Women’s refuge to open after two years in Kildare town

Contracts may be signed this month to open a state-of-the-art women’s refuge centre in Kildare town, which has been vacant since January 2012.

The HSE funding for the Teach Tearmainn centre, which falls short by €120,000 a year, will only cover the running costs of two of its four apartments, despite the need for four.

“We have to meet with the HSE in early November,” said manager of Teach Tearmainn Jacinta Carey. “At which time, hopefully, we will be signing contacts to open two of the four aparments.”

The centre, which was newly built back in Janary 2012, will provide a service for women and children fleeing domestic violence in Kildare. It will cost €350,000 to run annually, however funding has only been agreed at €234,000 by the HSE.

The Leinster Leader was granted a tour of the premises on Friday which alongside the four self-contained apartments for people who need refuge, includes a support building, a holistic room, a dedicated play area and 24 hour security.

“Women come into us so overwhelmed with their journey,” she added. “We want to relive some of the anxiety and let them know that they matter to us. We have lots of complimentary therapies and we also need volunteers to join part of our panel of complimentary experts so that we are not calling on the same people. We would like to offer Reiki, holistic massage, facials -it is about building up their confidence to build up self esteem.”

The walls of the centre are dotted with messages of support such as, ‘Live, Laugh, Love’, while natural light floods the rooms and toys are never too far from view. “We know the impact of abuse on a child,” she explains. “We would like to employ two dedicated childcare staff to offer play therapy, however currently we do not have the funding.”