Carriglea Cáirde Services has embraced the new approach to adult day services set out in the HSE report New Directions. Person-centeredness is one of the key core values of the organisation and Carriglea endeavours to give people the widest possible choices and options about how they live their lives. The Services has over the past number of years progressed from the provisions of centre based activities/sheltered work towards mainstream community based activities.
The Hub/Transition to Employment
The Transition to Work team provide support to 32 service users in part-time paid employment and work experience in supermarkets, GSK-Sodexo, restaurants, hotels, book stores, sports shops, a nursing home, hardware stores, a car valeting service, a charity shop and a heritage centre. The team also assists people in obtaining work experience placements to enable them to gain hands-on experience of the world of work. Work experience placements sometimes result in paid part-time work or in valued social roles volunteering in areas of individual interest. One service user who completed the Certificate in Leadership and Advocacy course in Waterford Institute of Technology is now mentoring other students to complete the course.
Carriglea Cáirde Services is an active members of the Irish Association of Supported Employment and participates in the IASE Job Shadow Day in Dungarvan every year. This initiative brings people with disabilities and local employers together and promotes equal employment opportunities and highlights the valuable contribution people with disabilities can make in work settings.
The Transition to Employment team is based in ‘The Hub’ which is located in the centre of Dungarvan town. This base provides a drop-in centre for those who spend a large part of their days in employment, work experience, further education or other mainstream community based activity. From this base people can research areas of interest on the internet, are provided with support to complete a CV and request staff support with any aspect of their lives. Staff support participants to access local employment services websites and explore job advertisements, courses, employment schemes and opportunities for socialising locally.
One participant using the Hub is completing a FETAC Level 5 course in Child Care. Another attends a QQI Level 2/3 communications module in the local Education Training Board (ETB) while 2 others are working towards passing a forklift course. One person who already completed the forklift course has completed a refresher course funded by Solas.
The Services was part of the Federation of Voluntary Bodies‘ initiative to share the learning on the movement towards individualised supports – ‘Next Steps’. The contribution from Carriglea to that project centred on the development of ‘The Hub’ and service users who have benefited from this new model of service gave a presentation to fellow Federation members on the success of the project. One participant achieved full independence resulting from participation in the project.
‘Gateway’ is located in the centre of Dungarvan town and provides a base to nineteen service users who also receive support from the Transition to Work team and who participate in community based activities such as attending sports centres and the public library. Participants interact with staff in local shops when they go out personally to purchase food for their cookery classes.
Participants use on-line National Adult Literacy Agency QQI training courses (Level 1, 2 and 3) in General Learning and IT skills.
- Six participants currently attend a QQI Level 2/3 communications module in the local Education Training Board (ETB).
- One participant is completing a QQI Level 5 course in Child Care at Colaiste Cathail Naofa.
- Two participants are completing a QQI Level 4 catering course in Cappoquin Adult Education Centre.
- Two participants attend the Seasamh Certificate in Leadership & Advocacy course in Waterford Institute of Technology.
- Two participants attend the Latch-on project in WIT for people with Downs Syndrome.
- Five participants completed an active leadership course with Waterford Sports Partnership.
Community Social Integration Projects which participants engage in include:
- Weekly integration with transition year students from the local secondary schools to participate in a variety of community base activities.
- Attending St Joseph’s hospital weekly to visit residents and to help with residents’ social activities.
- Visiting and befriending senior citizens in Care Choice Nursing Home and Deise Day Care Centre weekly.
- Participating in the National Spring Clean with An Taisce and helping with the local beach clean-up – also litter picking with Dungarvan Tidy Towns group.
- Participating in a weekly art class in Bank Studios Dungarvan and having their work displayed in an exhibition.
Staff of the community based retirement home at 12 Geal Gua successfully support elderly service users to integrate with local mainstream senior citizens groups.
Staff also support integration with local secondary schools. Service users with significant support needs attend a weekly integrated art class in a secondary school and this culminates in an art exhibition at the end of each year.
Links are established with educational facilities such as Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board. Some people are supported to attend courses in Waterford Institute of Technology.
The services are working toward achieving compliance with all aspects of the draft standards for New Directions (Public Consultation Document) issued in August 2014.