Stephen Farrissey and Amy Begley who are supported by Cope Foundation with Peter Loughnane, Director of Sales & Marketing Trigon Hotels and Foundation at the launch of Cope Foundation’s Christmas campaign. Photo: Darragh Kane

Shine a light on Cork

It’s nearly time to Light Up Cork.

That’s the name of Cope Foundation’s virtual giving website to support the organisation’s Christmas campaign.

The charity is hosting a special event on Cork’s Harley Street on Saturday 3 December which is International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The event takes place from 10am-2pm and is being held in collaboration with Trigon Hotels, Cope Foundation’s charity partner for 2021 and 2022. The main aim is to encourage the people of Cork to speak about inclusion and how we can embrace this more in every aspect of our lives.

Cope Foundation supports 2,800 people with an intellectual disability and/or autism to live a life of their choosing.

Members of the public are invited to come along and chat with people supported by Cope Foundation, its staff as well as team members from Trigon Hotels. There will be complimentary festive treats and people are encouraged to donate to the charity’s virtual giving page.

The Light Up Cork website was designed by graphic designer Amy Begley and shows a night sky over a number of well-known landmarks across Cork city and county.

Cope Foundation has a growing network of 70 centres stretching from East Cork to West Cork. The landmarks in Light Up Cork represent some of the towns and areas where Cope Foundation services and supports are available.

On the page you will find the Shandon Bells in Cork city, the Kindred Spirits sculpture in Midleton, the Castle Gates in Macroom, St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh and the Baltimore Beacon in West Cork.

Donors are asked to dedicate a star to a loved one. By lighting up a star they are also shining a light on inclusion in Cork.

Amy Begley, who is supported by Cope Foundation, said: "Inclusion is so important, especially when it comes to communities because everyone has the right to be involved, have a purpose, to make a mark, and to have a chance to make a difference. Communities play a big role in making anything possible."

Stephen Farrissey, who is supported by Cope Foundation’s Ability@Work Programme said: “I hope that everyone who is doing their Christmas shopping on Saturday 3 December will join us on Harley Street for a cuppa and a chat about inclusion. We all need to start the conversation and think about how we can be more inclusive in our workplaces, communities and our daily lives.”

Sean Abbott, Chief Executive of Cope Foundation, said: “We hope that Light Up Cork will help us to raise much-needed funds for our organisation but, more importantly, it is about shining a light on inclusion. Cope Foundation is committed to speaking up and continuing the conversation around rights and equalities for people with disabilities and/or autism. I want to take this opportunity to thank our charity partners Trigon Hotels for supporting this campaign and leading the way in inclusion in the workplace and in our communities.”