Over 90 guests attended a black tie Ball in the lovely Castlegrove Country House Hotel last night to raise funds for the No Barriers Foundation.
He explained how it all started ‘I met a gentleman called Nathan Kirwan from Cork In 2015 who fundraised for his own Esso Skeleton in Cork. I priced how much we would have to charge to offer these types of services in the North West and it just wouldn’t have been feasible- the end price would have been too expensive with the end result being that most people couldn’t afford to access it.
I started thinking about what way we could structure things to achieve the end goal of delivering the services at as low a cost as possible. I set up the Foundation in 2016 with myself and Mary Loughrey (mum) the two directors.
I found out about the Leader funding and we set about applying for European funding through this to get the Exoskeleton. A strong committee was formed with other health and business professionals based in the North West and in 2018 we launched the Taking Positive Steps Campaign to get the Exoskeleton suit’ he concluded.
The Charity Ball was an opportunity to see the No Barriers Exoskeleton in action. This state-of-the-art robotic technology was purchased by the group in 2018 to enable local people diagnosed with spinal injury, stroke, MS, and brain injury, amongst others, to stand up and walk. Special Guest Gerry McCabe and his wife Dolores were there Gerry showed the guests the benefits of the No Barriers Exoskeleton, how it operated and how it was life changing for him.
All proceeds raised from the No Barriers Foundation Ball will fund the future of the foundation, which operates the only exoskeleton in Ireland that is available to the public and is fully staffed five days a week.
The Foundation plan to invest in exercise equipment to create an inclusive gym environment where wheelchair users and those with varying levels of mobility can train side by side with others within their community.
The guests enjoyed a lovely dinner cooked by celebrity Chef Gary O Hanlon followed by an auction with Charlie Robinson and lots of raffle prizes kindly donated by local businesses.
Local Band ‘Raw’ entertained for the night followed by a Disco. Thanks to Karen McGlinchey and her friends for the company at the table!
Well done to Johnny and Sharon Rouse for organising the night after weeks of hard work which paid off raising much needed funds for the charity. Finally thanks to Mary, Eirene and Caroline Sweeney and staff at the hotel for their hospitality.