Mick Pender is not a man who gives up easily. The Ashbourne native is on a mission to raise enough money to buy a minibus for An Slí, the St John of God run house for adults with disabilities in Toberona. Mick’s brother JP is a resident in An Slí and like many of his fellow residents he is wheelchair bound. Unfortunately, the bus used by An Slí is not fitted out to take wheelchairs which has made it very difficult to take residents out on day trips or even hospital appointments.
Mick has nothing but praise for the excellent staff in An Slí and as a thank you for their great work he has been trying to raise funds to buy a new minibus which has the capabilities to transport wheelchair users from An Slí.
“My brother has been with the St John of God Services since he was eight which is over fifty years ago and has been a resident in An Slí for four years now. He and the other seven residents up there are brilliantly looked after but unfortunately they don’t get out as much as they would like as the minibus used by An Slí is unfortunately not fit for purpose anymore. I have been fundraising for a few years now trying to raise enough money to buy a new minibus which would have the capabilities to transport any of the wheelchair users and get them out and about.
“It’s been very tough trying to raise the money and I have had nothing but bad luck over the last couple of years what with Covid forcing me to postpone a number of planned fundraisers. The total cost of the minibus is in the region of €35,000 and to date I have raised just over €22,000. I am pleading with the good people of Dundalk to help me with one final push to try and raise the funds to give the eight residents in An Slí a better life. I am also appealing to any local businesses to get on board and perhaps sponsor us and help us get over the line.
“It’s been especially tough for JP and other residents over the last couple of years with all the Covid restrictions which meant they have spent an awful lot of time in the house. JP doesn’t really understand what Covid is all about and he doesn’t understand why he has been unable to get out as much as he used to. This minibus would be a godsend to An Slí and it would give me great joy to see the residents have the ability to get out and about around the community more. I’m at the stage now where I have exhausted all avenues of fundraising and I’m not sure what to do next to raise the last ten grand. We are hoping to have a bucket collection outside Oriel Park down the road but right now I am asking for help from any local people or businesses to get us over the line,” pleaded Mick.
If you are in a position to help out Mick you can call or send a message to him at 0858006356.