Living the Life of O'Malley
"My name is Matt O'Malley, and I am a Ballintubber man born and bred.  Up to two years ago I lived in Ballintubber with my mam Ena, our dog Cola and Baneen our cat.  When the time arrived for me to fly the coup, I went to live in the Orchard respite house.  While I was happy there, I had bigger goals in life.
My first very important goal was to lose weight and get healthy.  So I joined Weight Watchers in January 2009.
All I can say about Weight Watchers is it works, and the key is portion, portion, portion control.  See below for my before and after photos, - I'm half the man I used to be in the best possible way".




"Going to Weight Watchers is a lot more fun when you have a friend, - this is my friend Teresa Brogan, who has been with me through my whole journey, - thank you so much Teresa.
My second goal was to find a place I could call my own, - a place where I can be myself, and this is the lovely house that I fell in love with".

"I have been living in my own house now since May 2009 and as you can see, I'm a dab hand at the housework.  My friends say to me "Happy is the woman that will get me". 

"Don't let anyone cod ya, keeping a house is a lot of work and you need plenty of cabbage to pay the bills.  I work three jobs - one in the VTC, one in Newtown, and one in Head Office keeping everything ship shape.
Another thing to tell you about myself is I love socialising and having the craic.  I have several friends that I go out with regularly.
The pictures below are of Micheal McTigue and I, and Padraic Flannery and I, who I go out with each week from hill walking to Mick Byrne's pub, whatever takes our fancy."
"Goals in life are a funny thing, when you accomplish one - its like the buses - there's always another one coming, and I am about to start a Digital Photography Course in GMIT at the end of September.  Maybe my next project will be a photo exhibition for the website, you never know!
Remember, life is not a dress rehearsal so do what I do, enjoy, cheers".





 Choosing My Home

"Hello, my name is John Joe Jennings.  A few years ago I told staff I'd like to live in a house on my own.  I did a lot of  work with staff around my likes and dislikes, what I was able to do, what I would need to learn to do and also what I really didn't want to do. (Although I can cook I have no interest in cooking dinner for myself).  With help from staff I viewed a few houses and  eventually I found the house I liked.  I moved in here and lived happily here for two years.  After two years things changed and I was no longer happy in my home.  I explained this to staff and together we explored new options. We went back to the Town Council and explained my concerns about the present house.

We were advised to keep in contact with the Council.
On 16th June 2009, I was so happy to get a letter from the Council to say I was offered an apartment in a new Council estate.  I was absolutely thrilled.
I applied to the Community Welfare Officer and received some money to help furnish my apartment, along with the savings I already had.  I had a great few weeks going around the different shops picking out flooring, furniture, soft furnishings and electrical goods for my new apartment. I picked out everything in my own style.
I have made friends with the neighbours, who have assisted me when I needed help. 
Just before the summer 2010 one of my friends from Carrowbeg Enterprises also got an apartment and we walk up and down to work together and often spend time together in the evenings".
John Joe

Moving Out

"Hi, my name is Alex, and I am in my early 40's.  I am from County Mayo and lived with my mother and family outside one of the large towns until I was in my early 20's.  I had the opportunity to attend one of Western Care's day services and for family reasons and transport reasons  I moved in to live in a Group Home with a number of other individuals.  I was very happy living in the Group Home and I made some new friends.  During my time there, I had discussions with my Social Worker about the things in life I wanted to do like to find a job and to live elsewhere. 

I was introduced to a very nice family (who I still keep in constant contact with) and decided to take the opportunity to live with them in what was called a Home Share arrangement. I lived with this family for many years getting to know the mum, dad, brother and sister very well.  During this time I had the opportunity to move out of the day service and secured a 20 hour week paid working out-door job.  As time moved on this job changed and I now work in-doors most of the time.  While living with the family I put my name on the County Council Housing Waiting List and was delighted when a house was allocated to me.  I moved in to this house with the support of the Community Facilitation service and I am very happy to have my own space and control over my home, my money, my life and my work.  I still have strong connections with my own family and my new house helps me to be able to visit my mother in the Nursing Home as often as I want to.  I look forward to doing many new things in the years to come, and my big focus is on developing friendships and getting involved in the Arsenal Supporters Club".

For further details of how we support people in this way please see our Services & Supports section