the Department of Social Protection contributed €7.4m.

Other state bodies and voluntary fundraising activities also assisted greatly.

Cope has centres in 12 of the county’s towns along with five centres in the city. Some of the centres are residential but overall, it operates from 65 locations around the county. It employs over 780 people.

Last year, it supported a record number of 2,150 children and adults along with their families.

The annual report features stories of people’s success and achievement as sportsmen and women, artists, performers, students and as workers helped by the wide range of Cope’s support networks across the city and county.

William Cuddy, outgoing chairman of the foundation, said: “Changing times mean we must think laterally, entertain only positive thoughts and do more with less.”

He paid tribute to the co-operation and flexibility of Cope Foundation’s staff and “the goodwill that exists in our close community of parents, friends, supporters for their generosity and kindness demonstrated to our clients. The ethos of Cope Foundation continues to place our clients as our number one priority”.

He acknowledged the continued support of HSE South along with the City of Cork VEC and other fund raisers, donors and volunteers.

He said Cope’s “jigsaw” of services and supports are all about helping people to live life to the full.

Sarah Faughnan, a young woman featured in the annual report stated: “I can do anything I put my mind to”. In the report she tells of her experiences about taking part in the Gaisce President’s Award where she showed her abilities across a range of challenging activities.

Also in the report, a parent Nuala Murray describes how her daughter Hazel has been given a “sure start” in life, thanks to the support of Cope Foundation’s early intervention team.


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