Wexford People

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Windrock centre gets its official opening


Minister Finian McGrath sings a song for the attendance.

Minister Finian McGrath sings a song for the attendance.

Minister Finian McGrath sings a song for the attendance.

Ard Aoíbhínn services has officially opened its new centre, Windrock Respite House, in Murrintown.

The house was purchased by the organisation in 2014 and it received HIQA registration the following year following an investment of €400,000.

However, due to a lack of funding at the time it was used only as an additional resource for users but funding of €822,000 was secured earlier this year by the HSE South East Community Healthcare (SECH) under the National Respite Programme and some of that money was used to allow Windrock become fully operational.

The centre opened its doors for the first time in July but the official opening was carried out on Monday, October 15, by Minister of State for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath TD.

He outlined the importance of the centre in helping provide support and respite for people affected by intellectual disabilities.

The aim of the centre is to provide families with a break from their role as carers while also giving service users an enjoyable social experience away from their home.

The CEO of Ard Aoíbhínn services, Gerard Heaney, said funding is key to the ongoing work of the organisation.

'We have nine centres now that we operate out of but we would love to expand our range of services even more if we had the funding to do so,' he said.

There is a range of agencies affiliated with Windrock through a multi-disciplinary team include day service providers, liaison nurses, and psychologists.

At the launch it was highlighted how the design of Windrock is such that it makes users feel at home and comfortable.

The house is a four-bedroom building and those at the launch were told that the kitchen area, which is very popular, is one of the main areas where a lot of activity and interaction takes place.

At present Windrock offers respite to families on a weekly basis and the adults that currently attend are mostly from within Co Wexford.

'It's an expansion of Ard Aoíbhínn's services,' Mr Heaney told this newspaper.

He said opening the new facility represents another positive step for the county in terms of support provision for people with intellectual difficulties and their families.

Among those in attendance at the launch were families who avail of Árd Aoíbhínn's services, members of the Board of Management, HSE disability service staff and representatives of local community groups.

Following the formal aspect of the occasion those in attendance got to view the facility but not before Min McGrath took the informal approach of picking up a guitar and performing a song for those present.

Wexford People