The Council chamber in Clonmel’s Town Hall was full of laughter and good humour last Friday morning when the Mayor, Billy Shoer hosted a reception for the staff of RehabCare and the service users of the Bridgewater House Centre and the Knocklofty Rural Day Service.
Cllr. Shoer praised the ethos of both facilities, which he said was built around the guiding principle that service users would be at the centre of all planning and be given the opportunity to choose their individual preferences of activities to fulfil their wishes and aspirations in life.
He said that Knocklofty had a variety of activities with a strong emphasis on horticulture and farming. The service users participate in a wide variety of gardening programmes where many different crops, plants and flowers are grown throughout the year.
This summer Knocklofty successfully grew potatoes, carrots, turnips, onions, beetroot, cucumbers, lettuce, courgettes, peppers, peas, cabbage and strawberries.
Animal care is the other focus of programmes in Knocklofty. The service users have the opportunity to care for a variety of animals, with many reared from birth to maturity. These include sheep, ducks, hens, dogs, guinea pigs, a horse and a donkey.
RehabCare in Knocklofty also provided a range of other activities including adult literacy, music, art therapy and sports such as badminton, tennis and pitch and putt.
The Mayor paid tribute to the service users in Knocklofty – Karen Daly, Brian Pollard, Gerard O’Dwyer, Catherine O’Brien, Chris Hogg, John Shee, James O’Meara, Niall Moore, Bill O’Brien, Shane Cronin, Gary Tobin, AnnMarie Needham and John Fogarty.
Bridgewater House is a day service that caters for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The centre provides a range of programmes and activities designed to increase the quality of life for those attending.
These include arts and crafts, cookery, computers, literacy, drama, community access, bowling, soccer, swimming, jewellery-making, sewing, meditation, FETAC educational classes, work experience and leisure activities such as social outings, parties and holidays.
Cllr. Shoer also paid tribute to the Bridgewater service users – Osman Awadalla, Siobhan Coffey, William Cooney, Richie Costigan, Paul Crotty, John Cullinane, Geraldine Fahey, Dympna Farrell, Eileen Hennessy, Michael Hogan, Marie Johnson, Michael Johnson, Mary Kelleher, Laura Kenneally, Ann Marie Lynch, Marcus McGrath, Paddy McCarthy, Billy Mulroy, Joan Norris, Mai O’Connor, Niamh O’Connor, Dabhorin O’Gorman, Kevin O’Leary, Marian Parsons, Michael Phelan and Adam Taylor.
Cllrs. Siobhan Ambrose, Pat English, Richie Molloy and Brian O’Donnell also spoke highly of the fantastic work being done in both centres.