IWA Launch new Angel Pin for 2014

IWA Launch new Angel Pin for 2014

Tuesday, 07 October 2014

In preparation for Irish Wheelchair Association’s (IWA) national fundraising campaign Angels which takes place each November, the Association was joined by ALDI to launch the latest addition to their Angel products collection. 'Louis' the Bus Driver Angel Pin was officially unveiled at the National Ploughing Championships by IWA and one of their longstanding volunteer bus drivers’ Louis Valentine, who the new Angel Pin is appropriately named after.

From the time IWA was founded, volunteers have played a vital role in the success of the Association. In the early days, when no State support was available, volunteers like Louis stepped in to support individuals and in so doing transformed their quality of life. Louis Valentine, who is from Dublin’s inner-city, volunteers with the Association every Wednesday and collects local people with disabilities from their homes and transports them to and from services, programmes, excursions or social activities on a specially adapted IWA bus.

Speaking at the launch, IWA CEO Kathleen McLoughlin said:

The spirit of volunteering is intrinsic to the community ethos of IWA, we value our volunteers as a critical life-force within the Association and each November we appeal to the general public, our members and supporters to volunteer with us and assist with the Angels campaign. This may mean volunteering to sell Angel products on the street or through local schools and shops, or organising a special event like a coffee morning or a fun run.

All funds which are raised in the 2014 Angels campaign will go towards replenishing our bus fleet. Over 60% percent of our 121 strong accessible bus fleet is over seven years old and our oldest bus, from 1999, has over 310,000 miles on the clock. Without IWA buses so many members just simply wouldn’t be able to access essential services. This is why we have launched our new Angel Bus Driver Pin today to illustrate the vital role that people like Louis play on a weekly basis.

The Association's Angels campaign will begin on Thursday 6th November and Friday 7th November with volunteers collecting in towns and communities nationwide, in particular outside all ALDI stores. Angels is the Associations only national fundraiser and is a highly anticipated and important campaign on the IWA calendar.

This year IWA hopes that community volunteers will join members and staff to support the Association to raise the necessary funds to replenish IWA’s transport needs. For those interested in volunteering for the Angels Campaign in 2014 please visit www.iwa.ie/angels or email angels@iwa.ie. To keep up to date with Angel events and announcements you can also follow the campaign through Facebook.

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