Rehab Care Newsletter May07

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					Rehab Care Newsletter May07    23/05/2007    15:15    Page 1

        News                            and                Views
        RehabCare Newsletter                                                                        What’s in this issue?
        Summer 2007
                                                                                                 Editor’s note              Pg 2
                                                                                                 Home Based Services

                                                                                                 RehabCare UK               Pg 3

                                                                                                 East/South East         Pgs 4-10

                                                                                                 North East/Midlands    Pgs 11-16

                                                                                                 South/Midwest             Pg 17

               Talking Advocacy                                                                  West/North West        Pgs 18-20

      The new NRAC National Committee was            things for people with disabilities.”
                                                                                                 Creative Corner           Pg 21
      elected in November 2006 and will be           Jimmy Dooner
      working on national issues for RehabCare
      Service Users for the next 2 years. As they    “I want to try and help people get          NRAC                      Pg 22
      get started in their new roles, here’s what    accommodation to live independently
      some of the committee members had to           because I have being doing it myself for
      say about Advocacy and what their role         the last year and a half. As time went on   Information Bulletin      Pg 23
      means to them.                                 it got easier and staff supported me to
                                                     make this move. I am enjoying being a
      “What Advocacy means to me is to               newly elected member of NRAC and will
      encourage people to stand up for               work for the Service Users of RehabCare.”
      themselves as well as representing             Jane Donnelly
      people, supporting each other and also
                                                                                                 What’s Advocacy all
      coming up with solutions to improve            (Continued on page 23)                      About?

                                                                                                 Respect yourself and others
                                                                                                 It is very important to respect
                                                                                                 yourself and others. If we
                                                                                                 respect ourselves, we are more
                                                                                                 likely to respect others.
                                                                                                 Respecting ourselves means
                                                                                                 liking, tolerating and approving
                                                                                                 of ourselves. We also respect
                                                                                                 ourselves when we value our
                                                                                                 individuality and uniqueness as
                                                                                                 human beings. To lead
                                                                                                 productive and constructive
                                                                                                 lives is another example of
                                                                                                 respecting ourselves. When we
                                                                                                 find ourselves liking, tolerating
                                                                                                 and meeting other people half
                                                                                                 way, we are well on the way to
                                                                                                 showing appropriate respect for
                                                                                                 other people.
      Back row from left: Michael O’Brien, Jimmy Dooner, Margaret Norris, Patrick Hargarden
      Front row from left: Catalina Keys, Jane Donnelly, Laura Gaffey, Simon Buggy               By Denis McGirr, RehabCare HOPS
Rehab Care Newsletter May07      23/05/2007    15:15    Page 2

       Editor’s Note
      This is our first themed edition and it’s been wonderful to read your thoughts on what
      advocacy is and see the posters you’ve put together to represent advocacy for our
      competition (take a look at page 22).

      It’s been a joy and a pleasure working on News and Views over the past few months – I
      think my favourite part is the excitement I’ve felt as the submissions start to arrive for each
      new issue. I’m really pleased to welcome Kathleen Morris back as editor and I’d like to wish
      her every success with the rest of the editions this year. I look forward to reading all of
      them from cover to cover!

      All the very best wishes
      Deirdre Carroll

       CareLink/Home Based Services
       Working with CareLink                        arranging extra care for a client within     time. While the skills that I gained
                                                    their own home or helping my                 from being part of the CareLink Team
                                                    daughter learn lots of exciting things       prepared me for motherhood, I am
       It is almost six years since I joined the    like crawling and feeding herself with       hoping that my new experiences and
       CareLink Team, and in that time the          a spoon – all of them very challenging       skills as a mother will benefit me
       organisation has grown from providing        (especially the spoon feeds, as this         within the team – after all, you never
       services for 440 clients to the present      often means several changes of               know when expertise in how to get
       day of 700 clients, along with a fully       clothing through the day!!).                 spaghetti bolognaise out of your
       functioning team, including Managers,                                                     clothes will be really useful!
       Care planners, Team Leaders and              In providing the many services that we
       administration staff, covering services      have in CareLink, we deal with a wide        By Nicky Scudds, CareLink
       in Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford.              range of clients from children with
                                                    disabilities right up to the older person.
       I have been lucky to have had the            Compassion, patience, empathy and
       opportunity to be involved in all of the     trust are as much tools of our working
       services at some stage or other within       day as are pens, computers and the
       those 6 years. It was exciting to have       ever present mobile phone – such tools
       been involved in many of those               are as useful to a member of the
       services from the very beginning,            CareLink team as they are to a mother.
       having an input into the processes that
       are involved in putting a service            As the CareLink offices are constantly a
       together, recruiting staff, assessing        hive of activity, I have always tried to
       client’s needs, liaising with families       be very organised in how I go about
       and all the other work that’s part of        my work and I feel that this has now
       the day to day running of an extensive       helped me at home with my daughter.
       care service.                                This is especially so on work days,
                                                    when bottles have to be made, clothes
       I have recently returned to the team on      laid out and breakfast and lunch
       a part time basis after time off on          prepared for later in the day, while
       maternity leave. I now feel that I have      getting myself ready for another day in
       the best of both worlds, coming into         CareLink.
       the office for the first part of the week,
       and then spending the remainder with         Now that I am a working mum, I can
       my daughter. I am really enjoying all        more readily appreciate the challenges
       the challenges that I encounter on a         and difficulties of caring for someone
       daily basis, whether this be attending a     who is dependant on you and trying to
       meeting with the local health service,       juggle five or ten things at the same

Rehab Care Newsletter May07    23/05/2007    15:15    Page 3

       RehabCare UK

       Rehab UK’s Parliamentary Pancake Race
                  grows in stature

                         Rehab Winning Team                                                   Media Scrum

                  Living with Brain Injury
      David, who was a client at the London Brain Injury Centre       normal.
      until last year, received his brain injury many years ago. He
      tells us about his experiences and shares his insight into      On joining Rehab UK I soon learnt this wouldn’t be the case.
      Rehab UK’s work.                                                They are not magicians. They can’t make you see again,
                                                                      speak properly, walk or cure the damage caused by the
      In 1998 I was diagnosed as having since birth a AVM in the      injury. What they can do is give you the strategies to deal
      brain, which means the arteries and the veins in it were        with the problems life has dealt, then it is up to us to put
      joined meaning I had high pressure blood seeping into the       our training into good use and develop our futures. Before I
      veins which are only built for low pressure blood. This was     went to Rehab I had no confidence. My legs would shake as
      causing them to swell and in my case the swelling was           I left the house always worried about what the day had in
      pressing on an optic nerve and causing blindness in both        store for me. As life goes on I have made many mistakes
      eyes. When I went for an eye test the optician asked me         and treated them as tasks to put right.
      when I had received my brain damage.
                                                                      In Rehab UK you realise you are not the only one with brain
      During surgery in October 2000 the surgeon got rid of about     damage and this helped me to realise the benefit I was
      90% of the AVM. July 21st 2001 – I had a Brain Hemorrhage       getting from their training. I know now that without it I
      leaving me in a coma for about 8 weeks. I spent about 5         wouldn’t be holding down a good job and also travelling
      months in different hospitals thinking I was ok. I couldn’t     with my wife all over the world and enjoying my life again.
      wait to get out and back home into normal life, only when       From my heart, thank you Rehab UK.
      the time came I realised I wasn’t back to normal. I couldn’t
      remember things or recognise people, including my wife if I     By David Bromley
      met her away from our home. When I left Hommerton
      Hospital I was recommended to go for an interview at
      Rehab UK. I thought great, everything would soon be

Rehab Care Newsletter May07      23/05/2007     15:15   Page 4

        East/South East

             Day Trip to Kilkenny
           On Friday 23rd March, a group of us went to
           Kilkenny Castle. There is free entry on every
           Friday during March. A tour guide showed us
           around the castle. We looked at a video for 10
           minutes first. We were brought into the sitting
           room, library, hallway and bedrooms. There
           were beautiful paintings on the walls from
           years ago. We walked around the gardens
           outside the castle as well, as it was a lovely
           sunny day. After our visit to the castle, we went
           into the Kilkenny Design Centre but none of us
           bought anything as everything was very
           expensive. After that we went down town to
           Dunnes Stores Restaurant for lunch before
           returning to the centre on the bus. It was a           From Left: Michael Carton, Elizabeth McHugh, John Sheehan, Sean
           really nice day out.                                   Sketton, Teresa McLoughlin, Laura Agar, Irene Daly and Patricia
           By Elizabeth McHugh, RehabCare Carlow

       How we used to spend Saturdays
       When I look at my grandchildren now and listen to them as to how they are going to spend their Saturday, I think back to
       when I was young over seventy years ago, when as children the way we spent Saturdays was not a case of putting your
       feet up, going to the shops or bowling.

       Our kitchen seventy years ago in Dun Laoghaire was a big homely place. On one side we had a mahogany sideboard with
       big mirrors on it, which held all my mother’s prized possessions of Waterford glass and silver. On the other side of the room
       there was an old fashioned dresser filled with delph and copper kettles. There was a Stanley range on which all the cooking
       was done. In the middle of the room there was a large wooden table surrounded by six wooden chairs and two big
       comfortable armchairs on each side of the range.

       Saturday morning was always a hive of activity in our house. We had a leather shop in the front and my mother had to look
       after that as my father had died in 1936. We had to put all the chairs out into the back garden, the dresser had to be
       emptied and scrubbed down. This was done weekly. All the delph was washed and put back in place. The table was
       scrubbed white. I remember the tubs of Vim we used to get the wood white.

       The floor then had to be scrubbed. After that, we had to go out into the garden to scrub all the chairs with soapy water. That
       was a few hours gone on a Saturday morning.

       Then, in the afternoon, I remember having to go up to Hicks pork shop and queueing up to get sausages and pudding for
       Sunday morning breakfast. There was always a very large queue. Come evening time, any shopping that had to be done
       was taken care of, and then it was time for everyone to wash their hair. A big galvanised bath was taken into a room for us
       to bathe in. Kettles of water were heated for the bath.

       We then listened to the radio until nine o’clock until we retired to bed, tired but happy. This work was always just taken for
       granted and nobody complained. These were times when industriousness was valued and all children were trained in
       domestic tasks to prepare them for life ahead.

       So, it is with amusement that I now hear my grandchildren talk about how they will ‘take it easy’ on Saturdays. If only they

       By Betty Halpin, Park House Stillorgan

Rehab Care Newsletter May07     23/05/2007     15:15   Page 5

          East/South East

       EDS Course in Waterford
       The Inter.Com Centre run the EDS course in Waterford with Pobal and it is co-
       ordinated by a lady called Joan Holden. EDS stands for Enhancing Disabilities
       Services programme. The course is held in the Inter.Com centre on the Yellow
       Road and in the Mount Sion Centre in Waterford City.

       I got involved because Delia White the Programmes Supervisor asked me if I
       would like to do a course that would update and enhance my work skills and I
       jumped at the chance. During the course I did Computer Skills, Office Skills, Food
       Hygiene, First Aid, Health/Life Skills and Manual Handling. I also did some work
       experience. After completing the course it was offered to four others from
       RehabCare in Waterford – Gordon Bowers, Keith Whelan, Maria Allen and Olan

       The course was officially launched in Waterford City Hall by the Mayor of
       Waterford. On the day, as well as it being the official launch of the programme,
       the students who participated in the course were presented their certificates by
       Minister Martin Cullen.

       By being involved in this course I not only enhanced my work skills in many
       areas, ranging from computers to manual handling, but I have also gained
       confidence. This helps me not only in my supported employment job in Castle
       Furniture but also in my role in the General Industries Workshop in RehabCare.
       By doing the course my leadership skills have also been enhanced which helps         David Supple and his Mum at the EDS
       in my role as Waterford NRAC Chairperson.                                            course Graduation

       By David Supple, RehabCare Waterford

      Annual Waterford NRAC Election NRAC
                                                                                             As a member of the NRAC
      The Annual Waterford NRAC Election         • Teresa Kelly – Secretary                  committee in Waterford here are a
      was held on January 30th 2007.             • Terry Coady – Treasurer                   few things that we do:
      Sixteen people put themselves forward      • Richard White, Joseph O’Shea and
      as candidates in the election. At a        Gordon Bowers – Committee members           • NRAC put out a suggestion box to
      house meeting everyone who was a                                                       allow everyone make suggestions on
      candidate stood up and told everyone       The first goal we have for the year is      the service
      else why they wanted to be on the          about Health & Safety and manual
      Committee and what they would do if        handling in the centre. We are having       • NRAC speak for themselves and
      they were elected. The staff made          a Health and Safety week the second         others
      ballot papers with each candidate’s        week in May. The next goal is planning
      picture and name on it and we had a        Waterford RehabCare’s annual Day Trip.      • We keep an eye out for any
      secret ballot.                             When we come back from our summer           problems in the centre
                                                 holiday we will be looking at Road
      The people who were elected were           Safety around our Centre and in             • We keep people informed of
      Pat Cassin, Terry Coady, David Supple,     Waterford city. And our final goal for      changes in the service
      Teresa Kelly, Richard White, Gordon        the year will be organising the
      Bowers and Joseph O'Shea.                  Christmas party.                            • We are here to listen

      The officers of the new Committee are:     By Mary Power, RehabCare Waterford          By Richard White, RehabCare
      • David Supple – Chairperson                                                           Waterford
      • Pat Cassin – Vice-chair

Rehab Care Newsletter May07       23/05/2007   15:15   Page 6

       East/South East

       The KnockLofty Rural Project
       At long last an ambitious rural              independent and two independent             workshop, as well as a barn for a
       development at Knocklofty on the             units.                                      variety of rural activities.
       borders of Tipperary and Waterford is
       complete. Set in beautiful surroundings      An Activation Centre is due to be up        The first three residents have moved in
       close to the River Suir with the Galtee      and running by September this year to       following visits to the site to choose
       Mountains visible in the background, it      provide a variety of activities for up to   bedrooms, furniture, interior décor, and
       looks more like the Swiss Alps instead       25 people. Outdoor activities will be       names for the houses. A further three
       of being only 3 miles outside Clonmel.       horticultural with a large greenhouse       people will eventually fill the first 6-
                                                    and gardening areas. We are hoping to       bed unit with the 5-bed and two
       The development is a joint venture           eventually obtain some hens and pigs,       independent units occupied by the end
       between RehabCare and the Tipperary          with more exotic animals (ranging           of the year.
       Association for Special Needs with the       from goats to llamas) eagerly being
       financial support of the HSE South East,     talked about. Indoor areas consist of a     Visitors are always welcome but please
       Waterford County Council and the             canteen and meeting area with rooms         bring your wellies!
       Department of the Environment. It will       intended for arts and crafts, and
       eventually provide accommodation for         computer skills. Separately there is a      By David Frith, Residential Services
       thirteen people with one semi-               large woodworking and pottery               Manager

            Seen here is Karen Daly checking out the new kitchen                                Activation Centre

           The NRAC committee is an advocacy representative committee for the clients in the centre. It helps people to be more
           confident in speaking up for themselves. If a person is a bit shy in speaking up the NRAC committee can do it for them if
           the person wants it. Advocacy has helped me to speak up a bit more for myself and sometimes I would speak on
           behalf of another client if they wanted me to. Through NRAC we are hoping to get a petition signed concerning road
           safety in our area and after the elections we hope to contact our local council representatives to put forward this
           petition to the council.

           By Josephine Doyle, RehabCare Kildare

Rehab Care Newsletter May07      23/05/2007    15:15    Page 7

       East/South East

      James Havens R.I.P.
     James will be remembered by his many friends in RehabCare Carlow. He
     was a very independent person who would decide if he wished to go on
     daytrips/ shopping etc. by judging what was the means of transport,
     because he wanted to have the opportunity to stop and have a cigarette,
     so it was a major surprise when he decided to go with us on the trip to Paris
     in 2002. Although he was very nervous of flying, he did, and had a
     wonderful time. He talked about many of his memories up to the end.

     Within the centre, he took part in our karaoke sessions but would only sing
     songs from the Elvis selection. His favourite was ‘The Wonder of You’. He
     was a great fan of western films and his favourite film was ‘The Magnificent
     Seven’. James came from England and he was very proud of this. He was
     delighted to come in to the centre and give everybody a hard time when
     England won matches, but would say nothing when they lost. He had no
     comment to make about the last rugby match in Croke Park. His favourite
     soccer team was Newcastle Utd.                                                                     James Havens

     Horseracing was his real passion and he was well known amongst bookies
     around town. James was a very private person, so if he won or lost, you were never told how much. He went through the
     racing list on the paper with special friends in the centre, and the feeling is if there is a TV in heaven, it will be hard to get to
     see it, as the gentle giant will be watching the racing from Cheltenham. James had a unique personality, and it took people
     time to understand him, but when it came to look for time off to see a race, he was well able to have it all worked out as to
     why you had to give him the time off. One just could not say no to him.

     He took part in pool competitions within the centre and the South East region centres, and he took great pride in having his
     photo taken when our centre won the Intercentre Competitions.

     James will be remembered in many ways, as he had the ability to befriend people at different levels and for different reasons,
     but all was done with a great respect for people who had time for him.

     May he rest in peace.

     From all at RehabCare Carlow

       My First Day
       My first day in RehabCare was a good day. I knew a few people from here like Joe and Nigel but it took me a few days
       to get to know everybody. You have a good laugh here and good fun. I enjoy playing pool and sometimes I like doing
       art or cooking. I like doing sign language too and playing football on Thursday. We have meetings on Monday and Friday.
       Rebecca is my supervisor. I hope to get a full time or part time job soon – a good job with good money. I like going
       swimming with our other staff member Jack once a month – it is good fun with the lads and we have a bit of splash

       By Gary Burton, RehabCare Bray

Rehab Care Newsletter May07     23/05/2007     15:15   Page 8

       East/South East

            You’re a Star
           Congratulations and well done to our four
           contestants: Brigid Delaney, Elizabeth
           McHugh, Irene Daly and John Langton who
           took part in ‘You’re a Star’ in the Seven
           Oaks Hotel on Wednesday night 28th
           March in aid of the Special Olympics. They
           took to the stage and did us all proud with            Irene Daly
           the performances they gave of the songs
           ‘Paper Roses’, ‘Crystal Chandelier’, ‘ One
           Day at a Time’ and ‘Hello’. They were up
           against a very high standard of talent with
           the other contestants, but did not let it
           daunt them in any way. It was a very
           enjoyable night and the 12 finalists chosen
           go forward to the final in May. We wish all
           of them the very best of luck.

           From all at RehabCare Carlow
                                                              John Langton

       Pool Tournaments
       My name is Ian and I attend RehabCare        tournament.
       in Kildare. We have many different
       programmes running in our centre;            The winner of each match went into         The National RehabCare Advocacy
       some of these are Creative Writing, Art,     the next round and this carried on until   Committee in our centre in
       Numeracy, Computers etc.                     there were only two players left for the   Kildare represents our views and
                                                    Final. When the Final was played I         ideas, and works to make our
       As we have a pool table and I thought                                                   Centre as good as possible. The
                                                    divided out the money which was €15
       it would be nice to have a pool                                                         committee informs the staff of
                                                    for first place, €12 for second, and the   any suggestions or problems we
       tournament, so I spoke to the staff and      two runners-up played each other for
       they said “Yes – go ahead and start                                                     may have. It also gives us a
                                                    €7 and €6 respectively.                    forum, and encouragement, to
       one”. I got all the names of the clients
       who were prepared to compete – these                                                    speak up for ourselves. To me,
                                                    I hope to have more tournaments in         advocacy means speaking up for
       totalled twenty in all. At €2 per entry, I   the future and I am thinking of inviting   yourself and not being afraid to
       collected €40 altogether. I then put all     clients from other centres to come and     do so. It also means you can
       the names into a hat and made the            have a few games with us.                  have a difference of opinion with
       draw in the presence of five people, so                                                 other people – but to do it in a
       that it was seen to be fair and above        By Ian Murphy, RehabCare Kildare           nice way.
       board. Then we started the
                                                                                               The NRAC committee meets with
           Bowling                                                                             the clients every week and we
                                                                                               discuss the programmes that are
           I went with the Kildare RehabCare group on the train to Carlow for a bowling        running in our centre and also
           match. We divided into teams to start our games. When the match was over            those programmes we would like
           we all went out for lunch together. After lunch we went for a lovely long           to see in action.
           walk. At 2.30 pm we got the train back to Kildare, arriving at 3.45 to meet
           our bus at the train station. We all got home safely and were very happy with       By Gerry Lambe, RehabCare
           our lovely day out.                                                                 Kildare

           By Adrienne Foley, RehabCare Kildare

Rehab Care Newsletter May07       23/05/2007     15:15    Page 9

       East/South East

    Literacy Class
    Every Thursday we have our literacy group. We
    have it here in RehabCare. There are six in the
    group. Carol is our teacher. We do things like
    reading, spelling and writing.
    It is a very interesting class and Carol is a very
    nice person and good teacher.

    I don’t find it difficult and look forward to it every
    week. These skills we learn can help us in our
    everyday life, which I think is great. When we
    finish we will get a certificate for our

    By Glenn Walsh, RehabCare Waterford

    Being a Musician                                                              Disney on Ice
    I started playing the drums in 2002. I always wanted to play the
                                                                                  On the 12th of April I went to Disney on Ice
    drums in a band.
                                                                                  with RehabCare Bray. The show was at 3
    I play for the De la Salle pipe band. We play every Sunday from
                                                                                  o’clock. The costumes were beautiful. I liked
    11.00- 1.00 and every Monday night from 7.30-9.00 in the De la
                                                                                  Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty the best.
    Salle School on Patrick St.
                                                                                  By Belinda Flynn, The Phoenix Service
    For my first time playing outside Ireland, we played in Scotland. I
                                                                                  RehabCare Bray
    have walked in parades for four years. I never get nervous when I
    am walking in the parades.

    By Declan Purcell, RehabCare Waterford

                            RehabCare                                        Best Club in Bray
                      I like Rehab, it’s delightful and trilightfull.
                                                                             I am a member of Bray Lakers club. This is a fun
                It makes you laugh. Makes you Scream with delight.
                                                                             club for people with disabilities. The club stated in
        Sun in the morning when I wake up and have to come in to Rehab.
                                                                             1989. I started in the club in 1990. I am in the club
        Happy smiles from everybody at work as if we were in Disneyland.
                                                                             17 years now.
                                                                             I play bowling and bocce and sometimes I play the
                           Big large door waiting for you
                                                                             basketball. I was a player in the Area regional and
                                  To open for you.
                                                                             National Games, which were held after The World
       Jack the man, and Kiara the happy one and Rebecca smiling as always
                   And Ashling is working in her office as usual.
                                                                             The good news for Bray Lakers is that we got a
                      There is a place in Bray, Rehab it’s called,
                                                                             clubhouse – we were waiting on a premises and at
                     The bright place and if you have problems,
                                                                             last we have one!
                           You come here, you come see.
                                                                             By Marian O’Rourke, The Phoenix Service,
                       By Bridget Kavanagh, RehabCare Bray
                                                                             RehabCare Bray

Rehab Care Newsletter May07   23/05/2007    15:15   Page 10

       North East/Midlands

       FETAC Awards                                                               Snack Attack

                                                                                  I take part in the snack attack programme on
                                                                                  a Wednesday morning. This programme is
                                                                                  about learning to make snack food that we
                                                                                  will be able to make at home. We decided
                                                                                  as a group what we would like to make then
       An Awards Ceremony was held          FETAC Certificates in Craft and       we write down the ingredients. We use the
       recently in Dundalk Sheltered        Computers. A great night was had      new scan check-outs to pay for our groceries.
       Workshop for people who received     by all!                               We have made scones and fruit salads. We
                                                                                  have tasted fruits like mango and pineapples
                                                                                  and made toasted sandwiches, bagels and
                                                                                  eggs. One of my goals for my PCP was to
                                                                                  cook at home. I made beans on toast for
                                                                                  mum and me.

                                                                                  By David Coyle, Dundalk Resource Centre

                                                                                Dundalk ARCH Club
                                                                                The ARCH club started in the Order of Malta Hall
                                                                                in 1977. This year it celebrates 30 years in
                                                                                Dundalk. There are ARCH clubs now all over the
                                                                                country. On the 24th March ARCH clubs from all
                                                                                over Ireland met in Galway for competitions
      Front row seated from left:                                               including Art, Crafts, Writing and Photography.
      Kathleen Lamb HSE, Siobhan McCabe FETAC, Catherine McDaid,
      Councillor Noel Lennon Chairman UDC Dundalk, Rose Marie Sheelan,          Jim McAleer from the centre, is one of the
      Noreen Crotty, Una McNamee                                                longest serving members of the club which is
                                                                                now held on a Thursday night in the Friary Hall. I
      Back row standing:                                                        enjoy going. They have parties at special times
      Aveen Toner Regional Support Manager, Deirdre Quinn, Gerry                e.g. Valentines Day. They also go on a tour at
      O’Callaghan, Lisa Fitzpatrick, Jimmy Hanlon, Heather Alexander, Niall     the end of the season.
      Connor, Liz Hughes, John Meegan, Therese Crosbie Area Manager HSE,
      Joseph Smith, Attracta Burns                                              By Jimmy Hanlon, Dundalk Sheltered Workshop

                                 Self Awareness Class
       In the centre we had a programme called Self Awareness. As part of the
       programme we did a programme on bullying. We watched discs on the
       computer and talked about different forms of bullying. We also
       discussed who we should tell if someone was bullying us. It is really
       important to talk to someone.

       We also looked at issues to do with budgeting and using our money.
       Everyone really enjoyed the programme.

       By Jimmy McAleer, Dundalk Sheltered Workshop

Rehab Care Newsletter May07      23/05/2007      15:15   Page 11

       North East/Midlands

     My Job in JJB Dundalk
    My name is Martin O’Connor. I have a          I would love to see more people with
    part time job in JJB in Dundalk. I work 3     disabilities employed in Ireland. Since I
    full days a week. I work on the football      started in JJB my friend Brian has since
    pitches. I take out the goal posts and        been employed by JJB. I got the chance
    sort out pitches for games. I like my job     to meet the Taoiseach Bertie Aherne in
    and I have made some new friends,             our centre to promote “Paid
    Danny and Neil.                               employment I can do it.”
    I am treated just the same as everyone        I told him all about my job and how
    else which I think is great.                  much it means to me.

                                                  By Martin O’Connor, Dundalk Resource

     A Seat at the Table                                                                      Our NRAC
    I was chosen in an election between the       On the 20th February there was a Public
    centres of Carroll Village and Coes Road      Meeting in the Nuremore Hotel. There        We meet and learn how to take
    as their representative on Seat at the        was a big crowd there. I am the             turns when talking and that it is
    Table. I get the opportunity to attend the    chairman of the parliament. Everyone        important to listen to people when
    Dundalk Institute of Technology once          spoke introducing themselves and also       they are talking. Also that it’s
    per month along with people from other        explaining what we had done so far.
                                                                                              important people understand you
    RehabCares and other groups in the            People had an opportunity to ask
                                                                                              and that you get your point across,
    North East. Some of the modules I have        questions from the floor. There were
    studied are History of the Disabled in        some people from the South East group       while being honest and polite.
    Ireland, Communications, Leadership           there. A number of people from the          This helps all of us to speak our
    and Inclusiveness, Interview Techniques       centre went along to the open meeting.      mind.
    and Advocacy.
                                                  By Michael Smith, Dundalk Sheltered         From the NRAC Committee,
                                                  Workshop                                    Portlaoise Resource Centre

     Service Users from Dundalk Resource
     Centre meet Enda Kenny during a trip to
     the Dáil

Rehab Care Newsletter May07      23/05/2007     15:15   Page 12

       North East/Midlands

       Mama Mia Concert
       I recently attended the Mama Mia concert in Dublin, at the Point
       Theatre. I really enjoyed the show – the staff and I had been planning
       it for months as it was one of my person centred goals.

       We set off at 4pm and arrived in Dublin by 6pm. The day had been
       especially planned around my likes and needs. First we went for a nice
       meal and enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere. It was then time to go to
       the concert. I loved the BUZZ and the atmosphere – the lights, sounds
       and scenes.

       I hope to plan an event like it again soon.

       By Mary Farrell, Highfield House

                                                                    Mary Farrell, David Ward and Helena Corrigan from Highfield House

            Dance                                       Fun In Funderland
            A few months ago we started a               The morning of the 11th of January was
            new dance programme made up                 dull and frosty but for Helena and David    On arrival the excitement of what was in
            of six girls from Carroll Village           it was filled with excitement as both of    store for us had everyone feeling great –
            and three girls from Coes Road.             them were looking forward to a day out      bright lights, loud music and the smell of
            We do our dancing in Coes Road.             at Funderland in Dublin’s RDS.              candyfloss didn’t disappoint. Following
            The dance that we do is exercise                                                        two hours of fun we went to ‘Eddie
            and keeping time to the beat. It            Supporting staff for the outing included    Rockets’ for French fries, southern fried
            was my first time dancing and I             Olivia, Sandra and Tommy. Our first point   chicken and some soft drinks. After that
            really enjoy it.                            of call was Enfield for a jumbo roll,       we headed home, as it had been a fun
                                                        which everyone enjoyed and provided         filled but tiring day!
            By Dolores Mc Keever, Dundalk               us with much-needed energy for the
            Resource Centre                             day ahead.                                  From Highfield House

                                  “Cats” The Musical
       On Thursday the 8th of March, we went to see “Cats” the musical. It was in the Grand Opera House in Belfast and it was a
       musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. We left the centre that morning at 10.30. We travelled by minibus. We stopped at McDonalds
       at 12.30 for lunch. It was lovely.

       When we got to the theatre we were shown to our seats and the musical started at 2pm. The stage was an alley with
       newspaper and rubbish to add to the effect. In the background there were cats’ eyes flashing. The cats came from all sides of
       the theatre and went up on the stage. They started to dance and sing. Some of our favourite cats were Angelica, Deuteronomy
       and Grisabella. There were so many good songs, but we all liked “Memory” the best. We all enjoyed the musical and we had
       a wonderful day. It was one of the best musicals we have ever been to.

       For some people it was their first time in Belfast and they really enjoyed themselves. The musical finished at 5pm and we
       arrived back in Monaghan at 7pm that evening. The next day some people were tired but it was worth it.

       From all in RehabCare Monaghan

Rehab Care Newsletter May07     23/05/2007      15:15   Page 13

       North East/Midlands
     Eileen was a service user in our centre
     in Tullamore for a long time. She was         In Memory of Eileen O’Connor RIP
     very funny and loved laughing and
     joking with her friends while she
     worked. She also loved animals. We
     were very sad when we heard the news
     that Eileen had passed away. In January
     we held a Mass for Eileen and also for
     Keith Hewson who was a service user
     who passed away in February 2005. It
     was a lovely Mass. We framed a picture
     of Eileen which is now hanging up in
     our centre. We also got a plaque
     engraved and put it on the seat outside
     in her honour. Eileen is missed by
     everyone in our centre, both service
     users and staff, and she will always be
     in our prayers.

     By Ursula O’Brien & Christine Delaney,
     Tullamore Sheltered Workshop

        Swim and Gym                                              Independent Travel
        We attend a gym and swim
        programme every Tuesday. A
                                                                      Prison Trip
        group of us head up to the local
        leisure centre. We spend an hour           On Tuesday 13th March, five of us          who is a prison officer, came and
        in the gym where we all have a             went to Portlaoise on the town link        showed us around. He showed us
        programme that has been done               bus as part of our independent travel      where the prisoners exercised and had
        up by a gym instructor. We will            module in the Atlas programme. We          their dinner. All of the prisoners do
        be getting these looked at                 left at 10 o’clock and we arrived in       woodwork, cooking, reading and
        regularly as we get better so              Portlaoise at 11. We went to the           writing. Then he showed us the
        they get changed to suit us. As            shopping centre until 12 o’clock and       visiting rooms where the people visit
        we improve we will be                      then we went to Midlands prison. We        the prisoners. When we were finished
        increasing our weights. We then            were in the prison from 12.15 until 2      the visit, we collected our phones,
        have a break and head for the              o’clock. When we were waiting to go        coats and bags from the lockers.
        pool. We have great fun playing            into the prison we were in a room
        ball in the pool.                          with the two doors closed. We had to       By Olive Hickey, Tullamore Sheltered
                                                   put our phones, bags and coats into a      Workshop
        By Daniel Eletrash and Brian               locker before we went in. P.J Delaney,
        Travers, RehabCare Navan

                       The Marie Keating Foundation
     On the 5th of April, The Marie Keating      women could get. An important thing         testicular and bowel. We learned how
     Foundation came to the centre to talk       we learned was that eating healthily        to protect ourselves from cancer such
     about cancer. It has been established to    helps protect us against cancer. Eating a   as skin cancer by using sun cream. We
     provide cancer information and              wide variety of vegetables, fruits,         were taught how to check for signs of
     awareness free of charge to the             pulses and cereals will certainly help      cancer also.
     general public throughout Ireland.          reduce the risk.
                                                                                             It was a very interesting talk and we
     We were split into two groups, men          There are a lot of different types of       learned a lot.
     and women. We learned about cancer          cancer that we learned about at the
     that men could get and what cancer          talk. There is breast, skin, prostate,      From RehabCare, Monaghan
Rehab Care Newsletter May07     23/05/2007    15:15   Page 14

       North East/East
       South East/Midlands

       R.D.A.I. Annual Conference
       At the R.D.A.I. Annual Conference in the Bloomfield Hotel Mullingar, Ann-
       Marie Murray won first prize in the colouring competition. The President of
       the R.D.A.I. handed Ann-Marie a red rosette and a miniature horse to great
       applause and congratulations from the R.D.A.I. Kells Volunteers. Ann-Marie
       was a great Ambassador for RehabCare and the whole day was very

       By Catherine Coull, RehabCare Navan

                                             My New Job
        Our Garden
                                             I started a new job Supermacs in Navan on 11th September 2006. I really enjoy it. All
        We started up our gardening          the staff are really nice to me and treat me really well. I work in all the areas. I work
        programme this year and              in the restaurant cleaning the floors and tables and on the till serving the customers. I
        decided to put in a wildlife         work a roster and have to check it every week as my days change. I really enjoy my
        garden. We have planted two          new job.
        hedges, one with blackberry,
        gooseberry and beech so it will      By Elaine Fahy, RehabCare Monaghan
        produce berries for the birds.
        We have also prepared a
        flower garden which we                 Our Relaxation Room
        planted up with seed to attract
        butterflies. We still have a lot       We recently had our recovery room done up and it will now be used for many
        of work to complete it and we          functions. Aoife who does beauty with us took control and got new paint, new
        will be busy all summer.               flooring and a new bed and bed linen. Michael Neville worked hard with Aoife to
                                               get the room painted. It is now a nice restful place to be. The room will now be a
        By Margaret Vaughey and Josie          lovely place to relax in, recover in and we can’t wait to get all our treatments in.
        Coloe, RehabCare Navan
                                               By Helen Flemming and Grace Nolan, RehabCare Navan

                                                  My Wedding Day                               The Mad
                                                  My wedding day took place on 28th
                                                  October 2006. It was the happiest day
                                                                                               Hatters Hen
                                                  of my life. I married my best friend Neil
                                                  By Doreen Casey, RehabCare Navan             We had a surprise hen party for
                                                                                               Doreen before she left to get
                                                                                               married. Everyone had to wear
                                                                                               hats – there were pink cowgirl
                                                                                               hats, horse riding hats, witches
                                                                                               hats and more. There was a disco
                                                                                               and a great laugh as we all saw
                                                                                               Doreen off in style to start her
                                                                                               married life.

                                                                                               By Lorraine, Susan and Avril,
                                                                                               RehabCare Navan

Rehab Care Newsletter May07     23/05/2007    15:15   Page 15

       North East/Midlands
     What does NRAC do in your centre?         How has Advocacy made a difference        Advocacy means
     The NRAC meeting is held once every       in your life?                             1. To stand up for what you believe in
     month. They work on behalf of all the     Advocacy has made a difference – it       2. To speak up for what you believe in
     service users. They take issues to the    helps people to achieve things that       3. To put your point across
     meetings e.g. getting the yellow          are important to them. It is a voice      4. To be confident in what you do or
     boxes out in front of the centre to       and a support for all.                    say
     keep clear for buses. When issues                                                   5. To be independent
     arise sometimes the county councils                                                 6. To look out for one another
     and governments need to be
     contacted. NRAC is a voice for the                                                  From all in RehabCare Monaghan
     people, a support that gets things

     Trip to Aras an Uachtaráin
                                                                          On the 5th of April, fifteen service users and three staff
                                                                          went to Aras an Uachtaráin. Six of us went in the space
                                                                          wagon and twelve went on the train. We got taxis up to
                                                                          the door of Aras an Uachtaráin. We got a nice surprise
                                                                          when we were told that the President was there and
                                                                          she was going to meet us. There was another group
                                                                          there from RehabCare Dundalk. When President
                                                                          McAleese came into the room, she came around to
                                                                          everyone and we introduced ourselves to her. We got a
                                                                          group photograph taken with her. We were then shown
                                                                          around some of the rooms. We went out to the garden
                                                                          and went to the Hyde room where we had tea, coffee,
                                                                          7up, pastries and cakes. We had a great day!

                                                                          By Gary McCabe, Tullamore Sheltered Workshop

     Standing (from left to right): Greg Callaghan, Jenny Monaghan, Paul Byrne, Claire Gill, Breda Malone, Andrew Minnock, Thomas
     Champ, Geraldine Harrington, Cathal Molloy, Joe Lawless, Veronica Conroy, Caroline Byrne, Kieran Shields, Jonathon Fitzpatrick,
     Joseph Mulvin, David Matthews
     Seated (from left): Harry Beacon, President Mary McAleese, Gary McCabe

       Health and Safety
       Committee                                                            First Aid
                                                                            I do a First Aid Programme on a Tuesday morning
       We have started a health and safety committee in our
                                                                            in our Mighty Men’s Group. Barry, Paddy, Martin,
       centre. There are eleven members and we are all
                                                                            Liam, David and I are in the group. Michelle does
       responsible for different areas of our centre. We have a
                                                                            the programme with us. We have learned how to
       weekly checklist that we do with the help of the staff
                                                                            put on bandages, the recovery position, acting
       and then have a meeting. Any problems we have are
                                                                            out the scene of an accident, quizzes, and burns.
       fed back to the health and safety manager who brings
                                                                            It is good to know about these things as I could
       them to the manager and to the service users through
                                                                            help someone who had an accident.
       NRAC. We put together new notice boards for the
       centre and have helped to sort out storage problems
                                                                            By Stephen Murphy, Dundalk Resource Centre
       for people’s bags that were on the floor.

       By Lorraine Kangley Chairperson, RehabCare Navan

Rehab Care Newsletter May07      23/05/2007     15:15   Page 16

     South East/East
       RehabCare Blennerville Shines                                   taking to the streets to wow the crowds.

       Brightly in Easter Parade                                       “Me and Jane were gas as Posh and Becks,” Tommy
                                                                       Cantillon said, “I wore a sarong, an English football jersey,
                                                                       spiked my hair and dyed it blonde.”

                                                                       For several hectic weeks before the parade everyone was
                                                                       busy designing and making costumes using a variety of
                                                                       materials including paint, cardboard and polystyrene. The art
                                                                       room bin was cleverly transformed into the robot R2D2
                                                                       bringing much laughter from the parade’s spectators. Dolly
                                                                       Parton refused to reveal how she made her costume,
                                                                       although the centre’s toilet roll supply was seriously

                                                                       Last year the theme of the parade was “roots” and everyone
                                                                       dressed up as vegetables simmering in a giant stew pot,
                                                                       and traditional Irish characters. Ann Lane, who played
                                                                       Deirdre from Coronation Street complete with a five feet
       Storm troopers, Jedis, robots and a range of celebrities        long cigarette, said: “It was much better than last year. The
       exploded onto the streets of Tralee at Easter when service      parade route was longer and being at night really fitted in
       users, staff and their families at RehabCare in Blennerville    with the theme of stars.”
       took part in the town’s annual parade.
                                                                       And stars weren’t the only thing adorning the night sky. As
       Organised by the community arts organisation Samhlíocht         the parade came to an end there was an impressive
       Chiarraí, the theme of the parade was “stars” and we chose      fireworks display in the town park.
       to dress up as characters from Star Wars, a number of well-
       known showbiz faces and a uniquely designed Aries ram           Everyone at RehabCare in Blennerville would like to thank
       storm trooper. So fetching was this costume that its designer   Gerry O’Donnell, Pat Brackenbury and all those who helped
       and wearer Richard Smyth was told by one woman that he          make the Easter parade such a success.
       looked like “her knight in shining armour”. Everyone
       twinkled in the flashlights of the local paparazzi before       From all at RehabCare Blennerville

       Obstacles Can Be Surmounted …
       I’ve got the incentive, I’ve got the drive -                    The future appears peachy
       With application I’ve produced the output:                      with hardly a cloud
       Over 750 poems in less than three scant years,                  to mar the horizon,
       evident testimony to the glad fact I can write!                 my major concern, poor eyesight.
       Better mention the stories, 66 to date,                         So long as I persist
       focus of early endeavour, now pleasingly achieved!              at not overtaxing my vision
       Likewise personally gratifying is having recently rewritten     all indicators are favourable
       lyrics to popular songs - twenty and counting, a score or       I’ll continue to thrive,
       more!                                                           like Chris de Burgh, personal hero,
       Cause for pride, inspiring to share …                           my generation’s jet-setter!

       I’ve more than muddled through                                  It’s my luck to have more than muddled through,
       since former days quite difficult,                              traversing daunting hurdles,
       tough times through which I struggled,                          bright future in prospect,
       challenged and burdened.                                        encouragement to share insights:
       And yet, inspiration beckoned                                   “Keep striving, you’ll make it.
       illuminating Tunnel’s End …                                     Persistence pays off!”
       From drab realities I’ve emerged                                Muddling through understates the case.
       to realise brighter possibilities of late!                      Obstacles can be surmounted … I’m living proof!

                                                                       By Richard Smyth, RehabCare Blennerville

Rehab Care Newsletter May07      23/05/2007    15:15    Page 17

       South/Mid West

                                              About Advocacy
                               An interview with Paul O´Neill and Pat Hackett from RehabCare in Limerick.

                                              Pat Hackett
                                              51 years old
                                              Lives in Limerick
                                              Hobby: He likes watching television and listening to
                                              the radio
                                              Dislikes: He doesn´t like getting up in the morning

                                                                                      Paul O´Neill
                                                                                     29 years old
                                                                                 Lives in Limerick
                                                Hobby: He likes going out, watching matches like
                                                    rugby and football, travelling and swimming
                                                                      Dislikes: He has no dislikes

      Question 1: What have NRAC been doing in your centre?
      NRAC is good because it gives help to people. In our centre we have been holding information talks. We have invited people
      in with other religions to give a sense of aspects of different religious viewpoints. We have talked about CCTV in the
      community to protect people in the centre. We brought in Sergeant O´Neill, the community Garda in Limerick. He spoke about
      the crime that is going on in the city. It opened our minds to danger. It is nice to meet new people and to exchange new
      ideas and points of view.

      Question 2: How has advocacy made a difference in your life?
      Advocacy has helped us to speak up for ourselves and others. Being on the NRAC committee has given us confidence to get
      up and speak in front of a crowd. Advocacy has helped us getting people to listen to the things we are saying.

      Question 3: How are you influencing the services you want?
      We are getting help from the national NRAC committee and in partnership with government worked on the implementation
      of the disability bill. We are going to speak to the politicians about the national election and to review their policy and what
      they are standing for. We want to have a right to speak up about disability policy.

      Question 4: Sum up what you think Advocacy means
         • It means to have a right to speak
         • It means equality
         • It means respect
         • It means supporting each other
         • It means speaking up for yourself

                                     Cork FETAC Awards
     A number of service users from Brandon House and
     Bruach services in Cork recently received FETAC Level
     3 certification in Computer Literacy. They were
     presented their awards at a ceremony hosted by the
     Lord Mayor of Cork during the Lifelong Learning
     Festival Week.

     Pictured from left are: Kathleen Hurley, Siobhan Burns,
     Leonard Corcoran (Computer Tutor), Mary Williamson,
     Collette Crowley, Stephen Lynch

Rehab Care Newsletter May07     23/05/2007      15:15   Page 18

       West/North West

       In 2001 I left home and I went to live
       in Lake Lodge and stayed there from
       May 2001 to February 2002 when I
       moved into Clara Glen.

       When I lived at home with my mother
       I did the cleaning and prepared
       breakfast in the morning. My mother
       used to eat the parsnips and carrots as
       she got them ready for dinner – I was
       afraid I would cut my finger doing
       them. If my mother was ever going
       anywhere she would tell me what time
       to put on the dinner, this would be my
                                                            Ann, Josie, John, Alberto & Fidelma enjoying a fair day in Tubber

       When I was younger I could get around       bills and the running of the house – we     • Evening television
       myself but I lost my confidence and         are very independent. Everyone is           • Weekend outings
       started to use a stick. For the last 5 to   involved in the cleaning and the
       6 years I have been using a walking         different jobs. I have my own routine       I find an awful lot of change with
       frame.                                      and plan my week with the staff and         myself.
                                                   the other people we live with. We plan
       I am a tenant of Newgrove Housing           things like:                                By Josie Cullen, Sligo Resource Centre
       association. We all pay towards the         • What we are going to have for dinner

            Satisfaction guaranteed with the VEC
        2006 has been one of the busiest            patience and time to explain
        years that I can remember in my 10          everything to us.
        years with RehabCare. I have
        completed three VEC Courses. They           I have gained great experience and
        were Consumer Awareness, Personal           personal satisfaction. It has also given
        Care & Presentation and Advocacy. The       me more confidence in myself. At the
        courses ranged from 10-20 weeks in a        completion of the course we were
        three-hour session every week. I felt       given certificates and I felt I had
        they were all very educational and          achieved something special. I would
        taught me a lot of skills in dealing        strongly recommend these courses to
        with everyday situations.                   anyone who would be interested in
                                                    furthering their education.
        Michelle and Marrion were our tutors
        from the VEC. In each course there          I hope to become involved in a
        was only a small number involved,           computer course as well as other
        which was great as the tutor had a lot      courses in 2007.
        of time to spend with each person.
        The tutors encouraged us to ask             By Edel McIntyre, Sligo Resource
        questions and they had lots of              Centre

Rehab Care Newsletter May07    23/05/2007    15:15   Page 19

       West/North West
     Claire Mc Loughlin Tells
     of times in RehabCare
     I joined RehabCare in 1977, just after my father passed away.
     I started work in the garment making section in the old
     RehabCare building in Bridge Street. Mrs O’Reilly was our
     supervisor. One day I went upstairs and started doing the
     rubbers. We also wound up Miranda into rolls and packed
     boxes. I moved into the workshop in St Annes in 1997,
     where I continued to be involved in sorting work.

     I had a health scare in 2002 and I decided to move into the
     resource centre. I find it more relaxing; there is an easier
     pace. Staff support me with my appointments and I go on
     outings like bingo. I take part in the “Go for life” exercise
     programme and we have the odd party too. I enjoy bowling
     and I like the "Remember When" group we do. We went to                  Maureen & Claire Remembering how it was
     Riverstown Folk Park and had a buttermaking session here in
     the centre.                                                      memories of the time I have spent in Bridge Street.

     I look forward to the holidays each year. I have many good       By Claire McLoughlin, Sligo Resource Centre
     friends here in the resource centre and I have happy

       What NRAC in Sligo has been Doing
       Our NRAC Committee in Sligo meets every Thursday for           respected.
       one hour to discuss issues that are brought to our attention   Advocacy is empowering people, gaining self-confidence,
       by other service users. No issue is too big or too small.      aspirations and skills.
       We feel empowered as a committee because we see an             Advocacy informs us on issues important to us.
       outcome to the issues brought to our attention. We have        Advocacy promotes equality and gives us choices.
       developed a good working relationship with the manager         Advocacy is about speaking up for yourself or speaking on
       of the centre who supports us. We have improved on our         behalf of someone.
       own skills and gained self-confidence by taking an active      Advocacy is about using your rights and responsibilities.
       role within our centre.
                                                                      By Mary T Dolan, Bernie Cullen, Adrian Cornwall, Brian
       What Advocacy means to us                                      Murrin and John Martin
       Advocacy is about having a voice that's listened too and       RehabCare Sligo NRAC Committee

       Looking Back on My Life
                                              I went to school in Harmony Hill many years ago, while living in a Hostel in Teeling
                                              Street. I moved from there into a house in Heather View where my friend Paddy
                                              lived and we have since moved twice. I worked over in Bridge Street doing many
                                              different types of jobs. We moved to a new place called St Gerard’s and then moved
                                              to RehabCare a few short years later.

                                              I really like coming in to RehabCare on Mondays. We have a weekly house meeting.
                                              We get to hear about all the different things that are going on in the centre and also
                                              hear about any news to do with Rehab Group.

                                              I enjoy painting and arts & crafts. I love to have a chat with all my great friends
                                              here. I also enjoy going out for coffee with one particular friend Paddy. We all love a
                                              great party and a chance to dance the night away to good music. I also like cooking
                                              in the kitchen and settling down to read a good book.

                                              By Patricia Marren, Sligo Resource Centre

Rehab Care Newsletter May07    23/05/2007       15:15   Page 20

       West/North West

       Speaking Up and Stepping Out
       I believe advocacy is about speaking up for yourself and letting
       people know what you need or want. I let the people working with
       me know I needed help getting out and about more in the
       community. We decided to apply for a Personal Assistant (P.A.) who is
       a guide aid for me.

       It all got arranged for me just before Easter. My first P.A. went on
       holidays to Cuba; she met a man over there and decided to stay. My
       next P.A. is still my current P.A. and we have been working together
       for over 3 years.

       Having a P.A. has made a big difference to my life. With her help I
       can take off up town and go shopping, get my hair done and we
       often go swimming too. My P.A. comes to me twice a week at a set
       time that we agree on. I get to meet people when I am out and
       about and I have gotten to know friends through my P.A.

       If I could not have my P.A. it would mean that I would not be able to get out and
       about as much. I would feel lost without my P.A. and I would miss both the
       company and friendship I have built up with my P.A.
                                                                                           Spring is here
       If you are ever looking for something or thinking about becoming more               In my garden dear.
       independent, don’t be afraid to talk to the people working with you as they can     The flowers are bright.
       help. I spoke up and got my P.A. and with her help I get out and about in the       They mask a pretty sight.
       community more. I got a P.A. and a friend who is always good for some advice.
                                                                                           The wind becomes wild
       By Aisling Egan, Sligo Resource Centre                                              Away from the wild.
                                                                                           Bluebells appear
                                                                                           The rose is near.

            National Tree Week 2007                                                        From my window I see
                                                                                           The beautiful cherry blossom tree,
                                                                                           Pink and white
                                                                                           It makes my heart delight.

                                                                                           The cherry blossom tree
                                                                                           Appears once a year,
                                                                                           It is a symbol of time.
                                                                                           Of nature all sublime.

                                                                                           The outdoors beckons me,
                                                                                           I feel so free.
                                                                                           The hearth side is quenched.
                                                                                           The flowers are drenched.

                                                                                           Spring is my favourite season,
                                                                                           The colours are the reason.
        The theme for this year's National Tree Week was 'Trees for Energy'. A group       The mornings are bright.
        from The Resource Centre in Galway participated by helping to plant trees in       The evenings are just right.
        Terryland Forest Park. The afternoon was a great success and we will all enjoy
        watching the trees as they grow and contribute to a positive environment.          By Ailish Higgins, Galway Resource
        Galway City Council facilitated this event.                                        Centre

        From Galway Resource Centre

Rehab Care Newsletter May07     23/05/2007    15:16   Page 21

       Creative Corner

     For our competition this month we asked you to send us a poster that represented what you think Advocacy is all about.

      We had a very creative response, so well done to everyone!

         Our overall winner is a group entry from RehabCare
         Portlaoise for their very powerful visual representation
         of Advocacy. Here’s what they had to say about it:

         “Our poster is about team effort – all together as one
         working for the things we want. We give respect and
         get respect.”

                                                                             Overall Winner: RehabCare Portlaoise Poster

      We also had two runner-up prize-winners.

      RehabCare Sligo won for their poster that explains very effectively what Advocacy is all about.

      Finally a special congratulations to Domhnall Flynn from Dundalk Resource Centre who won a runner-up prize for his direct
      and striking poster.

               Runner-up: Poster from RehabCare Sligo                           Runner-up: Domhall Flynn’s poster

Rehab Care Newsletter May07     23/05/2007   15:16   Page 22

         South East/East

      (continued) The New NRAC National Committee talking
      about Advocacy and their Roles

          “I got elected in November 2006 for a term
                                                                           My name is Catalina Keys. I am happy to be
            of 2 years. I have achieved a lot through
                                                                            on NRAC and talking to others and finding
            NRAC. I have more confidence, ask more
                                                                           out more about it. I am a new member on
            questions and understand things better.”
                                                                             the committee and I would like to thank
                                                                               everyone for voting for me at the last
                            Jane Donnelly
                                                                            election, which was in November 2006. I
                                                                           would also like to thank the staff and clients
                                                                              for coming with me up to the Glenroyal
             “We have been in training from January                                      Hotel, Maynooth.
           about NRAC and our needs to function as a
           committee. The sessions involved - What is                     We need to help one another, support people
              Advocacy, Roles of Members/Officers,                         to have a voice to speak up for their rights
           Guidelines, Contact Lists, Presentation from                       and listen to what they have to say.”
          the Communications and Public Affairs Team
                        and PCP training”                                                     Catalina Keys

                            Jimmy Dooner

           “My name is Laura – I am in the Centre in
                                                                           My name is Michael O’Brien – I am a service
            Athlone. I am pushing forward disability
                                                                            user in Cork. I would like as a member of
               issues and getting more access for
                                                                           NRAC to listen to the views of service users
          wheelchairs. I am after getting new ramps in
                                                                           and speak up for people who cannot speak
           Athlone. I enjoy meeting new people and
                                                                            up for themselves. I am also a member of
            getting things done at a national level.
                                                                                     RehabCare Training Team.
          NRAC training has helped me to understand
                                                                                I would like to see more funding for
           the role more clearly which will help all
                                                                                         Disability Groups.”
               service users within RehabCare.”
                                                                                             Michael O’Brien
                             Laura Gaffey

                                                   NRAC News
     NRAC regional days are currently being planned and will be held in each region between June and August.

     This is a reminder for all local committees that we will be reviewing the NRAC Guidelines on Bullying for Service Users in the
     next couple of months.

Rehab Care Newsletter May07    23/05/2007    15:16   Page 23

     Information Bulletin
      Risk Assessments
                                                                         Safety Matters
     What is a Risk Assessment?                                          By Michelle Peate-Morgan,
                                                                         Health and Safety Manager
     A risk assessment is a careful examination of anything in your
     workplace that could cause injury or ill health. The level of
     risk you are exposed to is dependent on the combination of
     the likelihood of a hazardous event occurring, and the
     consequence of the event.

                  Risk = Likelihood x Consequence

     How do I carry out a Risk Assessment?

     It’s important that before you carry out a risk assessment you
     ensure that you have received the relevant training.

     There are six key steps to carrying out a risk assessment:
                                                                      5. Record Your Findings
     1. Identify Work Task                                            Not only it is good practice but it is also a legal requirement
     You need to make a list of the all the tasks you are             to record your risk assessment in writing. Once you have it
     responsible for, anything you manage, the people involved,       recorded it’s important you communicate the details to all
     the equipment they use and the different locations they work     staff and ask your staff to sign the risk assessment indicating
     in.                                                              they have read and understood its contents and control
     2. Identify the Risk
     In order to identify the risks you will need to know what the    6. Review Your Findings
     hazards are, who might be harmed and how. You will need to       Finally it’s important that you set a date to review your risk
     observe the work being carried out, speak to the staff           assessments, annually or sooner. However, there are instances
     concerned, review the safety statement and read up on            where it may need to be reviewed earlier:
     hazards relevant to the activity/area.                              • Following new legislation
                                                                         • Following an accident/incident
     3. Estimate the Risk                                                • Following the introduction of new equipment, procedures
     You need to weigh up how serious each risk is. In order to do       or staff
     this you need to look at how likely it is that something could
     go wrong and how serious the outcome would be. This              Tips to improve your risk assessment:
     involves the estimation of the likelihood and the
     consequence.                                                       • Make sure it’s suitable and sufficient
                                                                        • Better data helps make better judgements
     4. Evaluate the Risk                                               • Involve the people it’s likely to affect
     The higher the risk level the more serious the risk is and the     • Conditions may vary from site to site so ensure you look
     more likely it is you will have to take some action. The best      at each site
     way of evaluating the risk is by using a Risk Matrix (See          • Consider “on the spot” assessments, in order to check your
     Section 10 of the RehabCare Safety Statement).                     assessments are covering all they need to

                                                                      Need Further Information?

                                                                      Please refer to Section 10 in the RehabCare Safety Statement
                                                                      where you will find more information on Risk Assessments
                                                                      and Control Measures.

                                                                      Your comments are always welcome and if you would like any
                                                                      particular area of Health & Safety covered in the next issue
                                                                      then      please    send     an    email     to    me     at
                                                             or phone me at 01-

Rehab Care Newsletter May07   23/05/2007   15:16   Page 24

                                                                              “People First”
   “Person Centred”

                                                             “Can Do”


                                 If you would like further information on any RehabCare services in
                                                   your area, please contact us at:
                                    RehabCare, Roslyn Park, Beach Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4

                                                       Tel: +353 1 205 7200

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