Thursday 20 June 2019

Funding for Dream centre now vital

Planning application for Alzheimer's centre lodged this week

Hubert Murphy

After decades of fundraising, collecting the punts and the Euros, the Drogheda Alzheimer's new daycare centre is almost a reality - but the big issue is getting the funds to take it over the line.

The volunteer group, lauded at a launch in the Westcourt Hotel by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and former Olympic Games colleague of Tony 'Socks' Byrne, Ronnie Delany, have this week applied for planning permission for the impressive new centre at Greenhills.

It will be state-of-the-art and will double the number of people the Tredagh Lodge service presently assists.

But there is still a major shortfall in the finance needed - in the region of €400,00 -and that will just help the building project.

It costs €70,000 a year to run the service, eating into the day to day fundraising budget for the new facility.

The HSE pay 38% of the operational costs, John Clifford from the Alzheimer's National body, stating that wasn't enough. 'People are left reliant on a charity for basic services.' he remarked.

He said if the state provided a decent service to support a daycare or home care programme, it would assist families, 'many worn to the bone,' due to the stress of underfunding.

One of the local committee, Gerry Leydon, stated that the centre needed to be 'up and running', adding that it would provide the best in care.

He revealed the plans for the building, featuring two dayrooms, kitchen, laundry, showers and an indoor walking circuit.

At present, they feel it could be built for close to €1m but firstly planning permission has to be secured from the council and then it will go to tender and a final price agreed.

'This will be your centre, for Drogheda, Louth and East Meath. This week is monumental as planning permission will be submitted,' he stated.

The group will be seeking Louth LEADER funding, but also need businesses to get behind the project.

'We hope to start building early next year but a lot has to happen.

'We have set up a Go Fund Me page for people anywhere in the world to help us.

'It's time for business and other people to get involved. We need products and expertise and we have to get the message out there. This is an exciting time to be delivering this,' he explained.

He said they have a 5-year-plan, but most importantly, there is an open invitation for everyone to play their part.

Tomas Wilkinson from the Lion's Club pledged their support to the project. He said his own father suffers from the illness and support and backing for families was a huge issue.

Drogheda Independent