Simon Hamilton has said that a new resource centre will contribute to improving the lives of people with disabilities.
The Minister was speaking as he opened the new Cedar Foundation Regional Resource Centre in South Belfast. Known as ‘Ravenhill Reach’, the centre has been comprehensively redeveloped as a regional and local hub of services that enable people with disabilities to participate in all aspects of community life.
Services are centred around the individual needs of each person and are delivered throughout Northern Ireland. The Centre supports children and adults with disabilities, brain injury, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and long-term health conditions.
During his tour of the centre, the Minister met with service users and their carers. He said: “Today I have seen at first hand the good work that the Cedar Foundation does and how this work contributes to improving the lives of people with disabilities.
“I have met children, young people and their carers who have told me about the invaluable help and support they have received from Ravenhill Reach and the Cedar Foundation.
“I also met members of the Cedar User Forum who work in partnership with HSC Trusts and it is clear how important this forum is to ensure that people with disabilities have a voice”.
Today’s official opening begins a year of celebration to mark the Cedar Foundation’s 75th Anniversary.
Notes to editors:
- The Cedar Foundation delivers a range of services that enable people with disabilities to participate in all aspects of community life. Services are centred around the individual needs of each person and are delivered throughout Northern Ireland. They include residential and supported housing services, short break and transition support, as well as a focus on social and community networks. The Cedar Foundation supports children and adults with disabilities, brain injury, ASD and long term health conditions.
- Ravenhill Reach’ was purchased with charitable funds in summer 2014. Services provided include
- Outlook - a short break (respite) service which provides young disabled children with enjoyable and valuable experiences away from their parents and carers, which in turn gives parents the chance to have a break from caring.
- Transitions - an early intervention service designed to support young disabled people to enter into socially inclusive community, employment and educational activities.
- Right4uJ - This service is based on the ‘re-ablement’ model, empowering the person with ASD, supported by their family, to build personal capacity so they are able to access community activity independently.
- Youth Matters – This service provides social activities for young people with disabilities up to 18 years old, to positively impact on their general health and wellbeing.
- Social and Community Networking - a comprehensive range of support services enabling and supporting adults with disabilities to engage in community, social and recreational opportunities as alternatives to traditional day support.
- User Forum - informs and influences policy to ensure our society better meets the changing and emerging needs of people with disabilities and their families. Members act as disabled leaders and peer role models in leading on service user consultation and advocacy and supporting staff recruitment.
- Floating Support Service - a partnership service between Health and Social Care and Supporting People which supports adults with disabilities living at home who want to develop housing management skills to improve their independence and retain their tenancy.
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