Independence through Assistance
Offaly Centre for Independent Living LTD. offers such a fantastic P.A. Service. I employed my first P.A. in 2003 when I moved to Dublin to study English in Trinity College. Because I only needed transport, I thought I wouldnt need a P.A., but having Mary Dunne meant that I had assistance getting on and off trains whenever I needed to go home to Tullamore for the weekendBoth of my P.As. have been supportive of my lifestyle choices. For example, Mary did not judge me for not wanting to stay with my family at weekends. Instead, she helped me to research my options so that I could have my own home when I left college. She always respected my privacy, but at the same time offered a listening ear when I needed it. When I left college, Mary pushed the Council to give me local authority housing in Portlaoise. Had she not done this, I would have been destined to live in a cold, damp, two-storey house in Portlaoise, living hand-to-mouth as I struggled to make ends meet. Instead, I now live in an accessible Council bungalow which has central heating and room for my own office/exercise room! A few months after I moved to Portlaoise, my fiance moved in with me, and now I share a life with him, independent from my parents.
Mary left shortly before I moved into my house in November, 2007, and after this I employed Tracey Sage. At first it was difficult because I had just moved to Portlaoise and I wasn't sure what direction my life was going to take. She helped me to get things organised in the Council house and took me shopping when I was unemployed. When I was offered a job with Offaly Centre for Independent Living LTD, she brought me to work in the mornings and back home every evening after work.
Offaly Centre for Independent Living LTD. offered me so much more than a P.A. service. It offered me the opportunity to make my own choices and take control of my life.