RehabCare Bantry goes the extra mile in aiding recovery

Posted on: 13th November, 2017

Category: Features

Contributor: Mary O'Brien

Above: Pictured at the opening of The Music Box at RehabCare Bantry (l-r) Catherine Doyle Community Services Manager, Aoife Doolan Community artist, Jim Daly TD Minister of State for Mental Health, Pauline O’Sullivan and Michael O’Riordan. Pauline and Michael shared their personal recovery stories at the opening of The Music Box on October 9.

On the edge of town behind Bantry Hospital at Droumleigh, RehabCare fits so snugly into 14 acres of woodland that it can be difficult to find. However this is a place that is worth seeking out says Mary O’Brien.


Opened in August 2001, RehabCare Bantry provides a safe and positive environment for people who are disadvantaged and have a disability. Client’s capabilities however are focused on, rather than their disabilities. It’s a person-centred approach and means that clients at the Centre are supported to participate in their local community if they want to. As far as possible the client’s choices, aspirations and needs are met. This could be something as simple as being accompanied into town on a shopping trip or visiting the local library.

“Most recently we had a woman on respite who wanted to visit her son who lives in Castletownbere, so we organised for our bus to bring her down,” says Bantry RehabCare Community Services Manager Catherine Doyle. “We organise trips like this all the time in the respite service for clients. Our aim is to provide a break for clients, in a home-from-home setting whilst providing professional care and support. People come on respite and you find they’re never in the house, they’re out and about on the bus!”

RehabCare provides a number of of person-centred health and social care services: These include a respite service; a day resource centre for adults living with mental health or intellectual disability; a support service in the home or community; and a physical and sensory day resource centre.

“We also have people here who become really well and independent and leave the service but then they might drop back in, says Catherine. “There’s a great camaraderie between the clients and many have made long-lasting friends.”

One of the more recent projects at RehabCare Bantry is a new music initiative designed by the clients with the help of local artist Aoife Doolan. Minister Jim Daly TD launched The Music Box ¬– an upcycling art project made entirely from recycled materials ¬¬– at RehabCare Bantry last month.

Taking four months to complete, the project involved turning a disused water tank into a unique musical space that can be used by up to 20 people at any one time. Used metal pipes, plastic drums, wood and recycled materials were all utilised in the construction of the distinctive space, which fits in with the organic garden ethos at the centre.

Clients at the presentation of a pool table for the centre by Bantry Charity Shop in 2017.

Clients at the presentation of a pool table for the centre by Bantry Charity Shop in 2017.

“Before they started, I remember going out to the tunnel and seeing this big pile of rubbish and thinking ‘yeh right’,” says Catherine laughing. “It’s amazing what you can do with rubbish.”

Cork County Council and the West Cork Development Group supported the project.

Robert Deane, who has been using Bantry RehabCare services for the past 10 years, explains how projects like The Music Box help with his journey of recovery.

“It’s where I go when I’m having a bad day,” he says. “I like music and I sing a lot so I find that The Music Box is very good therapy. It’s good fun and it helps people to come out of themselves. We were all involved in making it, so it’s brought us closer together as a group.”

“I’m very happy here, it’s a great service and has made all the difference to me. I’ve made lots of friends and we do lots of things together. We went to Killarney on the bus and we’ve been to see lots of musicals at Cork Opera House – Annie, The Sound of Music, Grease…”

“We identify goals with the client and set paths to achieve these goals,” explains Programme Supervisor David Myler. These might be centred around activities like going to see a musical or going shopping or they could be around doing a course or getting a job.”

RehabCare Bantry has a large garden and mixed woodland with regular sightings of foxes, hedgehogs and many varieties of birds and insects.

Another project at the Centre involved converting a disused area into a wildlife and nature garden. Last winter, staff and clients got great satisfaction out of constructing and planting up garden beds to demonstrate different habitats and how they would support a variety of plant, insect and animal life.

Clients also have the opportunity to grow their own organic vegetables and fruit.

There is a lot to do outside at RehabCare, whether it’s going for a walk in the woodlands, playing a game of crazy golf, working in the garden, or making some music in The Music Box.

And inside…”There is a really nice atmosphere when you walk in to the building,” says Catherine. “We have an open-door policy, so I could be sitting in my office on the computer and Robert or one of the other clients might come in and sit on the couch for a chat or just to sit in quiet companionship.”

“People get the opportunity to try whatever they want,” explains David. “We’re guided by people’s needs and wants.”

Bantry Respite Service provides a three night respite service (Monday – Thursday or Tuesday – Friday) to any persons both male and female with a physical and/or sensory disability who live in West or North and South Lee Area of Cork and are between the ages of 18 and 65 years, at the time of referral.

If you would like any further information or would like to visit the service please contact Michelle O Brien Team Leader 027-55429 or Catherine Doyle CSM 086-0433112.

The Day Resource Centre provides support services for adults who are living with mental health and or intellectual disability. Clients attend the day service and participate in a wide range of programmes and activities, from art and crafts and horticulture to further education courses.

The service opens five days per week Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm and operates an evening drop-in once a month on Wednesday evening. Application forms are available upon request. People can be referred through their GP, West Cork Mental Health Services, PHN, other agencies, family or self-referral.

RehabCare also supports clients with independent living skills by providing support in their homes and in the community.

If you would like to know more about the service for yourself, a family member or a friend please contact Dave Myler Programme Supervisor on 027-51414 or Catherine Doyle CSM on 086-0433112 at RehabCare, Dromleigh South, Bantry.

The Physical and Sensory Day Centre is open Tuesday to Friday 9-5pm and is available to persons on a part time basis. An outreach service is delivered to clients in the Castletownbere area on Mondays where accessible transport is provided in a community setting.

If you would like to know more about our service for yourself, a family member or a friend please contact Martha O’Farrell or Denise McCarthy Programme Supervisor 027-53698 or Catherine Doyle CSM 086-0433112 at RehabCare, Dromleigh South, Bantry.

Latest News Articles:

West Cork girls among first to earn Irish Girl Guides’ new engineering badge
What is GDPR and who does it affect?
Kinsale historic map project launched
Dunmanway launches year-long celebration of Sam Maguire
Sam Maguire School Tour launched
Fundraising drive to get Kinsale students to World Robotics Championships to Kentucky
Answer the Call to save lives on March 23
Clonakilty students return from trip of a lifetime to rural Malawi
Clonakilty Fairtrade Fortnight celebrates 15 years
€44 million to improve Cork roads

Join us on Facebook

... See MoreSee Less

13th April, 2018  ·  

An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
... See MoreSee Less

12th April, 2018  ·  

The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing schulldramagroup@gmail.com

For more information please contact hilary.mccarthy6@gmail.com
... See MoreSee Less

9th April, 2018  ·  

Jump to:

Top