Jason Slevin working in the Orchard Day Service.
Friday September 7th is a red letter day in the life of St. Anne's special needs centre, as it marks 10 years since the Daughters of Charity took over the management of the centre and its vital services.
In 2008 the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary, who originally provided services and support to people in the St. Anne’s, Roscrea area, indicated to the HSE that they were withdrawing from the provision of services.
The HSE looked for expressions of interest from a number of providers and after some discussions they asked the Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services (the Service) to take over the running of the St. Anne’s services.
The Daughters of Charity were delighted to be in a position to assist in supporting people with disabilities in the North Tipperary/Offaly area as the services provided were very similar to the services which we provide in Dublin and Limerick.
The process of transferring of services is always a difficult operation however the Daughters of Charity worked with management and staff on the ground to ensure that the transition went as smoothly as possible. The Daughters of Charity Service recognised the very good and innovative works that were being carried out in St. Anne’s and there was a sharing of best practise across the whole Service. Policies and procedures, management structures, quality and risk all had to be regularised to ensure a standardised approach across the Service and we are happy to report that we now have a very unified approach to service delivery in place.
The Daughters of Charity Service are now 10 years in Tipperary/Offaly area and we would like to share with the people of Tipperary/Offaly an overview of what goes on within the Service.
St. Anne’s Day Service
Day Services are provided in a variety of locations in Birr, Thurles, Nenagh and Roscrea to 128 individuals. A large number of individuals who attend the Day Service reside in the Residential Service, however, there are a number who reside at home with their families. Catriona Larkin is the Service Manager for the Day Service. Traditionally Day Services aimed to provide a centre based location offering safety, social opportunities, informal education and contract work experience in workshops. In reality many individuals remained at the Day Centre with little opportunities to move or engage in their communities.
Yoga, bowling, art, music and drama classes are just some of the creative pursuits experienced by individuals.
A hydrotherapy pool is available to the Service 3 days a week for those requiring same that may have difficulty accessing the local swimming pool.
“De-congregation of old institutional settings is the ultimate goal nationally with the end result being the provision of smaller homes in local communities with the supports being provided locally,” says Catriona Larkin Service Manager - Day. “This is part of the HSE and Government policy.”
St. Anne’s Residential Services have always been progressive in their thinking and had relocated many residents out into communities across the region long before the HSE developed their policy. We currently have 23 individual houses located across Roscrea, Birr, Nenagh, Thurles and in smaller villages and towns in between.
There are 117 residents living in our residential service and we also provide support for individuals who live independently with minimal support. We hope to decongregate the last part of our service 'The Villas' to suitable living environments in the near future.”
Although the service does get 99% of its funding from the HSE, this is never enough and our Service Managers and Staff are always trying to do better and to improve situations, and any donations would be gladly accepted.
Additionally, our volunteers support service users by delivering computer classes, baking classes to individuals and small groups, and musical entertainment.
Queries in relation to volunteering should be directed to Tom Connolly, Volunteer Coordinator Office: 061-501480, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are proud employers of over 400 staff. The HSE’s embargo on recruitment has been lifted and we are now free to employ staff (providing we have sufficient funding) on a permanent or temporary basis. We are regularly looking for Nurses (registered in intellectual disability), Social Care and Care staff. We advertise on Irishjobs.ie, our own website www.docservice.ie