“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.