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Brothers of Charity - Latest News


March 24, 2017
Club Tropicana

Club Tropicana has been so popular that there will be a monthly night from now on. A new club night for young adults with intellectual disabilities is kicking off in the city’s Róisín Dubh next Monday night, March 27, and will take place once a month in the Dominick Street venue. Bounce Night Club is being run held under the auspices of That’s Life, an arts, leisure and personal development programme which is part of the Brothers of Charity Organisation in Galway. That’s Life aims to make the arts more accessible to people with intellectual disabilities. DJ and Video Journalism training are among the projects which have developed at That’s Life as well as Electric Dreams, a six-piece indie pop outfit consisting of four people with intellectual disabilities and two professional Galway musicians That’s Life have been hosting Club Tropicana in the Black Box Theatre for the past eight year and it has always been a sell-out event. In light of that success, the group has now decided to have host a monthly club, Bounce, so that the DJs, VJs and club-goers can enjoy a regular night out. The main aim of Bounce is to create a fun, safe and accessible space for young adults with intellectual disabilities, somewhere they can socialise, listen to music and dance in a club environment. The DJs and VJs with intellectual disabilities are being supported by experienced Galway DJs and VJs and play a wide range of music including pop, rock, hip hop and RnB.



February 16, 2017
Introducing the New Austism Spectrum Disorder Special Interest Group
By Maria Gleeson-Cary, Senior Speech and Language Therapist, Regional Autism Team, Brothers of Charity Southern Services. Click here to read article (PDF)

February 10, 2017
News from Blue Teapot -The Ray Darcy TV Show - RTE 1 this Saturday Night


November 25, 2016
Blue Teapot performance arts students graduate in Galway


by Lorna Siggins, Irish Times
Galway 2020 Capital of Culture participation in sight for artists with intellectual disability

WHEN student Aoife King applied for a place on a performance arts course three years ago, her family had no idea how much it would transform her life.
But then Blue Teapot Theatre Company's training is out on its own, as one of the only programmes of its type in the State.
"Creative, fun . . . with outstanding tutors" is how Aoife's father, Jack King, sums it up. Ms King (26) was one of seven participants with intellectual disability (ID) to receive graduation certificates in performance arts at a ceremony in the G Hotel, Galway, on Thursday.
Along with classmates Alan Keady, Amy Clarke, Damien Graham, Eilish Lee, Katie Dillon and Maitiú Quinn, she is among the second cohort of graduates on the Blue Teapot training programme initiated six years ago. "Drama is the main focus, but it embraces dance, mask-making, puppetry, costume design - all underpinned by the performing arts," the company's director, Petal Pilley, explains.
The QQI certification to level two and three ensures the highest professional standards, and the graduates can then join the Arts Alive programme, established by the Brothers of Charity in Galway.
"It means there is a progression, and the whole experience has given Aoife an inner and outer confidence, and an independence - along with a knowledge and appreciation of the arts," Mr King says of his daughter's experience. Blue Teapot was initiated by Fiona Coffey and Claude Madec within the Brothers of Charity in Galway in 1996.

Creative outlet
The aim was to provide a creative outlet for adult clients, and one of the company's early highlights was Millennium Fable, which played in Galway and Limerick and received a Better Ireland award. Since then, the company has established its own theatre space in Galway's Munster Avenue, and has staged shows at the Galway International Arts Festival and Dublin Fringe. Productions have ranged from Shakespeare to the company's first specially commissioned work by Christian O' Reilly. The playwright's romantic comedy Sanctuary was written in collaboration with participants . The company receives no Arts Council funding for its training, and relies on grants totalling €6,000 annually from Galway city and county councils, along with fundraising. "We just keep going with what we do, as it is too important not to," Ms Pilley says. Blue Teapot is collaborating with like-minded arts organisations for people with ID across Europe to stage a special festival during Galway's 2020 European Capital of Culture year. The Crossing the Line festival in Galway will involve companies which have also pioneered inclusivity in the arts, including Mind the Gap in Bradford, England.

Fashion Show - October 27


July 13, 2016
Sunday night saw the world premiere of the Blue Teapot and Zanzibar Films - Sanctuary, which had the honour of closing the Galway Film Fleadh. The wonderful news is that the film won the Best New First Irish Feature - it is a marvellous film and achievement, congratulations to everyone.

http://www.scannain.com/irish/festival/sanctuary-win-fleadh-2016

In-Flow returns to Galway for one night only

Come and experience this beautiful atmospheric live music performance.

In-Flow is a really unique performance fusing electronic music, gamelan percussion and visuals. It is composed and performed by That's Life Players in collaboration with Andrew Madec. It has already been performed before enthusiastic audiences in Galway and Castlebar and will also travel to Ennis in July as part of the Ennis Street Arts Festival.


Moonlodge Birthday Fundraiser - May 7, 2016



GAP Toddler Morning


February 25, 2016
Voting - How to and Why! Click Here (PDF)

February 24, 2016
Big Congratulations to Harvest Studios in Gort - they won the Aontas STAR award for Connaught and were presented with their award in Dublin on Monday 22nd February 2016.
The STAR Awards (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition) are an awards initiative coordinated by AONTAS as part of the annual Adult Learners' Festival to acknowledge the fantastic work undertaken by adult learning projects throughout Ireland. The awards celebrate the positive contribution that these projects make to individual adult learners, local communities and wider society. The winners of the 10th annual STAR Awards were announced at the STAR Awards ceremony on Monday 22nd of February 2016:

The Harvest Studios supports adults with intellectual disabilities to develop their skills, confidence and interests. The Harvest Studios promote independence and community engagement through the creation of enterprises, employment and training whilst establishing sustainable community links to assist participants to become valued, socially active members of their community. Let's Get to Work supported employment programme provides further skills training and meaningful employment in paid or voluntary roles within their community. We have established a second-hand bookshop as a social enterprise, run by the service users, to foster learning opportunities and community integration.

January 4, 2016
The Brothers of Charity Services Ireland would like to wish all the people who are involved in our services and their families a very Happy and Peaceful Year in 2016.

November 13, 2015
Brothers of Charity Services Galway receives International Award of Excellence


Brothers of Charity Services Galway has received an International Award of Excellence in Human Services from CQL for the Let’s Get to Work project. We were the only agency outside of the USA to receive an award. Let’s Get to Work supports people who could not easily avail of existing mainstream employment support services, to access work, volunteering, educational and self-employment opportunities. In presenting the award, Cathy Fricker Terrill, President and CEO of CQL said “We are so proud to present this prestigious award to such a well-deserving organisation. They are truly committed to person-centred approaches that lead to employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Their focus on outcomes and individualized supports around employment are a major accomplishment, which can be modelled by other organisations.

Sincere congratulations to everybody involved in the Let’s Get to Work project – this is a wonderful achievement

October 8. 2015
Service User Conference Cork - October 22, 2015
Download Conference Booking Form (PDF)
Download Accommodation List (PDF)



June 30, 2015
The Congregation of the Brothers of Charity has invited the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) to conduct a review of safeguarding practice.

If you have any concerns about Safeguarding in the Congregation of the Brothers of Charity, we invite you to come forward to us at 091-796389, to the NBSCCCI (01-5053124) or to An Garda Síochana/PSNI or TUSLA/HSC and give contact details.

January 29, 2015
'Start your Own Business' – A guide for people with a disability or illness and the people who support them. Download (PDF - 12MB)

November 29, 2014
Please see the New Strategic Plan for Banner Housing Association 2014 – 2018. Click here to download (PDF 5.5MB)

November 20, 2014
National Annual Report 2013 now available to download. Click Here to download PDF (9.1MB)

November 20, 2013
Blue Teapot win the County Mayor's Award for Arts & Culture
Just to let you know that Blue Teapot won the County Mayor's Award for Arts & Culture last night. Congratulations to all the Teapots – well deserved!
Best wishes.
Anne

Anne Geraghty
Director of Services
Brothers of Charity Services Galway
Woodlands Centre
Renmore
Galway

Ph: 091 721400

September 30, 2013
A LEADING theatre company which works with actors with intellectual disabilities has been named as a recipient of the Allianz Business to Arts Awards.
The Blue Teapot Theatre company is this year's recipient of the Dublin Airport Authority €5,000 Arts Award at this year's Allianz Business to Arts Awards. It's been a busy week for the theatre company as its critically acclaimed production 'Sanctuary' finished at the Dublin Fringe Festival over the weekend, as well as scooping the prestigious award. But the work that has been done by Blue Teapot in the area of intellectual disabilities has long been recognised.

Since 1996, it has been breaking taboos around people with ID, and in more recent times, has started to offer FETAC accredited qualifications to their members. Blue Teapot's productions have effected real change, with the public perception of people with ID being altered through the medium of drama. For the last 17 years, Blue Teapot has worked with the Brothers of Charity services, which established the company, and with Ability West since for the last four years. Petal Pilley, director of Blue Teapot, says it's essential that people with intellectual disabilities have a voice. "In this day and age, it's so important.

"We're a performing arts based project but what's really vital is that people with intellectual disability are given the choice of the kind of life they want to live and progammes they want to participate in," she adds.

Paul O'Kane, public affairs manager with the DAA says the authority is delighted to recognise the work of Blue Teapot with this year's award. "DAA has been sponsoring the Business to Arts Awards for more than two decades through the commissioning of the annual awards sculpture. With the DAA Arts Awards, we are also able to reward an arts organisation that has particularly impressed the judges in a given year.

"Blue Teapot, which works with actors who have intellectual disabilities, works with professionals to produce pieces of a very high standard that allow the entire cast to perform to the best of their own abilities." There are three project strands to Blue Teapot - a professional theatre company with nine permanent actors, a performing arts school with a three-year FETAC accredited programme and an outreach project Bright Soul.

Blue Teapot's professional theatre arm comprises the performers behind Sanctuary, a play that looks at sex and disability. Pilley says the Brothers of Charity have taken many leaps of faith with the company over the years. "From moving into a new building to growing the theatre company and starting the school, throughout it all they have been very supportive. There's no two ways about it, without the Brothers of Charity Services, without the good people in there, we wouldn't exist."

Sean Conneally, board member and manager of Brothers of Charity, says the organisation had one reason for supporting Blue Teapot - the amount of joy it gives the people who use our services. "It's really amazing to see the people in action, and the joy they get out of it themselves. Anybody who looks at it from the outside can't but be affected by their enthusiasm. Some of the performances are phenomenal."

Financing the project throughout a recession is a difficulty, so the DAA €5,000 Arts Award will provide great assistance. "We're stretching the pound all the time. The more support we can get and the more patronage we can get, the broader it can become," says Conneally.

Adrian Harney, HR manager, Ability West, says the arts are an area in which all people have potential. "Our aim is to support service users to realise their dreams and ambitions and to develop their potential as far as possible in all walks of life. The arts are hugely important. There's no reason why people with an intellectual disability cannot play their part in that area." Pilley says it's vital that people with intellectual disabilities have an audience.

"An awful lot of people with intellectual disabilities may only ever be seen in a care setting. Performing arts give them the opportunity to be seen in a different light. For them to be seen as an actor, performer or student is empowering." Both Harney and Conneally see much potential in Blue Teapot going forward.

"We're very keen to encourage and support Blue Teapot and definitely see it as progressing and going from strength to strength. [The Allianz Business to Arts nomination] is a hugely positive step for the organisation and has put its name on the map in a good way," says Harney.

August 27, 2013
HIQA Standards
The Health Information & Quality Authority (HIQA) launched their long awaited standards this summer. The National Standards for Residential Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities will apply to residential and residential respite services across disability sectors in Ireland, whether they are run by public, private or voluntary bodies or organisations. They give service providers a framework to develop person-centred care for all people with disabilities and promote services that facilitate a good quality of life. They were developed following extensive consultation with people from all across the disability sector.

These Standards are outcome-based and focus on what services are striving to achieve and what the experiences of the adults and children living there will be. Children and adults who live in residential settings or receive residential respite care should enjoy a good quality of life and live in a place that feels like their home; one that upholds their personal dignity and respects their privacy.

The National Standards for Residential Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities are based on key principles which will guide residential services on how best to provide a safe and effective service for children and adults with disabilities. They are organised into eight key themes covering areas such as person or child centred care, good leadership and use of information. For further details on the standards see http://www.hiqa.ie/standards/social/people-with-disabilities

The Brothers of Charity Services will endeavor to ensure we continue to be compliant with these standards.

April 17, 2013
Family Carers Invited to Take Part in National Survey
187,000 Family Carers given Opportunity to share their Experience as part of National Carers Week 2013


As part of the 7th annual National Carers Week, which takes place from 10th-16th June, family carer are being given a chance to share their experience of caring for a loved one. Family carers are the unsung heroes in our local communities, this survey aims to highlight their needs and views.

The short survey, 'Tell Us What It's Like' will capture peoples lived experiences of caring for a family member in Ireland today. As the cut to the respite care grant looms large, this survey will help family carers articulate the challenges, as well as the joys that caring presents.

RTE's Nuala Carey, who is supporting National Carers Week says; 'I encouraging all carers out there to complete the survey – we want to hear your experiences of caring – the good the bad and the ugly.'

National Carers Week, now in its seventh year, is coordinated by Care Alliance Ireland in partnership with eight other leading Irish charities who support family carers: The Alzheimer Society, The Carers Association, Caring for Carers, The Parkinson Association, The Disability Federation, MS Ireland, Bri and The Irish Hospice Foundation. 

Family carers can complete the two minute survey by visiting www.carersweek.ie

For further information contact:  Liam O'Sullivan 087 207 3265  E-mail; ndo@carealliance.ie

December 14, 2012
2012 PRIDE OF PLACE ALL ISLAND AWARDS

The Brothers of Charity Services South East, in partnership with the Ferrybank Allotments Group and a Horticultural Training Initiative run by the Grow project, were nominated by Waterford City Council in the City Garden category of the 2012 All Island Pride of Place Competition. At the recent awards ceremony, held in Thomond, Limerick, the Services, in conjunction with its partners, were awarded first place.

The Pride of Place competition recognises and celebrates the vital contributions that community partnerships make to society. The focus is on people coming together to shape, change and enjoy all that is good about their local area. More specifically, it recognises the involvement of the local community in all aspects of rural and urban regeneration including social cohesion, involvement in planning and the promotion of heritage and environmental awareness.


The judges recognised the Brothers of Charity Services as the catalyst for all of the horticultural initiatives, and commented on its work down the years in providing a very successful Community Garden Centre and developing social enterprises in the Landscaping area.

The community projects are delivered on site at Belmont and the judges commented on the significant leadership that the Service showed and the level of social integration that was achieved as a result within the overall campus. Maura Byrne, Neighbourhood Officer, Waterford City Council commented that "the success was no more than what the entrants deserved for their work over the years and the whole neighbourhood of Ferrybank are very proud of their achievements".

The Services, with their partners, were guests of honour of the Mayor of Waterford, Cllr. Jim D’Arcy, at a reception to recognise this achievement. The Mayor recognised the spirit and generosity of the both the Services and the Brothers of Charity Congregation in reaching out to the community and in making the resources at Belmont available to the diverse groups that use them.
The Mayor also presented the Services with a plaque to mark its contribution to the success of Waterford in the Pride of Place competition.

Representatives of the Brothers of Charity Services South East receiving
their plaque from Cllr. Jim D’Arcy, Mayor of Waterford


September 14, 2012
Midnight Masquerade Ball, Galway Bay Hotel, November 1st


May 11, 2012
Brothers of Charity Services South East Receive Award at European Conference
At the recent European conference, hosted by Mindchange, the Brothers of Charity Services South East received an award for their work in developing innovative ways of promoting social inclusion and active citizenship. Mindchange is an Austrian based organisation which promotes social inclusion and integration of people with disabilities.

At the conference, which was held in Villach, Austria, the Services presented two papers in the ‘Best Practice Examples and Innovative Projects’ category, entitled ‘Striving to achieve integrated community living’ and ‘Building and cementing true inclusion in rural communities’. In addition, in the poster category, the services exhibited four posters, each telling a different story of individuals’ journeys towards an inclusive life.

Johanna Cooney, said that this award reflects the hard work of every member of staff, the contributions of our many volunteers and the community partnerships which have created greater opportunities for the people we support. Following on from our successful accreditation and review by Council for Quality and Leadership, this award further validates the very positive work taking place throughout the services. Our presentations at the conference reflected both the journey of staff members towards delivering a service that is individually responsive and supports active citizenship and the journey of people we support towards living inclusive and valued lives based on their personal choices.

Johanna acknowledged the financial donation made by the Nagle Services Committee, Cashel, which facilitated our participation in the conference.

April 23, 2012
EmployAbility Services Galway were announced as the Overall Winners of the Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh 2012
EmployAbility, based in Failte House is a consortium of the Brothers of Charity Services, Ability West, Enable Ireland and NLN. Their vision is to facilitate the integration of people with a disability into paid employment, in the open labour market, leading to independence and career progression. EmployAbility Services Galway were announced as the Overall Winners of the Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh 2012 by Mr Dinny McGinley T.D. Minister of State at the Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in the Glenlo Abbely Hotel on Thursday night. Congratulations to Pauline O’Dwyer, EmployAbility Coordinator and the EmployAbility team Roisin McDonagh, Colette Reynolds, Mary Hibbitt, Keith Coburn, Harry Hussey, for their huge achievement and success. Congratulations also to Ann Loughney, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of EmployAbility and Sean Conneally, Director.

Well done to the team, who have worked so hard to achieve this award and were up against the top businesses in Galway.

April 20, 2012
Launch of Jessica Casey and Other Works (Wed Apr 25 @ 5pm)
That’s Life programme has been supporting a very successful creative writing programme over the last few years. The outcome of that programme is the launch of their publication Jessica Casey and Other Works which is a collection of poems and stories by the Away with Words writers from our services in Casla, Ballinasloe, Gort, Athnery and Galway City. The publication will be launched during the upcoming Cuirt Festival by poet Theo Dorgan in the Town Hall Theatre on Wed next 25 April at 5.00pm.

Congratulations to all involved – we’re very proud of them all.



December 9, 2011
Brothers of Charity National Annual Report 2010
The Brothers of Charity National Annual Report 2010 is now available to download as PDF File.
Click here to download the file (2 MB)

September 30, 2011
Congratulations to Galway's Peter Triest Housing Association who won the Irish Council for Social Housing National Award on Wednesday 28th September
The ICSH Community Housing Awards were initiated in 2003. The award encourages, recognises and rewards excellence in the delivery of social housing. It promotes and showcases how innovative design can help create sustainable communities and impact positively on the lives of tenants and residents, the local and wider community and contribute towards a greener environment.

Peter Triest Housing Association won the award for the Leargan Development which is at two locations on the estate, a block of six one-bedroom apartments and a larger development which incorporates a mixture of one- and two-bedroom apartments, a five-bedroom and a four-bedroom house, and a small resource facility. The accommodation has a range of special features, including assistive technology to support the residents to live as independently as possible.

The development is a joint initiative between Peter Triest Housing Association, the Brothers of Charity Services, and Galway City Council under Part V of the Planning & Development Act. The development has recently been completed by O'Malley Construction and the architects were McCrossan, O'Rourke, Manning.

Congratulations to the Directors of Peter Triest Housing Association, John Joe Higgins, Ann Loughney and Seamus Durkin and to all the staff involved in the conception, design and commisioning of the project and to those who supported it.

Particular congratulations and appreciation must go to John Joe Higgins who relentlessly and passionately drove this initiative! Well Done to All!

September 22, 2011
Official Launch of the Soundscape Gamelan
To celebrate the Official Launch of the Soundscape Gamelan, a special concert 'Songs and Dances from the Island of Java' has been organized in the Town Hall Theatre on the 1st October @ 8pm.

Local gamelan musicians will be joined by some of the finest musicians and dancers from the UK and Indonesia to play the Soundscape Gamelan in what promises to be a spectacular introduction to Javanese culture. Also featuring will be a unique animation film with a gamelan soundtrack by people of Bruach na Mara services and artist Aideen Barry.

All proceeds from the concert will go towards Soundscape Music Project. In supporting the event, people will be helping us to insure that workshops and projects continue in all areas of our services.

Tickets available from Town hall Theatre or from Jon Reynolds.

Jonathan Reynolds
Soundscape Music Project
Galway


Download Poster (PDF)

Download Flyer (PDF)


September 1, 2011
Galway Building Project up for Irish Council for Social Housing Awards 2011

Leargan, the new building that the Cois Saile Services moved to recently has been short listed for the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) Awards 2011. This wonderful development, purpose built for the Cois Saile Services and an apartment building close by for a number of people who will be supported to live semi-independently is the outcome of a partnership between the Peter Triest Housing Association and the Galway City Council. The builders were O'Malley Construction.

The ICSH have made a number of site visits to Leargan to see the development, and John Joe Higgins and Ann Loughney, accompanied by Pat Folen from the Housing Department, Galway City Council and Stephen Manning from McCrossan, O'Rourke and Manning, Architects (also representing O'Malley Construction) were invited to make a presentation about the development to the Judging Panel of the ISCH in Dublin on Tues 30 August.

The winners of the ICSH Award will be announced at the ICSH Biennial National Social Housing Conference in Galway on 28 September.

April 6, 2011
SOUTH EAST COMPANY RECEIVE COUNCIL ON QUALITY & LEADERSHIP ACCREDITATION
On Monday, 28th March, a team of four reviewers from the Council on Quality and Leadership, led by Christine Norris, commenced a week long evaluation of the services delivered by the Brothers of Charity Services in the south east. After a week of intense activity and scrutiny we were delighted to be awarded a four year accreditation by the Council on Quality and Leadership.

In granting this award the Accreditation Team said that we demonstrated our commitment to the principles of Person Centred Services by integrating the values and practices of person responsive and person centred delivery into all functions of the organisation in addition to providing flexible and changing supports and services based on each person’s priorities while maintaining solid assurances of protecting their health, safety and welfare.

The Council acknowledged that in our responses to the people who use our services there is clear evidence that we are continuously adjusting our practices and procedures to best support each individual’s priorities and are consistently building social capital outside the organisation.

There was great delight when it was announced that we achieved 100% in Person Centred Basic Assurances, Systems and Practices, and greater delight to the announcement that our services are part of a “small elite group achieving well over the national average” in Personal Outcome Measures.

Christine, on behalf of the Council on Quality and Leadership, commended the Brothers of Charity Services South East for its strong efforts and achievements in bringing about positive change in the lives of people we support as well as the communities in which services are delivered. She added that, looking back over the history of the services in the South East, it was evident that the people working in the services were committed to bringing about positive changes and complimented us on our ‘outstanding progress’ to date.

The Accreditation Team said that in this time of serious cutbacks and economic downturn, the staff they encountered communicated a tremendous sense of optimism and displayed an admirable openness to comments and suggestions. They were particularly impressed by both the obvious commitment to the Ethos of the services and how this was incorporated into everyday work and thinking at all levels in the services. They said that it was evident during the week that staff treat those they support in a highly dignified manner and value their contributions and abilities and that they model respect for adults even when families may use childish terms.

It gave us great pride when a member of the Accreditation Team, who herself has a disability, said that she would wish to be served by this organisation. She was particularly impressed with the I’m Not Happy policy and procedure, a copy of which she took back to America for sharing with organisations.