A DAUGHTERS of Charity new day centre was officially opened not by one, but two stars of the Special Olympics.
Ashleigh O’Hagan, from Derryhasna, O’Brien’s Bridge, Co Limerick cut the tape while Alan Quinlan, Cappamore, was the master of ceremonies.
Ashleigh and Alan have a lot in common. They are both talented gymnasts in their twenties, won medals at the Special Olympics in Los Angeles and Athens and have warm and outgoing personalities.
They were joined at the innovation works building in the National Technological Park in Castletroy by fellow service users, Daughters of Charity staff and representatives from the HSE and Shannon Commercial Properties.
John O’Callaghan, services manager with the Daughters of Charity, said the new day centre has facilitated the transfer of twenty service users moving from the main campus at St Vincent’s Centre, Lisnagry into the local Castletroy community.
“Service users and staff have a new hub from where they will access local facilities and services associated with education, employment, training and personal development for each service user.
“This exciting new development is in keeping with the service strategic plan as well as new day service policy New Directions,” said Mr O’Callaghan.
Published by the HSE in 2012 this report sets out a new approach to day services that envisages all the supports available in communities will be mobilised so that people with disabilities have the widest choice and options about how to live their lives and how to spend their time.
Mr O’Callaghan said the new centre was made possible as a result of financial support from the HSE as well as working in collaboration with service users, families, staff, the service support team and Shannon Commercial Properties.
It encapsulates the daughters core values of service, respect, excellence, collaboration, justice and creativity.
Alan introduced the main speakers at the event on Tuesday, September 29, Gerard McAuliffe, centre manager; Sr Breege Fahy, Daughters of Charity; Kathryn Dineen, service user and Denis Cronin, CEO Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services.
Then it was time for Ashleigh to do the honours and snip the ribbon.