Disability Awareness workshops for community groups

The service users and staff at Eolas have put together a Disability Awareness Programme to be delivered to local and community groups.
The aims of the programme are:
• To raise awareness of disability issues in the wider population.
• To promote integration for people with I D
• To counteract some of the negative myths and misunderstandings surrounding people with disabilities .

The service users put a lot of work and thought into the programme. They came up with issues relating to their daily lives which they believed should be addressed including ….
• Access issues for physically disabled people and the concept of universal design.
• Harassment in the community and how to deal with it.
• Discrimination in areas such as employment ,education and relationships.

The format of the programme involves services users delivering a power point presentation on the positive aspects of their lives highlighting their achievements, goals and ambitions for the future. This is followed by a video made by Sunbeam Media focusing the ethos and activities of SHS and the supports it provides to service users. Finally the service users and their support staff will address an open question and answer session .

To date the group have delivered the programme to the staff and students of Wicklow VEC, leaving cert applied students from Kilcoole and a group of Wicklow County Councillors’

Feedback from all concerned has been extremely positive. Community groups have commented on how educational and interesting it was to meet and get to know the service users. Where as the service users who devised and delivered the programme said they gained confidence and skills from making the presentation.
We have now been asked to do a piece for East Coast Radio on the same themes.
In the future we hope to continue to deliver the programme to young people in schools and colleges and any other interested groups in the community.

Photo Competition on Display

The photo competition entries have all been mounted and hung in Bray Library on Eglinton Road. I have to say they look fantastic. Special thanks to Greg at ‘The Art of Framing’ for doing such a good job.
Also, thanks must go to our sponsors;

Hollands Fine Wines

Bray Cabs

Dickers Electrical

Liz-Ann’s coffee shop

Thanks, also, to Michael Noone, Ruth Doran and Denise Brennan for donating prizes and thanks to Bray Library for giving us the public space to display our photos.

Olympic Flame

The Olympic Torch will be coming to Ballyraine on June 2nd. It will take a route from Arklow town centre accompanied by a host of athletes at approx. noon, ending up in Ballyraine. Certainly an event not to be missed!

European Neighbours Day

Ros Mhuire, Glenvale and RT Unit (Main St. Arklow) are hosting a coffee morning on Friday, 28th May.
Tea, coffee and biscuits from 4.30pm-7pm.

European Neighbours Day is an initiative where you host something like a coffee morning to meet your neighbours and make more connections in your community. All welcome.

Gina runs a half-marathon!

Congratulations to Gina Wilkins who ran a half marathon in Wicklow on 22nd May 2010. Thats no mean feat. Well done Gina.

Photo Competition

The 5th annual photography competition is over and there were some very interesting photographs. The theme was ‘Who Am I?’ Above is a sample from the entries and all entries will be on view in Bray library in June. Congratulations to all those who took part, the judges from Signal Arts Centre were very impressed. They found it very hard to choose a winner.

National Spring Clean

All over Ireland people were encouraged to clear their local area via An Taisce and we cleared up the path on Vale Road which is directly outside of Ballyraine. All clients really enjoyed the day and we have sent the pictures up to the local paper. Above is some people from Glenvale taking part.

Job Shadow Initiative

Last week job seekers from Sunbeam House Services took part in the annual Job Shadow Initiative. This exciting event which is run throughout Ireland gives people with different abilities the opportunity to explore the world of work and to gain an understanding of the skills and education required to compete, develop and succeed in the workplace. This is the third year for this to take place and it has proved a huge success each year with nearly 500 job seekers taking part last year.

Connect Employment, a division of Sunbeam House Services, took the opportunity to support a number of job seekers and local employers to get involved. Connect Employment supports service users of Sunbeam House Services to access employment and since it was set up in 1988 it has grown rapidly and currently Connect Employment support over 180 people throughout Co. Wicklow to find, secure and maintain employment in the community.

People with different abilities gain empowerment from fulfilling a social role like having a job and can prove that they are a valued member of the community. The experience is also very positive for employers as they gain an employee who is eager to excel at their job, eager at all times to stretch their capabilities and eager to get on well with everyone they work with, as well as promoting their business as an inclusive workplace.

Owen Kavanagh of N. Kavanagh’s pub on Arklow main street provided Jason Dixon (Aughrim) with some valuable experience working in his bar. Jason, who has previous experience working in a bar, spent the morning serving customers and learning more about what’s involved in bar work.

Annette Doyle (Rathnew)spent the afternoon with Bernie Fortune in Brookside laundrette and found the experience very enjoyable. Bernie knows the value of hiring a person with a disability as she employs Elizabeth, also a service user at Sunbeam House Services, and has found her to be a very positive addition to the staff team.

Selina Whyte (Arklow)really enjoyed her work experience at Biltong meat company Thursday morning. The owner Lucas Swart talked her through the range of different products Biltong makes, the health and safety procedures, and she then had a go at making her own sausages from scratch. Selina proved herself to be very competent and learned a great deal.

Dean Gallagher (Bray) participated in the Job Shadow Initiative in a newly established pub called Stacks on the main street in Bray and has since been offered a position at their premises. Dean is delighted with the outcome.

Aisling Ellis (Kilmacanogue)gained some experience in David Martin’s Hairdressers, in Killincarrig. She proved that she was very competent at the tasks that she was asked to complete and really enjoyed the experience. The staff there, David, Edel and Clodagh, were really friendly and helpful and were very impressed by Aisling’s work.

Nathan Phillips (Bray) shadowed Gardai at Bray Garda Station while Conal Carney (Arklow) participated at Wicklow Garda Station. Both got on very well and enjoyed their experience.

Connect Employment would like to thank all employers and job seekers who helped make Job Shadow Initiative such a success.

EEVA2010 Entrepreneur video competition

Gabriel Phelan and Bernie O’ Toole through Sunbeam Media have entered a video competition with the European Commission.
The theme is Entrepreneurship – a Different Way of Life.
This video focuses on a person who has benefited from supported Employment and has grown in confidence in their careers to become an entrepreneur and follow their dreams. Thanks to Ger Murphy and all those involved. Good job everyone.

Photo Competition 2010

The Sunbeam Photo Competition is indeed open for 2010. This years theme is ‘WHO AM I?’
So, think self-portraits, think different sides to your personality, think characteristics, think masks you hide behind.
The closing date for submissions is April 30th 2010 and entry costs €5 which covers the cost of printing and mounting. All photos must be digital and sent in by CD or E-Mail, memory stick, etc.
This year we hope to make it a professional competition and to exhibit in the community. Prizes and venues to be announced.
Above is the winner of last years competition.

The New Guy

Welcome to the company, John Hannigan, who is taking over from the current Managing director, Michael Noone. Mr. Hannigan will join us from the end of March and will officially take over on May 1st 2010. Mr. Noone will be sadly missed but we look forward to the future with Mr. Hannigan at the helm.


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