independent

Monday 22 July 2019

Retiring Cumas manager leaves a lasting legacy

Robert Smith with the board of management of Cumas
Robert Smith with the board of management of Cumas
Robert Smith who is retiring as manager of Cumas

Simon Bourke

After almost 17 years at the helm, Robert Smith waved goodbye to staff and service users at Cumas New Ross with a surprise party last week.

Joining in 2002 as full-time manager Robert oversaw and implemented many seismic changes at the centre the most significant of which its rebranding from the Co. Wexford Community Workshop (CWCW) to Cumas in 2014.

He also oversaw the transition from the old workshop setting to a brand new location in Harte's complex, which has gone on to become an education hub for New Ross, and has ensured that Cumas remains ahead of the curve in relation to all corporate governance, HIQA regulations and the interim standards required for day service provision.

Founded in 1976, Cumas provides intellectual disability service provision for people with a variety of needs across the South East. And Robert has been an integral part in the centre supporting individuals using a rights based approach and ensuring all staff are trained to the highest standards. He guaranteed that the organisation's tagline 'Individualisation Towards a Better Life' became its ethos and, in turn, a reality for those attending the centre. His leadership saw several new innovative programmes adopted at Cumas, among them the Cumas Trad Band, Ability Awareness, the Dunbrody Warriors and, most recently, the Integrate dance troupe.

Commenting on Robert's retirmement, Service Director at Cumas Anne Keenan said, 'Robert will be greatly missed but he has left a legacy that the individuals, staff, board, friends, families and community of New Ross can be proud of.'

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