Walkinstown Association was founded in 1967 by a group of parents and friend’s in response to a need for community based services for people with intellectual disabilities. It was granted charitable status by the revenue commissioners.
The first service opened was a social club originally known as the Sacred Heart Club. This service operated from a number of local halls such as Walkinstown Youth Club and the Sisters of Charity school hall.
In 1979 the Association received a donation of a pre fabricated building from St. Mary’s hospital in the Phoenix Park. This was moved to a site in Dublin provided on a long term lease by the Sisters of Charity.
Many of the people who attended the social club had no other service and in response to that need in 1981 the Association opened its first day service. This service provided eight places and was staffed by a full time manager and a team of local volunteers. The service was funded by local fundraising which included an annual wheelchair push from Dublin to Tralee.
Between 1981 and 1996 there is no recorded growth in provision of service delivery. In 1996 after extensive negotiations, Walkinstown Association became funded by the now Health Service Executive (HSE) as a section 65 agency governed by the 1954 Health Act. The organisation now had a much stronger footing for development and negotiation. In 1998 Walkinstown Association for people with an intellectual disability became a company limited by guarantee not having a share capital.
By 2000 Walkinstown Association had thirty service users in day services and had developed home support and respite services. Further negotiations saw Walkinstown Association become a section 39 agency under the 2004 Health Act, thereby securing future funding.
By 2011 WALK provide a broad range of services to over 170 people with intellectual disabilities, mental health issues and challenging behaviour.
Today WALK is known within the Irish field of disability as being an innovative and dynamic organisation where change is rapid and constant. The organisation has achieved both national and international quality awards for high quality service delivery and human resource management.