SMILES ALL ROUND: Leah Walsh and Conor McGuire had a great laugh as Conor holds Leah’s hand at the official opening of the Four Seasons Day Service and Summer Lodge Respite House. Photo: Ray Ryan


New respite services get Four Seasons treatment

THE Raleigh Row Choir lifted everyone up at this week’s opening of the Brothers of Charity Services Ireland new Summer Lodge Respite House and Four Seasons Day Services Centre in Claregalway, as a large crowd gathered to celebrate the official ceremony.

The choir, comprising people who are supported by the services offered at the state-of-the-art facilities in the village, gave a rousing performance of You Raise Me Up, complete with sign language in a fitting finale to the official opening ceremony of both facilities.

Minister for Disability, Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte performed the tape cutting honours alongside two people supported by the services as a large crowd of family, friends and local dignitaries shared in the celebrations.

The €4.8 million development opened its doors last summer after a five-year campaign by the Brothers of Charity to provide centre-based respite and day services in Claregalway.

The Four Seasons and Ashling Day Services provide a person-centred day service supporting people with moderate to severe intellectual disability and complex additional needs in their local community. Currently, 15 people attend the centre where they benefit from services tailored to their individual needs.

Summer Lodge Respite House supports young people with an intellectual disability and complex physical and medical needs, complex autism, or behaviours of concern to receive a break away from home.

The Lodge, which is adjacent to the day centre, has three en-suite bedrooms, together with one suite consisting of a bedroom and an adjoining private sitting room, a communal space, a kitchen, outdoor gardens, and support staff accommodation. It aims to provide services 361 days per year.

Eamon Loughrey, Director of Services for Brothers of Charity West Region, said the buildings had been a long time in progress but were already making a huge difference in the lives of those who used the services.

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