Rehab care in the Thurles area got a major boost with the opening of the new Rehabcare centre at Stradavoher. The €2.8m centre will cater for nine fulltime users and a further 11 on a daycare basis.
The purpose-built facilities for young adults with autism, intellectual disabilities and mental health difficulties include a day service, a high support residential service with 24-hour support from staff, a house offering supported accommodation and a self-contained annex to provide independent living.
Every person living in the accommodation or attending the day service is supported to be as independent as possible and to take part in local community activities. The day service includes facilities such as a sensory room, computer room, activity room, kitchen, and a living area to facilitate programmes which promote independent living skills, give access to social, leisure and education activities.
The centre was developed by Newgrove Housing Association, the HSE, the Department of the Environment and North Tipperary County, and was officially opened by Junior Minister for Public Transport Alan Kelly.
“This will make a huge differecen to the lives of those who wil lve in the new facility. We are immensely proud of the facilities,” said Colleen O’Sullivan, Rehab’s residential service manager. “We can look forward to a right future.”
Laura Keane, director of health and social care services, Rehab, described the centre as an “ambitious project, particularly in the times we are in”, and said it would be a new home for those using it.
She paid tribute to the housing section at North Tipperary County Council, HSE West and the Department of the Environment for their support as well as Thurles Rotary Club and Lions Club, among others for their fundraising efforts.
Speaking on behalf of parents, Michael Walsh, whose son Cian uses the facility, said: “It is a new start for Cian and everyone here. It’s Cian’s home. It is a safe place, a welcoming place. Let this be a model for others”.
Opening the centre, Deputy Kelly said the “fantastic facility did not happen overnight”, but was due to the foresight of Newgrove, the local authority and the HSE.
“It’s a home away from home that allows people to live within their communities,” he said. “This opening is a milestone in the provision of specialised services in North Tipperary. The investment shows what you can achieve when working together.”
Deputy Kelly also complimented and congratulated carers for the “remarkable amount of work they do”.
The ribbon was cut by Elaine Diggins, a user at the centre after her colleague Fiona Power presented Deputy Kelly with a copy of her book, My Journey in Rehabcare.
The construction of the day service resource centre was funded by the HSE Midwest and through fundraising by Rehab Group. Some €1.5m in funding was received from North Tipperary County Council for the site acquisition and construction costs. The housing services were funded through the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s Capital Assistance Scheme which provides funding to provide housing for local people with disabilities, and Department of Environment Community and Local Government Communal Facilities Grant which was processed through North Tipperary County Council.
In addition to the new facilities at Stradavoher, RehabCare provides two residential services in Two-Mile Borris and a respite care service in Cluain Glas.
Also among those present was Mayor of Thurles Cllr Michael Grogan.