What is the Gold Star Initiative?
The Gold Star standard award acknowledges agencies, businesses, organisations, community facilities and services that make adaptions and take measures to have their buildings amenities and services made more welcoming and accessible to all people.
The ultimate aim of the Gold Star Project is to promote greater inde pendence, integration, and participation for all people in their local communities.
I wish all groups and businesses endeavouring to roll out a Gold Star initiative in their communities every success and I look forward to seeing the initiative being established and set-up on a nationwide context into the future.
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Fearless and determined.
Maggie is always ready to accept a Challenge.
Maggie’s latest challenge is serving as Project Officer of Access Together Galway, a Gold Star initiative designed to improve accessibility and services for disabled people at businesses in Galway City.
‘I am delighted to be part of the Galway City partnership team and get the opportunity to work on a project so close to my heart.’
Maggie will be working with restaurants, shops and other businesses to find ways to improve access and services for people with disabilities.
It is a complex undertaking, bit it is clear that if anyone can do it, Maggie can. Removing barriers for people with disabilities is a cause Maggie is passionate about and, has in many ways, been advocating for all her life.
As one of the youngest survivors of the thalidomide drug disaster, Maggie has faced a lifetime of adversity and her many successes are due to her hard work perseverance and positive disposition. Maggie has worked most of her life with the Irish Wheelchair Association, in several capacities in the Resource Centre in Tuam. She has also been the Chairperson of the Irish Thalidomide Association and in this capacity has negotiated with the government on behalf of those impacted by the Thalidomide scandal.
In her 30’s as part of a fundraising campaign to raise funds for the Galway Hospice Foundation Maggie flew a small Cesna aircraft from Galway to Shannon and back raising 8,000 euros for the fund.
Now about to turn 60, and the grandmother of two Maggie shows no signs of slowing down.
‘I came to Galway about thirty-eight years ago with a weekend bag and never left. I know the people of Galway will work with me in making the project a great success.’
Access Together Galway is managed by Galway City Partnership using funds provided by the Disability Participation and Awareness Fund approved by
Minister Anne Rabbitte in December 2021.