Clients and staff of St. Raphael’s in Celbridge celebrated their achievements in 2013 recently.
At a special ceremony in its church building on June 4, visitors and alike learned formally of the move away by Director of Services, Clare Dempsey, to whom tributes were paid and flowers were presented.
Ms. Dempsey told the gathering that they were there to celebrate the “good life,” the fact that many people with disabilities, both intellectual and physical, were able to take part in a life they enjoy. To those of us luckier, Ms. Dempsey said St. John of God staff and volunteers supported “the things we take for granted were very important for the clients.”
She congratulated everyone.
A number of people indicated the things which had made life better for them. Two, for example, Martin Weager and Niall Cunningham, just love their involvement in social farming.
The Home programme improved the life of Claire Kiely a bit better and the Peata Theraphy Dogs programme had provided Paddy Keegan with a good four legged friend.
John Pepper, Group CEO of the St. John of God group, welcoming Ms. Dempsey’s replacment, Bernadette Shevlin, spokes of the challenges and cutbacks of recent years but there was much achievement to celebrate.
Around 60 of the clients of St. Raphael’s will move from community living to their own homes over the next three years.
Mr. Pepper said the number of Directors of Services had been reduced from ten to four and the service had lost almost 20% or resources between staff and financial cuts.
He said a major challenge for them was dealing with compliance and regulatory body,HIQUA.