NEW CENTRE AND HYDROTHERAPY POOL FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES AND THEIR FAMILIES OPENS IN BRAY CO. WICKLOW | Enable Ireland

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NEW CENTRE AND HYDROTHERAPY POOL FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES AND THEIR FAMILIES OPENS IN BRAY CO. WICKLOW

Girl in wheelchair holding scissors surrounded by two men and one woman as yellow ribbon falls to the ground

Today, Minister Simon Harris, T.D., Minister for Health, and Enable Ireland service user Bianca Paroczai (age 7) officially opened Enable Ireland’s new Children’s Services Centre and Hydrotherapy pool in Bray, Co Wicklow. This purpose build centre for children with disabilities will service the needs of nearly 200 children and families from Bray and North Wicklow. The new centre covers 840 square meters and has eight intervention rooms, a fully equipped physiotherapy gym with ceiling track hoist, sensory room, a space for group meetings and training, and additional rooms which can be set up to suit the needs of the child and therapist. The colourful child-friendly interior design provides a welcoming place for the children and their families who will attend the new centre for a range of therapy, social and educational services.

Also opened today was the vitally important hydrotherapy pool. The pool will be accessible to over 340 children using Enable Ireland services in Bray and Arklow. The new facility includes two universal accessible changing/toilet and showering facility both with ceiling track hoist and height adjustable changing bench. The hydrotherapy pool will be an asset to the whole community as later in the year Enable Ireland plans to rent out the facilities to other groups in the Bray area.  

On the day Minister Simon Harris spoke of the importance of the service that Enable Ireland provide to children and their families in the community and noted, “I am delighted to be here today to open this fantastic and much-needed facility. In particular, the Hydrotherapy Pool is a welcome addition to the new Children’s Centre in Bray. The new facility will be of huge benefit to the children at Enable Ireland who require this form of therapeutic intervention. I commend the incredible efforts of Enable Ireland and all involved in making this possible.” 

At the event, Danny Miller, who attends Enable Ireland services and is an aspiring poet, presented Minster Harris with a framed poem which he wrote himself. 

Also speaking at the opening was Lorraine Dempsey, parent of a child attending Enable Ireland Wicklow services and Co-Chairperson of the Special Needs Parents Association. “As with all of the families here today, we’ve have been looking forward to this new building for many years. Being able to attend services in a purpose built and well-equipped facility is something that all the children and their families deserve and it will make a huge difference to anyone coming to Enable Ireland services now and in the years to come.”

The new facility cost €2.74 million to construct and was funded in the main by the sale of Enable Ireland land as well as fundraising donations and contributions from the Health Service Executive (HSE). Speaking at the official opening Donal Cashman, Chairman of the Enable Ireland Board of Directors acknowledged the generosity of the people of Wicklow who made the vision for a new children’s centre a reality through their outstanding support. 

Also in attendance at the event were Fionnuala O’Donovan, Enable Ireland Chief Executive, representatives from the HSE, as well as parents, staff and friends of Enable Ireland Wicklow. 

Enable Ireland Wicklow Service has its main base at the Marino Centre on Church Road in Bray and have provided services from this location for over 50 years. They also have a centre in Arklow and a respite service in Silverpines House, Bray. They provide a range of therapy, social and educational services to children and teenagers who have multi-disabilities and to their families.  Services in Wicklow have developed significantly in recent years in line with Enable Ireland's mission which is to enable those who use their services to achieve maximum independence, choice and inclusion in their communities.

Enable Ireland has a charity shop on Main Street Bray. Profits from the shop support Enable Ireland disability services.