“Where we have com­mu­nity based day pro­grammes, the lo­cal com­mu­nity is very sup­port­ive ”


HE­LENA Cronin is the Day Pro­gramme Man­ager at St. John of God Kerry Ser­vices and she out­lined the pos­i­tive im­pact of day ser­vices which span from Lis­towel to Kenmare - cov­er­ing a ra­dius of 101 km and en­com­pass­ing 15 Day Ser­vice lo­ca­tions. Men and women with mild to mod­er­ate in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties are sup­ported in line with the ‘In­terim Stan­dards for New Di­rec­tions’, which is HSE Na­tional Pol­icy for adults with dis­abil­i­ties.

New Di­rec­tions’ is about work­ing to­wards mak­ing sup­ports avail­able in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, to en­sure that peo­ple have the great­est pos­si­ble choices and op­tions about how they live their lives, and how they spend their time. It places a pri­or­ity on mak­ing sure that be­ing part of one’s lo­cal com­mu­nity is a real op­tion. Day Ser­vices such as those pro­vided by St. John of God Kerry Ser­vices strive to sup­port peo­ple to de­velop and main­tain life-long skills that pro­mote in­de­pen­dence. Skills teach­ing is sup­ported through the com­ple­tion of ed­u­ca­tional and per­sonal de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes, along with health and fit­ness pro­grammes.

Life­long learn­ing is also an im­por­tant part of the ethos of St. John of God Kerry Ser­vices who are proud to of­fer QQI ac­cred­i­ta­tion for some of their cour­ses. They also en­joy a long­stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with IT Tralee through their ‘Skills for Life’ pro­gramme.

“Day Ser­vices are ex­tremely im­por­tant to the men and women who avail of them. In­di­vid­u­als are sup­ported to be in­de­pen­dent through per­son cen­tered plan­ning.” He­lena said.”

Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices are now mov­ing to­wards a so­cial care led model of ser­vice which means the per­son’s so­cial, emo­tional, health and over­all well­be­ing is taken into con­sid­er­a­tion. This ‘wrap around’ sup­port ser­vice is very much wel­comed by staff, while lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties where day pro­grammes are lo­cated are equally sup­port­ive, as are lo­cal busi­nesses who of­fer em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties with equal­ity.

“With­out com­mu­nity sup­port we would not be able to progress the range of op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able to peo­ple with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties. It’s all about aware­ness and un­der­stand­ing and we are lucky to have so many com­mit­ted and en­thu­si­as­tic staff work­ing within our day pro­grammes across the county,” He­lena added.

James Mo­ri­arty with Michael O’Reilly in Chalet 2 at St Mary of the An­gels.

Singing Jar­vey Ger Healy and friends en­ter­tain­ing res­i­dents at St Mary of the An­gels.

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