In March 2020 life in Ireland took an unexpected turn when a severe lockdown was enforced by the Department of Health amid the outbreak of the coronavirus. Leo Varadkar addressed the nation and everyone was in limbo regarding the uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead.
For me, hearing this news was difficult, as I became aware that my normal everyday routine would suddenly be non-existent. It soon became very clear to that I would have a significant lack of routine, structure and socialisation.
Little did I know that I would discover a charity who would be by my side every step of lockdown and to this present day.
I truly admired Crann’s approach to shining a positive light throughout lockdowns. The staff worked tirelessly to facilitate online workshops including weekly drama, art and yoga classes, alongside regular Chat & Connect social groups, and an opportunity to explore podcasting. These sessions gave me the structure and routine that I needed and I can’t thank Crann enough for that
Now in their third year of full service, Crann launched various projects this year including Ireland’s first fully accessible playground and leisure area, the Impact Hub, an accessible workspace for people with disabilities and an accessible conservation area for families to enjoy nature. It has been a joy to watch the growth of these initiatives. Having an input into the design of the playground, like other Crann families, made the project feel very accessible and family-centred. My family and I attended the opening day on Saturday July 2nd and the outcome is amazing. It felt great to enjoy a wheelchair accessible seesaw, swing and also experience height on a massive pirate ship. Believe me, it’s massive!
I was also very fortunate to be able to visit Crann regularly in person this year and I am really glad for that as I am the only wheelchair in a very rural area so I don’t have any programmes to access in the local community.
Through their services and supports Crann have given me opportunities that I would have never imagined. I have made such a connection with the clients and staff and at this stage they really have become my second family.