Longford's Phoenix Centre at the Cruthú Festival

Longford Leader Reporter

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Martha Sharkey, Oliver Gilhooley and Longford Municipal District Cathaoirleach Cllr Seamus Butler at the launch of the Cruthú Arts Festival Picture: Shelley Corcoran

Martha Sharkey, Oliver Gilhooley and Longford Municipal District Cathaoirleach Cllr Seamus Butler at the launch of the Cruthú Arts Festival Picture: Shelley Corcoran

The Phoenix Centre was set up in 1993 by the Midland Health Board, Midland Region HSE, for people with a Physical and Sensory Disability.

DPOL Ltd which is a voluntary charitable organisation, was founded the same year by attendees of the Phoenix Centre. Twenty five years later this special partnership continues to flourish between the Health Service Executive and DPOL Ltd.

The ethos of the Phoenix Centre is “person-centredness” which recognises the individual uniqueness of each person with a disability and allows each person to live their life in accordance with their aspirations, needs and abilities. The objective is to combine work and leisure activities with rehabilitation and care needs providing individualised services and supports.

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The Phoenix Centre is committed to developing local services to meet individual care needs in consultation with service users and in partnership with statutory and non-statutory agencies. The centre has also close working relationship with all the statutory and non-statutory agencies in the Longford area including LCIL, LWETB, Co Council, NDTI, APT, Comhairle, IWA, MS Society and many other caring organisations in Co Longford.

DPOL Ltd. supports its members as a group with common needs. It provides a local forum on which to express issues of concern and offers information on rights and entitlements.
Through close community links with other organisations such as LCIL, they actively promote independent living. DPOL Ltd. through collaborative projects they continue to advocate and raise awareness around disabilities “bridging the gap between ability and dis-ability”.

These two projects were completed at the Phoenix Centre and both were carried out by clients with the help of the two LWETB tutors.

Mishel Griffiths: (Crafts)
Is Fèidir Linn ( meaning: We Can )

When you have a Physical and Sensory disability you see and feel life from a different perspective. The world is our oyster, but sometimes the shell closes in around us. On this day in Is fèidir linn, which means ‘We Can people are celebrating life in full colour – all ages, all cultures of all abilities.

At the Phoenix Centre in Longford the crafts and woodwork groups have all contributed to the building, painting of the meticulous details of this sculpture – we made our village into globe to represent the world at large and the mechanics of our society.

We looked and found, reused and recycled materials to construct and create our Globe of Life in an Irish village.

Luke Danniells: (Animation)
Briseadh Bacainnί (meaning: Breaking Barriers)

It is amazing what you take for granted being able-bodied. We do not give this a second thought unlike the person with the disability, who has no choice in the matter. Simple things like Dressing, Eating and going to the toilet become almost impossible without assistance.

As a group we decided to look at disability through our own eyes and highlight some of our experiences living with physical and sensory disability.

On this occasion we decided to highlight the difficulties for wheelchair users. The main character for this animation is a Phoenix to highlight The Phoenix Centre/(DPOL)and all the great work they do for people with Physical and Sensory disabilities.

Our aim is to show the everyday struggle of life in a wheelchair. The animation started in the middle of February with the building and painting of the sets and making the people and objects. The group finished on June 26, 2019 with the stop motion animation.

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