Wednesday, February 04, 2015

NEARLY €10,000 has been raised and donated for a new respite house for children with disabilities in Carlow. The fundraising campaign for the new Holy Angels Respite House kicked off last October and has received a great response from the Carlow public, with €9,555 being raised to date.

Respite services are currently provided at Tír na nÓg in Friar’s Green, but the premises has been deemed inadequate by HIQA (the Health Information and Quality Authority). Forty children use the services and a long waiting list reveals a huge demand for respite services in Carlow.

The new purpose-built respite house will be located at Browneshill at a site donated by the McLoughlin family. Local planners granted planning permission for the respite house last week.

Holy Angels expressed a huge thanks to individuals who had donated money, while groups and schools have also offered their support.

Carlow National School donated money from its weekly charity collection, while St Laurence O’Toole’s runners completed the Dublin City Marathon for the cause. The Parents’ Respite Action Group also ran a stall at the Carers Association winter market. Paula Sheridan made and sold Tír na nÓg candles and tea lights, while there was a hamper raffle at SuperValu in Carlow. The Carlow Sugarcraft Guild donated some of its proceeds from its gingerbread house raffle. Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuairisc held a copper coin collection for Holy Angels and raised €528, while FWR Systems also made a very generous donation.

DPPM architects in Bagenalstown and quantity surveyor Robert Nolan have both donated their services free of charge to the new respite house.

While Holy Angels is delighted with the support, much more is needed. To build and kit-out the new respite house will cost €365,000. Holy Angels submitted a request to the HSE last November for funding towards the building project. A decision may not be known for months and that delay threatens the current services.

Respite manager Bríd Long explained: “Months are something we may not have as we could have a further full inspection from HIQA any day, and we have been left under no illusion that once that occurs, restrictions will be put on the service we currently provide.”

These restrictions would likely mean the respite centre could no longer care for children with mobility issues. The HSE has given a commitment to fund the respite service in Carlow, so the funds raised will specifically go towards the new build.

To contribute towards this very worthy cause, people can donate online by logging onto www.idonate.ie/holyangels. Companies are invited to sponsor a room or to donate fittings and materials for the new respite house. For more information, email respite@theholyangels.org.

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By Michael Tracey
Contact Newsdesk: +353 59 9170100

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