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Ryan Tubridy Officially Opens Regent House, Rehab’s New Flagship Centre in the Heart of Kilkenny

23 December 2009
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December 23, 2009. RTÉ’s Ryan Tubridy today officially opened Regent House, Rehab’s new flagship centre in William Street, Kilkenny. The building comprises a National Learning Network training centre, a RehabCare centre, and supported accommodation, providing a range of services to people with disabilities. The opening followed on a special broadcast of The Tubridy Show, live from the centre, on RTÉ Radio One.

The new state-of-the-art building, which was constructed on the site of the old Regent cinema, cost €7.35m to build and received funding from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Health Service Executive (HSE), Atlantic Philanthropies and St John of God Sisters Trust. A capital funding shortfall of €2.2m remains and, to coincide with the event, a new Regent House fundraising appeal has been launched. Members of the community are being asked to “Sponsor a Brick” from as little as €50 to support Rehab’s work. In addition, funds raised from two sponsored walks taking place in Gathabawn on St. Stephen’s Day will also go to support Regent House and the development agency, Bóthar. More information on the appeal is available by emailing fundraising@rehab.ie.

Regent House incorporates the following services:

• A RehabCare centre for 30 people with physical and intellectual disabilities, and mental health difficulties. The centre includes a resource centre and day service, offering various programmes such as independent living skills, personal development, community access, money management, IT skills, literacy, numeracy, etc. The service is funded by the HSE.

• A National Learning Network training centre, offering support to 24 learners on its vocational and rehabilitative training programmes. The HSE-funded rehabilitative training programme aims to support people in progressing to further education, training and employment, while the FÁS-funded vocational training programme offers learners the opportunity to spend four days each week on placements with local employers.

• A supported accommodation service developed by the Newgrove Housing Association, and managed by RehabCare, comprising six purpose-built apartments for people with disabilities from the Kilkenny area. Residents also have access to an extensive rooftop terrace with beautiful views of Kilkenny city and its surrounds.

Currently accessed by seven people, and expected to increase to 16 in time, residents receive support from RehabCare staff with activities of daily living such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc.

Angela Kerins, Chief Executive of Rehab, commented: “Rehab has been in Kilkenny since 1982, but this new flagship centre in William Street marks the coming together of a range of Rehab services in one new state-of-the-art facility. The project could not have happened without the tremendous support of various State agencies and generous donors to whom we are very grateful. Already, the building has been receiving accolades with the Irish Council for Social Housing awarding it the Community Housing Award for excellence in social housing and innovative design.

“All in all, 70 people will ultimately benefit from the services provided by Rehab in the centre, enabling more people than ever before from the Kilkenny area to explore new opportunities. It is hugely important that people with disabilities are able to maximise their potential, that they can get more involved in the community, be independent, and live the lives that they want to live right in the heart of the city.

“Today, we have embarked on one final major fundraising push to raise the outstanding funds required for the building and we are hoping that the people of Kilkenny, having seen for themselves the value of the services being provided to the local community at Regent House, will wholeheartedly support our appeal and dig deep.”

ENDS

About Rehab

Rehab is a leading non-Governmental organisation which works towards a world where every person has the opportunity to achieve their potential. Over 3,600 Rehab staff members provide health and social care, training and education, and rehabilitation, employment and commercial services in Ireland, England, Scotland, the Netherlands and Poland. Every year, more than 56,000 people with disabilities and others who are marginalised, along with their families, benefit from the supports provided by Rehab in over 200 locations.

About National Learning Network

National Learning Network provides high-quality training, education and employment placement services which successfully support over 90 per cent of its 5,000 students in progressing to further education or employment every year. Courses are delivered in 50 locations around Ireland and include more than 40 programmes ranging from business studies and computer skills, to photography and performing arts.

About RehabCare

RehabCare delivers health and social care services which reach into communities the length and breadth of Ireland. Each year, more than 2,600 people of all ages and from all walks of life avail of its resource centres, residential and respite care, supported accommodation, outreach and home-based services.

About Newgrove Housing Association

Newgrove Housing Association was established in 1999. The association works in partnership with RehabCare to provide community-based, supported accommodation to people with disabilities.