The need for funding for the Bluestack Special Needs Foundation in Donegal Town will be highlighted tomorrow, as the centre can no longer depend solely on voluntary contributions.
Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher, Leas Cheann Comhairle, along with other Donegal Oireachtas members, are to raise the matter of the urgent need for mainstream funding for The Bluestack Foundation and iCARE in Buncrana with the Minister for Disabilities, Finian Mc Grath T.D. on Wednesday.
Interim funding of €36,000 for the Bluestack Foundation in Donegal Town was approved in February 2019.
This funding was to assist the running of the organisation on an interim basis only, until a permanent funding arrangement could be sanction by the Department.
The Bluestack Foundation carries out trojan work in assisting young people with disabilities in the south and the west of Donegal.
The organisation has been run totally on voluntary contributions from the general public, organised by a group of volunteers.
Earlier this year, the Government failed to include any disability organisation in the Northwest of Ireland in this programme.
Tomorrow’s meeting with the Minister for Disabilities, Finian Mc Grath, is a critical one for the Bluestack Foundation, as it attempts to secure funding for the running of its programmes and work schedule for all its service users.
The Foundation urgently requires state support in order to run on a daily basis as so many users of their services depend on them on a weekly basis.
The Bluestack Foundation, on its own, deserves to be in receipt of mainstream annual funding such as the funding that can be availed of through the Ability Programme.
The Foundation has a long history of helping and assisting young people with disabilities.
Last year, a delegation from the organisation met with the Disabilities Minister Finian Mc Grath along with officials from the Department. Donegal TDs were also present.
Leas Cheann Comhairle, Pat the Cope Gallagher, said the foundation work with families and dependents with physical, sensory and intellectual and mental disabilities and no other state agency or service is available within Donegal.
“The Bluestack Foundation provides an essential service which the state ought to provide, but fail to do so in Counties such as Donegal.
“It is in that context that the Minister must provide the necessary funding to secure the long-term future of the Bluestack Foundation,” concluded Pat the Cope.