Mick Gaule with Evelyn Norton, local service manager with Acquired Brain Injury Ireland
A vitally important charity which provides community support to 52 people in Kilkenny with an acquired brain injury has no where to hold weekly meetings.
Acquired Brain Injury Ireland helps those who have been released from hospital following falls, road traffic accidents, strokes, assaults and brain infections.
“The need for a clubhouse somewhere in the city to allow the charity to carry out group meetings and rehabilitation programmes is essential,” according to Evelyn Norton, the local service manager with Acquired Brain Injury Ireland.
“A day resource service is first and foremost a community where people with a brain injury are encouraged to develop new relationships and interests and to build creatively on their strengths and capabilities,”she said.
“In this space, we can provide a client-centred approach, combining a range of cognitive, social, educational creative and rehabilitative activities in a supportive environment.
“The idea of a clubhouse or meeting place is to enhance self-esteem, independence, community involvement and personal growth.
“It is a place for people to congregate, to be accepted and to work together towards the common goal of re-integration into the community,” Ms Norton said.
“At present we have no accommodation for a clubhouse type service which requires a room for their Tuesday morning meetings with a capacity for 10 to 15 people to carry out group meetings and rehabilitation programmes.
“People never think a brain injury will happen to them yet 52 people every day sustain a brain injury up to 19,000 per year in Ireland,” she pointed out.
“We provide specialised individualised rehabilitation programmes for people in their homes and communities.
Programmes are developed with the person, their family and acquire brain injury clinical team and supported through a community rehabilitation assistant or key worker with goals focused on return to social, educational, domestic or leisure activities.
One of those who depends on Acquired Brain Injury Ireland is former city butcher, Mick Gaule who was diagnosed with an acquired brain injury following a motorcycle accident.
He said that the intervention of the charity had made a major difference to his quality of life and allowed him to get on with things and realise that he wasn’t alone and that many other people faced the same problems as he did.