Report 2011– Westgate Foundation
2 30 Projects – section on each programme
3 Westgate Centre
4 Sheltered Housing Project
5 Elder Abuse Programme
6 Homeless Programme
7 Day Care Centre
8 Alzheimers’ Programme
9 Respite Centre
12 Accounts Systems
13 Co-ordinators Meetings – every Tuesday 9am – 10am
14 Executive Board – meeting every Monday 10am – 11am
15 Newsletter – Westgate News
16 Guidelines/Procedures & Practices
17 Policy – wider issues/voice/involvement in decision making
18 Funding for administration of medicine
19 Funding for Social Worker
20 Funding from Dept of Health & Children – none this year
21 Smoking Area
22 New Telephone System
23 New Computer System
24 New Web Site
25 Administrative Assistant – Day Care
26 Administrative Assistant – Transport
27 Food Hygiene Auditor
28 Cleaning & Hygiene Auditor
29 Health & Safety Auditor
30 Project Management Auditor
31 Cutbacks for 2011 – 2 nurses/driver/
Key Person Insurance/Car
32 Attendances down in all social activities in 2010
Health Services Executive-South – South Lee
Health Services Executive – South – North Lee
HSE- Mental Health Services – South- South Lee
Cork County Council
Dept. of Health
Dept. of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government
Dept. of Foreign Affairs
Dept. of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation
Family Support Agency
Dept. of Community, Equality & Gaeltacht Affairs
Section One: Background, Overview and Structure of Westgate Foundation
- Ethos & Ethics
- Aims & Objectives
- Profile of Target Area
- Target Group
- Structure of Westgate Foundation
Section 2: Projects, Services and Funding
Section 3: Achievements, Difficulties and Future Developments
Appendix 1 Accounts – 2011
Appendix 2 Memorandum and Articles of Association
Appendix 3 List of Projects
Appendix 4 List of Services/Programmes
Appendix 5 Projected Budget 2012
The following report provides a summary of the Social Services, Community Care, Community Employment and Peace & Reconciliation programmes of the Westgate Foundation for the year 2011. It also gives details of the Budget for 2011 and also provides an outline of the Projected Budget required to enable these services to continue to meet the needs of Older Adults from Ballincollig and surrounding areas for 2012.
2002 was a watershed year for the organisation, with the opening of the new multi-disciplinary centre and independent living sheltered housing project, which we had been in the process of planning since 1993. This new resource centre opens up the opportunity to further develop and expand the range of services and facilities, which we can offer to older adults. 2011 saw the organisation consolidating the services and use of the
multi-disciplinary centre with the active participation of members and service users themselves. This is very much in line with government policy, which has an expressed commitment to keeping older adults well and at home, through the provision of high quality services.
Westgate Foundation is committed to working in a spirit of true partnership with all agencies and government departments to secure better provision of services and opportunities for all older adults. It is the belief of the organisation that long-term sustainable provision cannot come about unless all of the relevant sectors engage in dialogue and co-ordinated planning.
The organisation very much welcomes and appreciates the strong level of support, which it has received from all the agencies mentioned in this report. We also recognise that there is an ongoing commitment to mutual partnership for the very long term.
The organisation is now very much established in our multi-disciplinary centre and looking forward to continuing to grow and develop so as to continue to respond to the needs of older people in our community and the wider society.
With the downturn of the Irish economy during 2010 and 2011, it was necessary to examine all aspects of the organisation, its services and income and expenditure. Good governance and housekeeping was essential. All aspects of costs and the cutback of all wastage of any kind including heating & lighting, use of water, refuse collection, office materials, use of transport, telephone, insurance, purchases, transport and bank costs were examined. The Executive Board discussed all aspects of the organisation and after minute examination we were able to reduce costs of heating and lighting, refuse collection, bank charges by paying some salaries and wages on a monthly basis and reduce costs on all the above mentioned items. With the purchases of new buses we were able to reduce the repairs account drastically. Further examination, cost cutting, extra fundraising and good governance were essential in 2011.
Bank charges were drastically reduced by the introduction of the EFT system. We avoided cutbacks in staff, wages and services in 2011 notwithstanding the reduction of 3% in funding from the HSE. However, we had to cancel key person insurance, and sale of car was implemented in 2011 due to economic situation and cutbacks.
Background and Structure of the Organisation
Westgate Foundation, which was registered on 8th November 2001, is the trading name of Ballincollig Senior Citizens Club Ltd. Ballincollig Senior Citizens Club was formed in 1985 by a group of concerned people from Ballincollig who felt there was a need to encourage Older Adults to provide services and organise their own affairs with support, education and training. The group was formed into a committee with the involvement and active participation of Senior Citizens. It worked under best practice in Community Development, fostering an ethos of participation, discussion and decision-making by all involved. In 1986 the organisation purchased its first mini-bus with the financial support of the Dept. of Social Welfare, as it was known at that time.
A Day Centre/Social Centre was opened in 1987 in premises donated rent free from the diocese. In February 1989 a Day Care Centre was opened in a house leased from the Cork County Council. The organisation became a company limited by guarantee in 1989. From then on additional services were identified, planned and provided each year. Extra transport was purchased to meet the needs and requirements with support from the Southern Health Board, various Government Departments, statutory agencies and fundraising. The organisation’s first Community Employment Project commenced in 1995. Charitable Status was granted in 1996 and Approved Status was granted in 1998. Land was donated from Cork County Council for a Sheltered Housing Project and multi-disciplinary Day Care/Social Centre/Resource Centre in 1998. In 1999 the Dept. of the Environment approved a grant of over £2.2m towards the Sheltered Housing Project and the Dept. of Health approved a grant of £400,000 towards the Day Care/Social Centre/Resource Centre. The President, Mary McAleese formally opened the Sheltered Housing Project and Day Care/Social Centre/Resource Centre on 16th September 2002. Over 2,000 guests, statutory agencies, supporters, staff volunteers, members, service users and family friends were present and included the Minister for Health & Children as well as TDs from the various political parties as well as members of the North/South Cross Community Project and friends from other Senior Citizens Organisations.
In 2002 the organisation was successful in securing from FAS and the Department of Enterprise & Trade the Social Economy Programme, which traded as Westgate
Enterprises Ltd. The Westgate Enterprises Ltd ceased trading in 2004 as per our contract and all staff were transferred to Community Employment Project.
The Organisation was successful in securing nearly €500,000 for the North/South Cross Community Project from ADM/CPA Peace & Reconciliation Programme in 2002-2004. The organisation also secured funding from the International Fund for Ireland for its Community Bridges Programme 2005-2007. The organisation was also successful in securing grant aid from the Dept. of Foreign Affairs for 2008-2010 and a grant of
€40,000 was received from the Dept. of Foreign Affairs in 2011
The organisation promotes the value and self-worth of the Older Person through
Education & Training, Advocacy, Self-Esteem/Confidence and Capacity Building. It provides a secure and comfortable environment for Older Adults to enable them to be involved at their own pace in the decision making process pertaining to their individual needs socially and emotionally.
1.3 Aims & Objectives
- To provide for the relief of distress and suffering among and to make provision for the physical, mental, social, educational and recreational needs of Older Adults with the active participation and involvement of the Older Person.
- To provide housing and associated amenities of a good standard for Senior Citizens in need.
- To provide training and education for the long-term unemployed through Community Employment Projects in co-operation with FAS and Government Departments.
- To provide Day Care and associated services, home based care and transport services for those Older Adults who are ill or who have disabilities or in any way are unable to provide for their own needs.
- To provide relief, education and assistance to Carers.
- To prevent illness, incapacity and isolation among Older Adults by providing contact, support, social stimulation, recreation, artistic and creative activities.
- To promote self-help and empowerment of Older Adults.
- To assist in Capacity Building.
- To promote awareness among policy makers and the population as a whole of both the needs and the potential of Older People.
- To Promote Peace & Reconciliation on the island of Ireland
1.4 Profile of Target Area
The organisation operates from the town of Ballincollig, Co. Cork, which is an old garrison town 12 km west of Cork City. The organisation provides services to Ballincollig as well as the hinterlands of Ballinora, Bishopstown, Curraheen, Ovens, Farran, Dripsey, Coachford and Blarney covering a Senior Citizens population of over 3,000 in a 25km radius. There is a mixture of rural and urban residents with many people living in isolated regions. The organisation operates reconciliation and education programmes in Derry and Belfast and surrounding areas.
1.5 Target Group
The Target Group are people mentioned in the Target Area over 60 years who
may want to access and avail of the following:
- Day Care and associated services
- Home based services.
- Social Activities Programme
- Independent Sheltered Housing
- Counselling Services
- Mental Health Care Programme
- Alzheimer’s Care Programme
- Education & Training
- Recreational Drop-in facility
- Holidays & Pilgrimages
Our work is mostly involved with Older Adults who are marginalized, many dependent on social welfare, some on limited income and across the social spectrum and are isolated by means of ill health, physical or mental and many without the support of family members. We also work with those who have the support and help from their families and indeed we work with the families themselves. We work with Older Adults who are well and want to be involved in leisure, recreational and educational activities.
1.6 Structure of Westgate Foundation
The organisation is registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee and has
Charitable Status from the Revenue Commissioners and Approved Status from
the Dept. of the Environment. Membership is over 120-full members and 300 associated members. Over one thousand service users avail of the centre each week.
The Board of 21 is elected each year by the membership, 75% of whom must be Older Adults i.e. over 60 yrs. The Chairman/Chief Executive assisted by 14 Project
Co-ordinators/Managers are responsible for the day-to-day management of the organisation and are accountable on a weekly basis to the Executive Board. The Executive Board consists of nine members of the Board namely: Chairman/Chief Executive/2 Vice Chairpersons/2 Treasurers and four other members all appointed by the main Board. The main Board meets every month, the Executive Board meets every week and the Co-ordinators/Management Board meets each week. There are over 150 volunteers in the organization, 60% would be older people. There are Guidelines/Ethos & Ethics/Procedures & Practices for each of the projects and each project has its own allocated budget, accounts system, volunteers and staff. Accounts Procurement Procedures/Health & Safety Regulations/Anti-bullying Policy/Child Protection/Elder Protection and Employment Laws must be strictly observed. Customer Care policies must be adhered to.
The staff consists of the following:
- Chairman/Chief Executive FT
- Community Employment Project
1 Supervisor FT
32 staff PT
- 1 Transport Manager PT
- 2 Drivers PT
- 1 Security Co-ordinator FT
- 2 security staff FT
- 1 CNM1 FT
- 1 Day Care Director PT
- 5 Care Assistants FT
- 2 Administrative Assistants PT
- 1 Catering Co-Ordinator FT
- 1 Assistant Catering Co-ordinator PT
- 4 Catering Assistants PT
- 1 Social Activities Co-ordinator FT
- 1 Counselling/Elder Abuse Co-ordinator PT
- 1 Housing Co-ordinator PT
- 1 Accounts Co-ordinator PT
- 4 Tutors – Dance/Art/Choral/Music PT
- 2 IT training PT
- 8 Counsellors PT
- 1 Social Worker PT
- 1 Reflexologist PT
- 1 Aromatherapist PT
- 1 Chiropodist PT
- 1 Physiotherapist PT
- 1 Health & Safety Auditor PT
- 1 Cleaning & Hygiene Auditor PT
- 1 Project Management Auditor PT
- 1 MHN – Mental Care Programme PT
- 1 RGN – Alzheimer Care Programme PT
- 1 Care Assistant – Mental Health Care Programme PT
- 2 Care Assistants – Alzheimer Care Programme PT
- 1 Evaluator PT
- 1 Medical Advisor PT
- 2 NSCCP Co-ordinators PT
Section 2: Projects, Services and Funding
Westgate Foundation (formerly Ballincollig Senior Citizens) has continually expanded its range of services to older people over the last twenty five years because of the need and demand. In 2011, 30 Projects and 80 Services were delivered through the organisation. These included:
Day Care Centre:
The day care centre caters for an average of 40 clients per day from a wide geographical area on a five-day week basis. The centre is staffed by qualified
CNM 1, Day Care Director, nursing staff and 8 care assistants and provide a full range of care and recreational programmes to clients.
Admissions to the day care centre are operated through an assessment and referral procedure with the HSE, which takes full account of the clients’ medical and social needs. The day care centre caters for older people with low/medium/high dependency needs. Finance for this section is mainly by contract with the Health Services Executive-Southern Area. This contract is for 20 Low Dependency clients.
The Day Care Centre is also financially supported by the Dept. of Health , service and attendance charges and fundraising. We have applied to the HSE for finance to cover a weekend day care pilot project. This application has not been successful to date.
However we did apply for funding to keep the Day Care Centre open during the August holidays and this application was successful for 2005. As we accept clients from the North Lee Catchment area we applied for funding to the HSE.
We have been successful in securing funding of €50,000 from HSE -North Lee, for 2009. This continued for 2011 albeit with a 3% reduction. There is an enormous demand for the Day Care services. We do not operate a waiting list but we do have to reduce days for clients in order to make room for others. The demand for Day Care Services is in excess of places agreed with HSE.
Mental Health Care Programme
This programme is initially for one day each week. When funding is forthcoming it will be expanded accordingly. A MHN and one care assistant are employed on a
part-time basis. Admission to the programme is on an assessment procedure, which will take into account the needs of the client. Mental Health Care HSE-Southern Area refers all clients. A full range of care and recreational programmes is offered to service users. Clients are over 60 years and the programme caters for clients suffering from depression and other related mental impairments. Funding of €20,000 was received from the Mental Health Care Services for 2007. This continued for 2011 with no reduction. This ensures continuity of the service and is a very welcome development.
Alzheimer Care Programme
This programme was initially for one day each week. An RGN/RPN and two care assistants are employed on a part-time basis. Admissions to the programme are on an assessment and referral procedure, which takes into account the needs of the client and is run similar to the mental health care programme and Day Care Programme. Service users from all programmes are encouraged to integrate on a social level each week with our social integration programme each Friday involving music, dancing, teas/coffees and games. Funding for this programme comes from HSE-Southern Area. Extra funding of €15,000 was received from the HSE – South for this service for 2007, this continued for 2011 with no reduction. Therefore, we were able to continue a second Alzheimer Day to accommodate 12 extra clients and have increased the staffing levels accordingly.
Elder Abuse Programme (SOS Project)
The SOS Project provides the following services for Older People aged 60 and over who are being abused physically, emotionally, financially, and sexually or are neglected. The SOS Project offers the following:
- 6 bed Respite Centre – short term stay
- Information & Advice
- Crisis/Family Intervention
- Legal Access.
The homeless programme operates for older people who find themselves without
accommodation for a variety of reasons. This initiative is supported by the Department of Environment through the Cork County Council, who provide the funding to support a six-bed short stay unit.
Clients of the homeless programme are supported in accessing counselling and legal services. Westgate Foundation works with the County Council in trying to secure long-term accommodation for users of this service, which we have had good success. In 2011 there was an average of 6 clients per week.
Westgate Social Centre provides a programme of recreational, arts and educational activities to active older people. Over 300 people per week avail of the activities of the social centre, which opens day and night. Some of the opportunities available through the social centre include:
- Westgate Choral Society
- Arts Programme
- Computer Training
- Personal & Group Development
- Education & Training
- Storytelling/Creative Writing
- Senior Help-line & Silver Threads
- Outings & Trips
- Holidays at home and abroad
- Book Club
- Men’s Club
- Knitting Club
- Kurling Club
- TAI CHI
Several social events are organised each month, including Annual Awards Night, Annual Dinner Dance, Halloween Party and Patrick’s Night celebration with monthly socials and a host of fundraising events, including bazaars, fancy dress and fashion shows. Members, staff and volunteers of the organisation are involved in all of the above. A Book Club and a Men’s Club were organised in 2009. It is still proving difficult to encourage men to join the Men’s’ Club
There is an average attendance of 65 people at each social event. In 2010 we found that attendances in all sections of Social Activities Project were down on previous years. We researched this in 2011 with the help of Julie Murphy, Community Worker HSE. The conclusions of this report were: set up committee with a representative from every section-this was done. There was also a need for the facilitators to be present for the full 2 hours without interruption. The board also decided to rename this section as the Social and Active Retirement Club. This was done and was most successful. Attendances were increased in the Bowling Club, Wednesday Social Club and Computer Training. We also organised a Knitting Club and Kurling Club and introduced TAI CHI.
Catering/Meals on Wheels/Community Catering:
Westgate Foundation cooks and delivers over 25 meals per day seven days per week in biodegradable containers to older adults living alone in the Ballincollig/Bishopstown/Ballinora/Waterfall and surrounding areas. All meals are prepared in the fully equipped state of the art catering facility, which is part of the Westgate Complex. Volunteers and staff deliver the meals on wheels. A fully qualified manager who oversees the preparation of all meals manages the catering section. Meals are provided for service users, staff, members and residents, five days a week – approximately 60 per day. Catering is also provided for all functions each month – 70-100 each function. All catering staff are trained in and abide by HACCP Regulations. Extra funding of over €6,000 was received from HSE – South – South Lee in 2008 this continued for 2011. The service known as Meals on Wheels was changed to Community Catering in 2007. The purchase of a Blast Chiller/Freezer in 2008 ensured that meals are delivered in fresh condition and can last in the fridge for a number of days keeping its high quality. Community catering is an invaluable source of social contact. During 2011 there was a drop of 20% in Community Catering applications. We sent out a questionnaire and discussed this with the PHNs.
We also requested the delivery people to enquire from clients as to the meals, its contents, delivery and the temperature of the meals. There were no complaints from the recipients or PHNs
A fully qualified counsellor/psychotherapist manages the counselling service in Westgate Foundation together with eight qualified counsellors, which offers one to one counselling to members/staff/volunteers of the organisation as well as the general community. There are also eight trained facilitators/enablers in this service. The service is supported by the Family Support Agency and provides counselling at low cost and an average of 45 clients
availed of this service each week in 2011. This was a reduction over last year due to the economic situation. Bereavement Support Group is part of this service. Pre marriage course are now in operation as well as couple counselling.
The Westgate independent living complex was opened in April 2002 and comprises 36 housing units arranged in two courtyard settings. The houses cater for single and double occupancy and are available to older people in need of accommodation. Twenty-six houses are leased to older people in need of social housing at affordable rates and ten of the units are also available for leasing through a key money system. 44 persons live in the sheltered housing units. This programme operates in partnership with the Cork County Council and the Dept. of the Environment. There are still major problems when residents are no longer able to live independently in our Sheltered Housing. Sourcing full-time care is difficult most times and in some cases we have to threaten eviction before suitable care is provided. In the interim Westgate Foundation has to take over temporary care and case management of the residents. There is still no funding for administration or security staff of our Sheltered Housing Project. Finance has to come from rents and fundraising to pay for the Co-ordinator and Security on Call. The rest of the services paid towards Security costs in 2011. During 2010 we found it difficult to sell the Key Purchase or Non-social Housing. We had 20 applicants on the waiting list and all indicated they could not sell their own house. The Key Purchase houses were reduced in 2011. This proved a great success and all houses were let. They Key Money purchases are a vital source of finance for the organisation. It helps to support the costs of security. There are also problems with repairs and renewals as the houses are now nine years old. Living standards in the housing have to be sustained to a high standard. The bad weather in December caused problems with dampness, burst pipes and condensation, which were addressed immediately. There is a need to improve the insulation as well as replace doors and windows over the next few years. This will cost in the region of €250,000 which has to be sourced. The addition of a maintenance staff to the housing section has lead to great improvements in the maintenance of the SH
The Westgate Carers Support Group was established in 2002. The group operates as a support group to people caring for relatives at home. Twelve members are in this group and they meet on a bi-weekly basis. As well as providing mutual support to carers, the group organise regular guest speakers. During 2011 talks and demonstrations were held on Social Welfare Rights and Entitlements, as well as guest talks from the HSE Development Manager for Carers and the co-ordinator of the local Carers’ Association.
Outings were also arranged in 2012
Training and Education in caring is provided for members of this section. Members of this section have access to all the services and programmes of the organisation. The HSE-South Lee provided €2,000 funding for this programme in 2011. Our Social Worker is facilitation this group and was a great source of support and improvement
Education & Training:
Cork County VEC provides funding for 6 qualified tutors in Drama/Dance/IT Training/Story-telling/Creating Writing/Art/Choral. In-service training is arranged with the Health Promotion Unit – HSE/UCC and other education agencies in the following: However, funding was reduced in 2011 which necessitated reduction in course time.
- Carers Skills
- First Aid
- Patient handling and transferring skills
- Management Skills
- Personal Development
- Conflict Resolution
- Confidence and Capacity Building
- Community Development
- Leadership Skills
- Communication Skills
- Listening Skills
- HACCP Training
- Cleaning & Hygiene training
- AED Training
- SWOT Analysis
A wide range of complementary therapies is offered to members and users of Westgate Foundation. These included Aromatherapy and Reflexology. The therapies are available to members and service users and older people from the general community and are provided on a low cost basis. An average of 20 older people uses this service weekly. A Sensory Room is provided to address the spiritual and religious needs of clients. The HSE operated physiotherapy and occupational therapy towards the middle of the year and these provided a great service for Day Care Clients. Unfortunately due to cutbacks the complementary therapies were charged at cost to clients in 2011
Westgate Foundation operated a fleet of 5 mini buses. This transport is used to bring older adults who have no other means of transport to and from the Day Care Centre and the Social Centre, trips and outings. The transport facilities are also used to deliver meals on wheels/shopping/visiting theatre and cinema and also to bring older people to and from the North of Ireland as part of the North/South Cross Community Project. An average of 400 people uses this service weekly. All of the buses are wheel chair accessible. Because of the cutbacks the car was sold but we purchased a Wheelchair accessible bus to cater for the heavy dependent clients.
North/South Cross Community Project
The North South Cross Community Project has been running since 1986. The purpose of this project is to foster positive relationships between older adults, north and south of Ireland and also to support the breaking down of barriers between older adults of differing traditions living in the North. The project has developed a number of different strands over the years, which include:
- North/South exchange visits
- East/West Exchange Visits
- Education and Awareness Programme
- Counselling Programme
- Cross Community Programme
- Historical and Cultural Programmes
- Seminars and Workshops
- Peace & Reconciliation Programmes
- Tackling Sectarianism Programmes
The project is centrally co-ordinated from Westgate Foundation with locally based
Co-ordinators located in Derry/Belfast/Donegal. In 2011 over 1,000 older people from Cork, Derry, Belfast and Donegal participated in the programme. August 2004 saw the end of our Peace & Reconciliation Programme with ADM/CPA. While we appreciated the funding from ADM/CPA for the past 25 months, we did find it difficult at times dealing with this funding agency. However an agreement was made with ADM in 2007 and all problems were solved and agreed. We were under budget and over target for the Peace & Reconciliation Programme for 2002/2004. However we were delighted that The International Fund for Ireland and the Dept. of Foreign Affairs agreed to support the Peace & Reconciliation Programme for the next three years. With funding from IFI and Dept. of Foreign Affairs we were able to expand the NSCCP by including East-West exchanges to Scotland in 2004. We organised an exchange to Wales in January 2005 and to England in September 2005. The Scottish and Welsh groups returned these visits in June 2005. The Community Bridges Programme went very well in 2006.
2011 was a very sad year for the NSCCP with the passing of our Development Officer,
Carol Simpson. Carol was involved with the project for over 20 years. She was very much involved in peace and reconciliation and was a tremendous worker. She will be missed very much.
Over 20 community groups from Belfast and 10 Community groups from Derry participated in this programme. The contract with IFI came to an end on the 31st October 2007. However the Department of Foreign Affairs has agreed to support our North-South Cross Community for a further three years with a grant of €150,000.
We had a visit from 20 people from Wales in 2008. Contact is being kept with the groups from Britain. In 2008 a programme on Tackling Sectarianism was devised and presented to 20 community groups in Belfast and Derry in 2009 and 2010 and 2011. It consisted of a ten-session programme of two hours per session. Participants from both communities expressed satisfaction with the course and with our local qualified facilitators. This interaction continued in 2010. We were successful in obtaining funding of €40,000 from the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2011.
Westgate Foundation is committed to working in a spirit of partnership with government agencies for the purposes of enhancing the quality of life and overall well being of older people. The organisation is now nationally recognised as a flagship project and has a very high standing and credibility with a wide range of funding agencies. Funding from services users is a very important source.
In 2011 funding was received from the following agencies and government departments.
- Health Services Executive-South – South Lee
- Health Services Executive – South – North Lee
- Health Services Executive – South – South Lee – Mental Health Care Services
- Dept. of Foreign Affairs
- Dept. of Health
- Dept. of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs:
- Dept. of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation
- Dept. of the Environment:
- Cork County Council:
- Family Support Agency
- Service Charges
- Attendance Charges
We were successful in securing funding from the Department of Health for 2011 of €40,000. No extra funding was received from HSE South Lee or North Lee for 2011. Members and friends of the organisation throughout the year made extra efforts to secure additional income by means of fundraising. It was noted that there was a increase in Fundraising income during 2011, this was due to our successful Bingo sessions on Sunday nights , contributions towards room bookings and the Ladies Marathon and Christmas Fair
- Church Gate Collection/Flag Days
- Bowls Tournaments
- Over 60’s Talent Competition
- Ladies Marathon
- Fancy Dress/Masked Ball
- Christmas Socials/Christmas Fair
- Bag Packing
- Room Bookings
Section 3: Achievements, Difficulties and Plans for the Future
3.1 Achievements/Learning Points
The most important achievements in 2011 were: National Lottery Grant of €40,000 from the Department of Health, €40,000 grant from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the purchase of a new bus which will cater for the high dependency clients. The grants were were very welcome. This funding will enable the organisation to maintain all its Projects and Services. The organisation also signed a three-year contract with HSE – South – South Lee and North Lee. We still had our Social Worker on a part-time basis in 2011 and this has proved to be most successful, with some funding from the HSE and the grant of €2,000 for the Carers’ Support Group
Problems and challenges with regard to Community Care in Sheltered Housing
We find that there is a major problem with regard to residents in our sheltered housing programme that would be in need of care, due to illness or old age. Our sheltered housing tenancy agreement specifically states that our housing is for independent living only. When a resident becomes ill and is treated in hospital and cannot look after himself
or herself when they are discharged, it is expected that our organization can step in and provide the caring. The dispensing of medicine is another problem at night and weekends. Unfortunately we had to let our medicine nurse go due to financial constraints The Assistant Director of Public Health Nursing and the local Public Health Nurses have proved very supportive to the housing, homeless and elder abuse projects.
There needs to be better Care and Case Management procedures involving the client, the client’s family, GP, HSE and Westgate Foundation in order to address the client’s needs. There is also a need for Medium Dependency Units where clients who are in need of care can have some independence as well as 24 hour nursing care. This problem is referred to again in this report.
Funding is an ongoing issue for voluntary organisations and particularly for an organisation operating at the scale of Westgate Foundation. The continual process of maintaining funding resources draws heavily on the work of the organisation. Westgate Foundation and the HSE – South – South Lee now have a contract in place for three years. This is a great achievement. No extra funding was received from HSE – South Lee in 2011. As well as maintaining current levels of resources it is also essential for the organisation to have the means to work on development. A huge amount of work still remains to be done on catering for the needs of older adults with medium to high dependency levels and this is an area of work, which Westgate aims to work on over the coming years. However, we need to state that the HSE have been most supportive in our various applications for funding and most supportive of the work of the organisation. Co-operation between the HSE and Westgate Foundation has been excellent at all levels.
Core Funding for Senior Management Staff:
Currently the CEO, Accounts Co-ordinator, Social Worker and various other staff positions of Westgate Foundation are not directly funded from any source. This puts the organisation in a situation of having to cobble together funds from a wide range of sources to secure these positions. Given the size of the organisation and the scale of activities this is a very unsatisfactory position and places a lot of stress on the organisation. Furthermore at its current level of operation the organisation now needs a senior operational management post to support the strategic management role of the CEO. It is not sustainable for the CEO to have to carry responsibility for the management of all internal operational issues and also for the ongoing strategic development of the organisation. Core funding for these most senior level posts within the organisation are of the utmost importance to its long-term sustainability.
Long term planning:
One of the more frustrating aspects of the work of the organization is the lack of opportunity to engage in long term co-ordinated planning with the statutory sector. The philosophy of Westgate Foundation is that enhanced services and quality of life for older adults can only be affected if all relevant sectors work together to plan for and implement services. In tandem with this are the need to come to clear service agreements with funding agencies where there is clarity around work agreed and the level of funding to be made available to the organisation.
Need for Social Worker and Education & Training Co-ordinator/Arts Development Co-Ordinator:
There is a strong need for personal social services support within the organisation, and particularly since the development of the independent living units. This is a service, which requires a dedicated staff member with the skills to carry out this work. Without this resource being available, existing staff and volunteers within the organisation find themselves having to respond in an ad hoc way to situations as they arise. This is not an effective way of working. However in 2005 we engaged a social worker on a part-time basis. This has proved most successful.
The social worker dealt with over 40 cases in 2011. Some funding for our part-time social worker was received from the HSE in 2009 and this was carried over to 2011
There is huge scope within Westgate Foundation for the expansion of the education and training programme that currently operates. However, without the resource of a co-ordinator to link into wider educational resources and source additional funding, the time is not available to current personnel to carry out this role. However funding from the VEC which was not reduced in 2011 VEC in 2011 provided funding for Dance/Art/Choral/Storytelling/IT
Education and training is an area that can cross all sections of the organisation, including day care centre users, social centre users, staff and the wider community. Westgate Foundation provides much of the in-service training. However HSE-Southern Area and FAS also provides training, however funding for training from FAS will cease in 2012. Materials Grants will also been reduced by 50% in 2012. This is indeed a grave situation and must be addressed by all stake holders The VEC provides tutors for our art/drama/dance/IT and choral programme. The aspiration of Westgate Foundation would be to have consolidated links with institution of learning including UCC, CIT and other centers of learning and to look at ways in which the expertise that has been developed within Westgate could be fed into these organisations as well as the other way around. It is the organisation’s intention to employ an Education Officer/Community Arts Development Officer as soon as possible if we can secure funding. FAS have been very supportive in providing funding for ongoing education and training.
The HSE-South Lee provided training in First Aid and CPR/AED in 2011. We also provide placement for students involved in health care education from CIT and UCC. We also provide placement for transition year students and students involved in the Presidents Awards.
Community Employment Project:
The organisation would not be able to function without the Community Employment Project. CEP staff are employed in areas such as transport, catering, administration, reception, maintenance and caring. Staff are trained in programmes, which will be of benefit to them when they enter the open market. There is a need, however to change the regulations regarding the employment of staff for community employment. The three-year limit should be abolished and staff should be allowed to stay on as long as they and their employers wish. There are CEP staff that would, because of various reasons i.e. lone parents, be unable to work in the open market.
There is also need by the organisation to retain staff that are well trained for their job. We were able to secure 32 staff and a Supervisor from FAS in 2010/2011. The Development Officer, Mr. Gerry McGrath who has proved to be very supportive and helpful to the organisation.
3.3 Development & Planning
Westgate Foundation is now a large organisation employing over 80 staff and assisted as well by a wide pool of volunteers. In order for an organisation of this size to function to maximum capacity it is essential that effective management systems and procedures be in place. A lot of work has been done throughout 2002/3 in initiating a process of drawing up clear and transparent procedures in the organisation and training people into the new roles, which they now occupy. The work of bedding down these mechanisms within the organisation continued throughout 2011. We also have the support and advice of a chartered accounts firm and law firm as well as Management Consultants. In 2005 we employed on an advisory basis the services of a qualified doctor, which has proven to be a great success. We retained this medical advisor in 2011. In 2008 the Executive Board decided to employ a Health & Safety Inspector, Cleaning & Hygiene Inspector, Project Management Inspector, Transport Inspector, and Food Hygiene Inspector to ensure the highest of standards at Westgate Foundation: this has proved very successful and continued in 2011. We also applied for and got approval for the Internship Jobbridge Programme for 2012. We will be conducting interviews in early 2012
The annual turnover of the organization for 2011 was in excess of €1.7 million. Again, with this scale of operation it is absolutely essential that the accounting and management systems are operating to maximum transparency and effectiveness. In 2002/3 a significant amount of time was spent on setting up systems within the organisation and delivering the necessary training in these procedures to staff within the organisation.
The consolidation of this work continued throughout 2011. This is all part of the overall process of supporting and leading the organization through change. The move to a new premises and greatly expanded scale of operation has entailed change for all involved in the organization and like all processes of change, needs to be handled with care, understanding and vision.
Medium Dependency Sheltered Housing with nursing and care assistants:
As was referred to earlier in this report, the needs of older adults with medium dependency requirements must be addressed. The vision within Westgate Foundation is to establish sheltered housing units supported by nursing and care assistants. This would offer older people of medium dependency security and a standard of care by ensuring that their needs are attended to. The ambition of the organisation is to secure land adjacent to the current centre and establish this medium dependency care centre. Obviously strong funding support will be needed from the statutory sector to resource not only the building of this complex but also to resource the ongoing care costs associated with it. It is also the case however that the long term costs of supporting a centre like this will be far less than arranging continuous residential provision for older adults with medium dependency needs, which is currently the only available option outside of care within the home (and this option is decreasing steadily with the increasing participation of women of all ages in the work force having to supplement their family income).
Regional Respite Centre
Respite for people being cared for in the home is a huge area of need both for those who are themselves dependent and for those caring for them. It is a need that is continually voiced by carers, many of whom work 24/7 with little recognition or minimal support of any kind. One of the long-term objectives of Westgate Foundation is to establish a Regional Respite Centre that would offer year round respite breaks to people with low to medium dependency needs. The respite offered would be in a setting, which provides a more homely and holistic approach than much of the respite currently on offer, which operates out of primarily medical model. It is envisaged that this respite centre would be located in a building currently owned by the state, but not used. We presented the HSE and Government a plan to change the use of Lynch’s Lodge Hotel, Macroom to a Regional Respite Centre. Despite the approval of the Office of Public Works of same the Health Services Executive said the plan did not fit into the their strategy.
We were very disappointed with this decision as we felt the Regional Respite centre would have solved the pressing challenge of Respite Care in the north and mid Cork regions. The building was sold and renovated as a hotel in 2007 and closed down in 2008. We are delighted with the news that the HSE will be opening the Community Nursing Home in Ballincollig in early 2010. We tendered to manage the Community Nursing in 2011 but were unsuccessful.
Peace & Reconciliation Centre
One of the aims of Westgate Foundation is to establish the centre as a Peace and Reconciliation Centre, similar to the work being undertaken in Corrymeela in Ballycastle and Glencree in Co. Wicklow. This will build on the work currently being undertaken by the North/South Cross Community Project and will involve conflict resolution training
and support as well as focusing on processes of healing and recovery. Unfortunately our contract with ADM/CPA concluded in July 2004. However, we were successful in securing funding from The International Fund for Ireland and the Dept. of Foreign Affairs for 2004-2007. Funding came to an end in 2007 with the International Fund for Ireland. All dealings with the IFI were excellent and co-operation from them was of the highest caliber. We were successful in receiving funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs of €150,000 for 2008-2010. We were successful in securing funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs of €40,000 in 2011.
The Work Programme consists of consolidating our existing programmes as outlined above and of finding ways to provide first class quality care and support for Older People in our catchment area.
We believe that our Project gives practical expression to what the Government Document of 1994 “Shaping a Healthier Future” calls “Health Gain and Social Gain” as they refer to Older People. We are committed to continuing what we have begun, i.e. to promote health and well being among Older People and to offer maximum support to those in need. We encourage self-help and empowerment of Older People at all times through awareness, research, education & training and promote equality and dignity for all and encouraging the Older Person to be involved in all discussions and decision making pertaining to their lives.
With the extreme downturn of the Irish economy it will be increasingly challenging to maintain the above-mentioned programme for 2012. However with good governance, good housekeeping, and further fundraising and with the excellent support we receive from the HSE and Government Departments, Westgate Foundation will endeavor to retain the present services and staff.