Wednesday 22 March 2017: Patrick Bogues: My sister, Louise
Many of those present at the meeting knew Patrick’s sister, Louise. Until recently she was a familiar figure around Omagh, but who now resides in Slieve-Na-Mon care home, It was Louise’s learning disability which drew Patrick to organisations committed to the implementation of the United Nations declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons, being that Disabled persons have the right to economic and social security and to a decent level of living. From 1995 to 2005 Patrick was Chairman of the “Community Active Partnership” which raised just under £2 million for disabled persons in the Sperrin and Lakeland Trust Area and maintained workshops in Lisnaskea and Strathroy. This provided Louise and many others with a place in the community through employment, training and recreational activities such as bowls and Irish Dancing. From 2000 – 2006 Patrick was a Board Director of USEL [Ulster Supported Employment Ltd] which had under its wing the “Workshop for the Blind” in Belfast and a number of other similar schemes. Today, working out of impressive facilities in Cambrai Street Belfast, USEL workers produce a range of marketable products chief among which are “Slumberin” mattresses and a bespoke range of kit and carry bags. As Chairman of USEL from 2006 to 2012 Patrick was pleased to have the opportunity to speak about an organisation which makes a huge but often unseen contribution to the lives of disabled people in our Province. USEL has a local office in Anderson House, Omagh and provides supported employment in the Omagh Enterprise Centre.