A log-cabin holiday home for people with disabilities and their families has been so in demand that a second project is now being planned.
The not-for-profit ‘Hoist Away’ cabin in Culdaff was the brainchild of a Derry couple who saw the need for such a facility.
Following fundraising in Derry and Inishowen and an injection of Leader funding, the eagerly-awaited project officially opened in March and has been a huge success, with families from all over Ireland, England and Scotland holidaying there. It has been booked up entirely since March and continues to be until mid-November, as well as over Christmas and New Year.
Volunteer Una McGinley told the ‘Journal’ that over 160 families have attempted to book the cabin since March but have had to be turned away.
The cabin is fully equipped, with facilities such as a hoist, a tilt-in-space shower chair, a profiling bed, an air flow mattress, kitchen, family bathroom and dining area.
Due to the success of the facility, there are now hopes that a second, fully equipped cabin can be built in the same location, overlooking beautiful Culdaff beach.
Una told how a second cabin is ‘not just hoped for, but essential’ and added that, not only does the holiday home offer a beautiful break for the person living with a disability, but also for their family.
The site in Culdaff already has water and electricity and planning permission has been applied for, so it is the most obvious location for the second home close to the Blue Flag Culdaff beach.
A fundraising campaign to construct the new cabin is now under way. A number of events have been organised, including an End of Summer Gymkhana at Templemore Equestrian Centre on August 25 and there have also been some kind donations from the public.
It will cost in the region of £90,000 to construct the facility and Una told how they are seeking to fundraise, rather than seek grant aid, due to time constraints.
“Grants can take a long time and we need this cabin now. We have seen people who were such a support to us with the first cabin and who were looking forward to using it, pass away before they were able to do so.”
One aspect of the fundraising asks 90 individuals, groups, associations, schools or businesses to donate 1,000 euro to help towards the final cost. Anyone who would like to do this or find out about Hoist Away can log on to their facebook page ‘Hoist Away’ or contact Una on (0044) 7764308108.