The new development will enable people to be as independent as possible and support them to be fully integrated in their local community. Construction work commenced on the site on 20th March 2012 with an expected completion date of Spring 2013. The development will include:
- 35 units of supported and independent living housing units and apartments for members of the religious congregation of the Presentation Order, people with disabilities and other people who may be disadvantaged. There is a range of different sized units and individuals will be able to live alone or with others depending on their wishes. Six apartments are specifically designed for people with physical disabilities.
- a resource centre for up to 32 people with facilities such as a computer room, training kitchen and areas for social and leisure activities, education and independent living programmes and sensory programmes. Resource centres support people to fulfill their personal goals by learning daily living skills, taking part in sport and leisure activities or getting supporting to take up employment.
For Paul O’Neill, who currently attends RehabCare’s resource centre on John’s Street, the location of the new development on Parnell Street and Sexton Street will open up new opportunities for him and others who will attend the resource centre. “I was thrilled when I heard the news of the new centre getting the go-ahead. We will be very close to the people’s park where we can go walking and to be able to go in to the city centre is great. We won’t have far to go when eating out and the train and bus station are on our doorstep.'
This development is a partnership between RehabCare and Newgrove Housing Association. It is a very ambitious project which is being developed with significant support and funding from a wide range of stakeholders and partners including Limerick City Council, the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, the Presentation Order, the JP McManus Invitational Pro Am and the Health Service Executive (HSE). Further funding has been provided through the Rehab Group’s own fundraising efforts and local fundraising will continue into the future to meet additional resource requirements. The resource centre will be run by RehabCare in partnership with HSE for running costs. The development was designed by Carr Cotter and Naessens Architects and the building contract has been awarded to JJ Rhatigans and Co.
Angela Kerins, Chief Executive, Rehab Group, said, “We are delighted that the first steps have been taken towards building this exciting new development at Parnell St/Sexton St. RehabCare has been providing services to people with disabilities in this region for over 15 years. This landmark development is testament to the hard work and commitment of staff in striving to provide the best care and facilities to those they work with. The services that will be provided here will have a hugly positive impact on the lives of the people who use our services. I would like to thank Limerick City Council, the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, and the HSE for their contribution and support. I would also like to especially thank the Presentation Order and the JP McManus Invitational Pro Am Fund whose contributions made this development a reality.”
Launching the development, Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, said “I would like to congratulate RehabCare, Newgrove Housing Association and the many local stakeholders for working together and addressing the needs of people with disabilities and those marginalised from society in this area.
“This project illustrates the power of communities with a common goal, coming together to improve the lives of those around them. It is an excellent example of how the social housing needs of our society can be met through the increasingly important partnership between voluntary housing groups, statutory authorities and others. I am proud that my Department, together with Limerick City Council, has provided €3.3m towards the cost of the project and it is an investment that will pay significant dividends for all Limerick’s citizens, especially those who live in and use this great facility.'
Sr. Mary Kelliher, Presentation Order, said, “We are delighted to collaborate with Rehab and Limerick City Council in providing this long awaited facility in the grounds of the former Sexton Street Presentation Convent. This development will provide residential, training and day care accommodation. We look forward to the on-going partnership.”
Over the last 15 years, RehabCare has developed significant services in the mid-west and now provide services to over 360 children and adults and employs over 275 staff. Services include resource centres, independent living and supported accommodation, home support, residential and respite services for both children and adults.
The launch was attended by people who use RehabCare’s services and their families, as well as stakeholders and partners. Following the event today, an exhibition of photography and artwork celebrating the work of RehabCare and the wider Rehab Group in Limerick and the mid-west and south regions will be open to the public in the Istabraq Hall in Limerick City Hall. The exhibition will run from Monday 30th April to Wednesday 2nd May.