Western Alzheimers Association earlier this month held their inaugural Nollaig na mBan Ladies Luncheon at the Lodge at Ashford Castle.
The event took a twist on the traditional association of Nollaig na mBan which saw women being "allowed" one day off housework and instead celebrated, recognized and appreciated women.
Dee Walsh, fundraising manager, explained the significance saying: "With two thirds of those living with Alzheimers being women and the overwhelming majority of their primary carers being female, I thought it was an apt day to show our appreciation to those working, fundraising and volunteering for Western Alzheimers."
Demand was high with the event selling out in just two weeks. It kicked off with a drink’s reception accompanied by the local all-female group – The Mulberry String Quartet. This was followed by appreciation awards which came as a shock to the recipients. These were presented by another inspirational woman, Dr Norah Patten – candidate to become the first Irish person in space.
The award recipients were Mairead Nally in recognition of her voluntary commitment to Western Alzheimers; Mary Heaslip and Phyllis Molloy in recognition of their commitment to fundraising for Western Alzheimers; Breda Mc Cann in recognition of her fundraising dedication and devotion of time and support to Western Alzheimers and Marian Navin and Marie Deely in recognition of their extraordinary service and dedication to Western Alzheimers.
A three course Sunday lunch was then enjoyed and finished with a raffle and a performance from very talented women from the Hession School of Dance who featured in Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl video.
Western Alzheimers provide both care services and support services in Mayo, Galway and Roscommon. They endeavour to ensure that those living with dementia can enjoy a meaningful life as an active member of the community for as long as possible while simultaneously ensuring their primary carer can get a well-deserved break from caring.