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November 15, 2018

Dear Carer,

Over the past two decades, West Cork Carers Support Group has provided a wide range of services for Carers of all ages throughout West Cork.  Information, individual and peer support, outreach services, social events, training, and a listening ear have formed the core of what the organisation has offered.  It has accomplished what it set out to do when it was set up over two decades ago.

At that time, the environment for Carers was very different from today.  Information affecting Carers was difficult to access.  There were few targeted support services for Carers.  The emotional toll of caring was rarely recognised.  More significantly, Carers were an almost invisible force, with little or no recognition or understanding of the demands and importance of their role.

20 years on, much has changed for Carers, thanks partly to the work of West Cork Carers and other community-based organisations.  Nationally and locally, there has been a growing recognition of the invaluable contribution of Carers to society and increased provision of mainstream supports.

In view of this changing environment and having completed the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, it is time to review and re-focus the organisation’s supports to reflect the changing needs of Carers and to ensure the best possible service in the years ahead.

With this in mind, the Board has decided to phase out the services provided by the Company and to close its Bantry office at the end of 2018.  West Cork Carers will continue its programme of services until the end of December as outlined in the recent newsletter and on its website.

West Cork Carers Support Group is very proud of its contribution to Carers and to the development of local services.  It has always focused on being relevant to the needs of Carers.  Now is no different.  20 years on is a good time to pause and take stock, in order to ensure the most effective targeted resources are provided to Carers in our community in the future.

Individual members of the Board will continue to work in a voluntary capacity with Carers, HSE Cork South Community Work Department and other agencies in 2019 to review services available in the local area and to plan how best to ensure that local Carers continue to have information and support available to them.

West Cork Carers wishes to thank all staff and Board members past and present. We wish to acknowledge the good work over the years which has made the organisation so successful.

Most of all, we want to thank you for being part of the organisation – for using our services, attending our events, providing feedback.  It has been a privilege to work with you.  We hope you will work in the future with both community and statutory agencies, to shape the next phase of support for Carers in West Cork.

We want to wish you the very best and thank you again for your support down the years.

Yours sincerely,

Maureen Broughton