Colm McKenna (Trust Chairman), Brittnay Blackie, Edwin Poots (Health Minister) and staff from the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust at the official opening of Glenmore Cottage
A newly refurbished unit for children and young people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviours has been officially opened in Lisburn by Health Minister, Edwin Poots.
Glenmore Cottage, provided by the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, is a modern purpose built bungalow situated in a community setting with access to local shops, school, post office, leisure and transport and to the many and varied facilities in the Lisburn area. It provides medium to long term care to four children/young people aged 12-18 years with learning disabilities and challenging behaviours.
Arlene Garland (Senior Manager Children with Disabilities), Brittnay Blackie, Edwin Poots (Health Minister) and Colm McKenna (Trust Chairman)
The building and equipment has been specifically designed for the children and young people using the unit to ensure a homely, secure, safe and friendly environment, which allows for individual needs to be met. The unit has a large walled garden, which is an excellent facility for outdoor play for children and young people with disabilities with a plan for a Sensory Garden. The accommodation is mainly on the ground floor providing easy access for the children and young people, with a small additional area upstairs and consists of 4 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and 2 bedrooms with a shared bathroom, designed for use by children and young people with disabilities. The home also contains a lounge, a quiet room, kitchen, dining room, an Information and Communication Technology suite, laundry and a multifunctional room. The team in Glenmore consists of a team leader, social workers, disability nurses, social care staff, housekeeper, cook and admin support. It is a multi disciplinary team using the various complimentary values, skills and knowledge to provide excellent quality care and flexibility for the children.
Speaking after a tour of the facility Mr Poots said: "This is an excellent example of what can be achieved in a community setting. The layout of the accommodation and the personal space provides the children and young people with a safe and secure, homely, family environment, which is something that everyone should have. Improving services and facilities for those with a learning disability has been one of my top priorities since I became Minister for Health and it continues to be so. I congratulate all involved in what they have achieved here and wish the children, young people and carers every success for the future."
Ian Sutherland, Director of Children's Services & Executive Director of Social Work, South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust said: This is an excellent facility for children with learning disabilities and challenging behaviours. The staff in the unit strive to truly understand the children and young person's point of view, their aspirations, wishes, needs and wants. In doing this it gives children, young people and their families shared control and ownership of their placement, encouraging partnership and participation. They are offered the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities as other children and young people and have equal choice of and access to services that enhance and develop their competence and maximize their level of social functioning. The children participate in determining their own future and sharing in all decisions, which affect their lives."