Thanks to your compassion and support, our staff have achieved so much for the almost 3,000 men, women and children we work with across our services. Just this past Christmas season, which can be such a lonely time for so many, you stepped up. We were bowled over by the 190+ volunteers who sorted and packed over 500 hampers, who manned our Christmas market stall, who drove, delivered, shook a bucket, and so much more! Thousands of donations meant that we delivered over 1,000 gifts, countless essential items, food vouchers and treats to individuals and families across Galway.
Over 50 businesses (including schools and universities) donated items towards the appeal for hampers and gifts. Children received amazing toys. You eagerly took part in events, with over 700 of you braving the cold Galway Bay waters, business leaders and students sleeping out on Galway streets and many more of you organising local events to raise essential funds for our services.
We prepared and delivered 675 festive meals over the Christmas period. During December, our Day Centre staff welcomed 57 people, who didn’t have anywhere else to go, to enjoy a festive meal together. 53 children who use our domestic abuse children’s service gathered at our refuge for a very special visit from Santa. 87 older people attended what some considered ‘the best Christmas party ever’, and many took to the dancefloor in great spirits – a great example of positive ageing!
Despite everything, Christmas is a moment of cheer for people who face constant challenges. Every day, COPE Galway’s staff meet people in crisis. Our strength lies in our ability and desire to respond to their immediate needs, no matter what their circumstances. Our caring and professional teams, armed with expertise and unwavering commitment are there from that very first moment when someone reaches out. When people come to us, they have a safety net; they know they don’t have to face their traumas alone.
As we turn towards 2024, economic and societal challenges will persist. You can trust us to continue to work to support the most vulnerable to these challenges within our communities. We will always be there, walking alongside these strong, unique individuals; holding onto their hope, as they move out of their crisis situations towards new beginnings. We will always find ways for our local community to get involved and support us in what we do.
Michael Smyth, COPE Galway CEO