RSG 30th Anniversary Message

30th Anniversary 2019

Co Roscommon Disability Support Group CLG

RSG celebrates its 30th Anniversary in Derrane the week of 1st July finishing on Friday 5th July.

2019 marks the 30th Anniversary of the foundation of Co Roscommon Disability Support CLG, also known as RSG at the old Parochial House Derrane, outside Roscommon town. Fortunately a long term lease was secured on the premises in recent years from the dioceses of Elphin. The organisation in 1989 was set up as an innovative self-group by people with disabilities for people with disabilities and remains a focal point today. RSG provides services in the home, workplace and socially to people with physical and or sensory disabilities, some of whom would also have other secondary disabilities, older people and children. RSG is an integral part of County Roscommon communities and voluntary sector and a leading service provider in the disability and older persons care sector. RSG is an approved HSE Care Provider and these services funded by the HSE vary from home care to personal assistant services.

In 1996 it was decided to form a properly constituted company operating in accordance with company law. It is a not for profit organisation and complies with all statutory and regulatory requirements. The organisation holds charitable status and tax exemption status for donations.

The Board of Management consists of 8 volunteer members and directors who receive no remuneration.  RSG is under the leadership of Margaret Bourke and her team for the past 15 years. Mary Casey who was very much part of this team for 21 years retired last October. The dedication and commitment of this growing team has contributed in no small way to the expansion of services and current employment of over 120 people. 3 successful HSE tenders over the past 5 years has been instrumental in RSG`s successful expansion of care service provision into the surrounding counties of Mayo and Galway. RSG is a large player in the employment sector greatly benefitting the local economy.

While keeping within the business environment, RSG has never lost it`s aims, objectives and person centred focus. Co. Roscommon Disability Support Group CLG fostered the Independent Living Ethos in 1996 to promote independence for people of all ages and abilities to enable them to become fully participating members of the wider community. This ethos is strong as ever to day.

Looking back the years much has been achieved. RSG was awarded the Charity Quality Mark this year. This is a reflection of the quality service that it provides. 2019 also saw the upgrading of the accessible transport bringing the much needed transport up to even greater quality standards. The Bus transport is operating since 2006 in conjunction with Roscommon MS and many of their clients use the different service facilities that are available by RSG. Transport is extremely important and provides a lifeline without which people would be isolated and confined to their homes. Accessible transport is necessary and RSG is delighted to play their part as best they can, depending on driver availability.  The Community Employment Scheme funded by the Department of Social Protection under the direction of Mary Ganley and Bernie Connolly runs this service and without this support it could not operate. Both Mary and Bernie have 40 years combined service with the company. Transport is heavily reliant on donations and fundraising such as bag packing and church gate collections.   Volunteer drivers are always welcome to increase transport availability.

RSG are growing and working hard to demonstrate accessibility and inclusiveness.  They recognise that social inclusion is so vital that they have embraced a new initiative called HSE New Directions, which states that 12 supports should be available to people using services and the idea being is that people can live their lives in accordance with their individual hopes, needs and wishes.

A new Car park has been installed to facilitate the overflow of parking cars at the Resource Centre.

The singing group “Guess Who’s Back” was set up in 2016 to accommodate different music interests and talents. Music Network is a partner of the group. So whether you have a disability or do not have disability you are welcome. There are no musical criteria required to join the group. The membership is consistent and is increasing all the time and is very enjoyable. They attend a number of external events.

Independent Living Life Skills Programme which commenced in August 2013 provides a range of tailored workshops designed to enable people under 65 to live full and independent lives at home and in the community.Independent Living Skills programmes as well as horticulture, fitness, music, arts and computers are available through the Day Resource which operates Monday to Friday inclusive.

RSG undertook a very successful government initiative under Disability Activation Project 2012-2015 (European and DSP funded under an Pobail) giving people with disabilities aged 16-65 opportunities to explore pathways to become more self-sufficient  and independent.

RSG Flexible Learning College established in 2006 provides person centred training and flexible learning for people with mixed abilities. It expanded to The Dale Centre built in 2013.This building is part grant aided by the National Lottery and fully accessible and contains training facilities including a fully equipped accessible kitchen. There is one to one tuition as required.

People can learn independent living skills, cookery, baking, painting, gardening, writing and many more and have fun doing arts and crafts. Sharing and exchanging skills are encourages among participants. There is a pool and table tennis table in the Centre. A good range of books are available from the Book Club to read or borrow. The Outdoor Gym built in 2014 forms part of the activities on offer together with basketball.

RSG Flexible Learning College is a QQI accredited training provider since 2010, which delivers Healthcare Support Modules to those who are seeking to enhance their career opportunities. People with disabilities are undertaking QQI modules accredited in Working Experience and other subjects. They have secured placements due to the goodwill of local employers.

Nuala’ s Garden and Horticultural Centre was established in 2009, as part of the organisation and is dedicated to the memory of the late Nuala Cunnane, a founder member of R.S.G. The Cunnane family donated their family car to use for transporting our service users to activities. The Horticultural Centre is located in the grounds of the organization, has a fully accessible greenhouse and outdoor accessible raised beds and gardens, all suitable for training and developing skills of service users and members of the wider Community. The College and Horticultural Centre have been achieved partly through funding grants, fundraising and donations from interested parties in the Community and the Rural Social Scheme workers. R.S.G. Sensory Garden opened in 2013 and is open to the public. Any person with an interest in gardening would be very welcome as a volunteer either to help or tutor.

While independence is widely promoted within the organization, people are free to work within their own capacity and be under no pressure. Generally any person who takes part in the activities/training is motivated and keen to expand their knowledge.

Derrane Craft Workers under the auspices of RSG was set up in 2012. They are a creative group of people of mixed abilities who exchange and learn new skills from each other. Roscommon U3A set up 2013 at Dale Centre is a learning circle or co-operative of older people who learn from one another and still going strong today.

RSG joined with Roscommon HSE Disability Services and HSE Primary care have a Self-Help Care to Wellness Programme training available for people with chronic illness and disabilities. The programme operates in conjunction with Mayo HSE.

Co Roscommon Seniors Network provides a calling/contact service to people on the waiting lists for funded services or in isolated areas and is undertaken by Community Employment workers under the guidance of Mary Ganley.

24/7 Care Service is available as an addition to the state funded services to cater for people who are unable to access sufficient state services. It provides care for older people and people with disabilities of all ages. It is a not for profit low cost professional service available around the clock with out of hours monitoring. Tax relief may be claimed for costs incurred.

R.S.G also actively involves itself in the community events and activities. It is also represented on a number of varying organisations throughout the county, regionally and surrounding areas. RSG strive to make a tangible contribution to the people and the community in which they operate and to the wider community which supports it.

The door is always open and everyone is welcome.

      Monday to Friday 10 am to 4.30p.m.