Welcome to our Annual Report.
2018-19 was a year of significant and exciting change for Inspire both internally and externally. Internally we saw a change of Chief Executive Officer with Professor Peter McBride moving on from Inspire in April 2019 after 15 years with Inspire and 10 years as CEO. Under his leadership Inspire grew from strength to strength and we wish him well as he begins an exciting new chapter in his life. We came to the end of our work with Cork Association for Autism and in Inspire Workplaces our EAP contract with Irish Life Health ended this year. However, change brings new possibilities and we were delighted this year to formally take over the management of Dunfirth Farm, which provides residential support for people with autism in Co Meath and open new residential support services in Co Donegal. Inspire Professional Services secured a new and refreshed contract with the Northern Ireland Civil Service, and our online wellbeing hub is at the cutting edge of developing and harnessing new technologies to provide workplace wellbeing support. We welcomed Kerry Anthony, who took up her post as Chief Executive Officer in August 2019.
We faced new and exciting challenges as we began working with people presenting with increasingly complex issues prompting us to invest in creating new specialisms, draw upon the multi-disciplinary skills of our staff, forge new partnerships and further clinical expertise into our work across the group.
We were delighted to celebrate Addiction NI, as the organisation marked 40 years of providing services to people and families impacted by addiction, with a series of special events including the opening of new premises in Belfast and a major conference in April 2019.
Externally Inspire, in common with many other organisations in our sector, faced an uncertain and frustrating year. The lack of government in Northern Ireland continues to hamper developments and has a negative impact on the people we support. Important strategies on mental health, disability services, addiction and suicide remain unpublished. Annual budget setting cycles make future planning increasingly difficult and as community need grows the overall investment in mental health and addiction services remains well below the required level. As an all island organisation the uncertainty over Brexit has featured prominently in our discussions. Negative publicity around standards of care in social care settings has brought a welcome and important new level of scrutiny and reinforced our commitment to provide high quality services, which place the person needing support at the centre of everything we do.
Despite of, and in many cases because of, the change and challenges we faced this year, Inspire has continued to focus on what matters and change the lives of the people we support. Our staff continue to set new levels of compassionate care. Across all our services staff and volunteers are supporting people to be the best they can be and transforming lives for thousands of people and families across the island. This was especially evident this year when our advocacy services received the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of their life changing work.
So you want to be the person who makes a difference? Then you might just have come to the right place. Careers with Inspire will challenge and develop you. You will see first hand the difference that you can make in people's lives. Why not find out more here....?