The Galway Service User Council.

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The Council was set up in 1989.  Its purpose is to make sure that managers, directors, and others, hear the voices of people using the Brothers of Charity Services.  The Council is made up of representatives from all the different areas in Galway.
The Council meets 8 times a year, 2 meetings every 3 months, the first meeting is called the service users training day, where representatives from the different areas come together, to share information, feedback on activities and events, raise issues and concerns that are affecting service users and to develop friendships with other Advocates in Galway. An agenda is put together and the following week the Council meet with the Director of Services, and the East and West Sector Managers, to discuss issues that are important to them, this is a forum were solutions are found and news on developments within the organisation are discussed.

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Here are a number of important issues have been dealt with, for example

  • Money and Wages
  • Training and Work
  • Houses and supported living
  • Privacy
  • Wheelchair access
  • Respite care
  • HIQA
  • CQL
  • Budgets
  • Leisure and holidays
  • Choice of routine
  • Bullying
  • Human Rights, the right to vote etc.
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Every year each region within the National structure of the Brothers of Charity takes turns at holding a National Conference. The 2013 Conference was held in Clonmel, Co Tipperary and the theme was Advocacy beyond services, Service Users from Skylark Centre Athenry, Iris Centre Clarinbridge and Gort services presented a piece on accessibility. In October 2014, Roscommon will host the National Conference in the Hodson Bay Hotel.

The Council wants people with intellectual disabilities to have a say in the way services are being delivered.  Being part of Advocacy groups can empower people to change and influence services. The Galway Advocacy Council hopes to be a major help in making these changes, resulting in a happier and more fulfilling life for all service users.