The Gilbert Centre is a not for profit multi-agency community resource and outreach centre with specific access for people with physical and/or sensory disability. It is located in Mallow, Co. Cork and serves the people of North Cork.
History of the Centre
The Centre came about through the concerted efforts of a steering group made up of disability and community groups, voluntary and statutory agencies over an 8 year period.
A needs analysis of the existing community facilities in North Cork was carried out and it identified a lack of accessible community facilities for people with physical and or sensory disabilities in this area. It was from the work of this pioneering group, that the concept, that is the today the Gilbert Centre, was born.
The Centre is named after Agnes Gilbert who was a member of the original steering committee and the IWA. Agnes was a long time campaigner & advocate for people with disabilities. Agnes was also a writer & poet. One of her poems ‘Friendship, courage, hope’ is featured in the reception area of the Gilbert Centre.
Location of the Centre
The Centre is located on a green-field site that was gifted by the Mercy Order with a vision to develop a community campus that would serve and address the needs of the people of North Cork.
Funding for the Centre
The Gilbert Centre was built primarily from public funds through dormant accounts and Pobal. The Health Service Executive (HSE), Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) and NCBI Working for people with sight loss also contributed significantly to the funding of the Centre.
Development of Services
The Gilbert Centre has developed into a vibrant centre which fosters inclusion of all members of the community. The organisations and groups operating out of the centre provide various services including low vision clinics, art classes, music and dance, independent living skills to name but a few.