Robert Donworth, one of the service users at the Daughters of Charity in Lisnagry
PARENTS of clients of a Limerick support centre have launched a campaign for a vehicle to allow them to live more independent lives.
Around 30 of the 90 users of the Daughters of Charity facility in Lisnagry are planning to move from the centre to live in communities to allow better integration.
But because the homes are in rural locations and not on bus routes, they will need a wheelchair accessible vehicle to allow them to get around.
The Lisnagry Parents Association has set up a fundraising page on the internet in a bid to raise €55,000 for the purchase of an adapted van for them.
John Donworth, whose son Robert uses the centre, said the vehicle will give them more freedom to make their own choices on what they want to do.
“It will give them a much better quality of life. To give themselves the maximum independence, they need vehicles outside their door. They need a vehicle if these people are to be able to live to their maximum of their ability,” he explained.
Isolation, John added, can cause major problems.
“If they are stuck in a house and they want to do something, yet they've no transport, then obviously isolation would be a major issue. We see this currently with lockdown. It can cause wellness issues and mental health issues. Freedom to move means you can do what you want to do,” he said.
Ann, a 54-year-old service user, is planning to move out with three friends, having lived on campus since the age of four.
“With the help of staff I’ve had great fun picking out my bedroom colours and furnishing. As public transport doesn’t meet all of our needs with timetables, routes etc our own vehicle will be the icing on the cake to make this move perfect,” she said.
John said acquiring homes can be quite an expensive process, because as well as the sale price, they need extra money putting into them to adapt them for wheelchair use and potential extensions.
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