The Helping Hands Group officially opened on January 4th 2011 in the city of Peterborough and provides education, therapy sessions and vocation for people with physical or learning disabilities. The Director of the group, Suzanne Gilby had been seeking funding to open The Helping Hands Group for three years. For these reasons, Darragh decided to fund the organisation to help transform the lives of people with learning disabilities.
The activities and sessions are delivered by qualified tutors and supported by learning support assistants, providing a safe and healthy environment in which the participants can learn and develop.
The funding and support by Darragh has allowed the organisation to renovate its building on Padholme Road, Peterborough and provide it with state of the art equipment.
Activities available for participants of the scheme include horse-riding, ice-skating, go-karting, photography and bowling, just to name a few. The Group will also provide services such as massage, physiotherapy and sensory room experience. The centre is open from 9.30am to 4pm, five days a week. Darragh´s funding also allows for the provision of a transport service to users of the scheme, facilitating safe and easy measures to attend.
The organisation provides educational and day opportunity facilities to any adult with PMLD, Autism and a range of other disabilities. Darragh has also given free access for participants to Peterborough United Football Club matches at London Road.
The Helping Hands Group opening day was attended by players of Peterborough United Football Club.
The organisation is now creating apps for people with learning disabilities, producing the first one in September 2011, the IMEmine app for the iPhone. This app allows the user to send his/her location to an email address of their choice by the press of a single button. It also allows for text speech which allows all text on the app to be heard by speech.
The Helping Hands Group can be followed on Twitter by clicking here.
The Posh Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that provides essential services to the local Peterborough community including literacy education, coaching to the visually impaired and anti-social behavioural sessions.
The Foundation is a reinvention of Peterborough United in the Community and received charitable status towards the end of 2009. It provides both day and night time activities, promoting community spirit and education among the people of Peterborough.
Using Peterborough United Football Club as the centre of the charity, helps promote pyhsical education activities to schools across the city as part of the curriculum. The Club is one of the first in the country who achieved being able to deliver the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, allowing 30 students to get through the award in 2009.
Sue Ryder Care is a UK national charity giving social and health care services to local communities.
The charity provides indivualised, compassionate care services to people with end of life and long-term needs including people who have Cancer, Brain Injury, Dementia, Multiple Scelerosis, Huntingtons Disease, Parkinsons Disease and Motor Nueron Disease. This service is offered in people’s own homes, in the community and in their care centres and hospices. They also go so far to support families, friends and carers.
Through innovation and research Sue Ryder Care works to improve standards in long-term and end of life care and has recently received government recognition for improving end of life care for people with long-term conditions. They have piloted leading hospice at home services and holistic care management programmes for people with complex physical and psychological needs.
The work goes beyond the UK. With fifty projects across 12 countries in Europe and southern Africa, Sue Ryder Care is positioned at the centre of an international health and social care partnership.
Darragh has supported this charity for years, donating thousands including damages won from a national newspaper in 2008 to the Thorpe Hall hospice in memory of his mother. Darragh said at the time; “I lost my mother to cancer four years ago and without the help from the local hospice people in Florida, (where she died), my family just wouldn’t have coped at all during her last couple of weeks.” Thorpe Hall fund-raiser Julie Laithwaite said: “We are delighted to hear that Darragh MacAnthony will be making a donation to Sue Ryder Care Thorpe Hall Hospice.”It’s great to know that the exceptional work we do is recognised by such a respected local figure.”
Disability Action is a Northern Ireland based organisation that supports people with physical, learning, sensory and mental ill health disabilities. The organisation exists to ensure that people with disabilities have equal rights and opportunities in all areas of society. The range of services include :
- A specialist Information and Advice Service used by 20,000 disabled people every year
- A Door to Door Transport Service which ensures social inclusion for 1200 people with disabilities.
- Driving Lessons and Assessments for over 1000 disabled people who wish to learn to drive, or to continue driving after acquiring a disability.
- Training Opportunities for young people with disabilities and support for disabled people in employment.
In total more than 45,000 people with disabilities and their families benefit from the work of Disability Action every year. Quite simply, all of their services are designed to support disabled people to live as equal citizens and fulfil their potential.