Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Ger Whelan and Mick O’Neill                                                                                                                                                                      Photos:

Chef Gavin Byrne with kitchen staff, Kathleen Berry, Sonia Thompson and Seb Plasma

Some of the staff at the Tullow Day Care Centre, Anne Lucas, Fran O’Toole (care assistants) and Ciara Minchin and Tanya Norris (befrienders)

Jackie Byrne providing the musical entertainment at Tullow Day Care Centre

Martha Tynan enjoying the show

Clients of Tullow Day Care Centre, which is open again for on-site activities


By Suzanne Pender

TULLOW Day Care Centre is back open for business. In fact, the centre is a hive of activity, eager to emerge from the uncertainty of the last two years and encourage older persons back into its premises.

Tullow Day Care Centre is an invaluable service in the local community, providing much-needed healthcare and support, while also being a treasured social outlet for so many.

“We reopened the centre in July of last year after the lockdown, and I suppose there still is that bit of fear there about coming in, which is understandable,” says manager of the centre Wendy Sinnott.

“We had meals-on-wheels going all the time during the lockdown, but when we reopened the centre we noticed that our numbers were a little down on what they were before the pandemic. I know it will take time to build back our clients, but we’ll get there,” she adds with a smile.

Tullow Day Care Centre is a very warm and welcoming place, open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, to all older persons, from those who continue to be very active, to people with mobility or health issues. For retired people there’s an opportunity for active engagement in the many activities available at the centre. These include live music, arts and crafts as well as chair yoga – and there’s even a much-needed annual holiday, with a group heading off last week to enjoy a few days at the Radisson Blue in Athlone.

“On Mondays and Thursdays we have live music here, which people love. On Tuesdays, its arts and crafts. We have chair yoga on Fridays and some of the mornings we have bingo,” explains Wendy.

“Parkville United also have their lotto every Thursday here in the day care centre. We want the centre to be an active place and for people to make more of the social element of it, which is so important.”

Providing a daily, nutritious hot meal to clients, both for people who attend the centre and those availing of meals-on-wheels, is an important element of the service. The centre recently acquired a third heated box, which allows it to now have three vehicles on the road delivering hot meals daily. In total, the centre has six vehicles for deliveries and bringing clients to and from the centre.

Tullow Day Care Centre has also extended its catchment area for meals-on-wheel to now include Clonegal, Myshall and Kildavin for those who wish to have meals delivered to their homes.

“We charged €10 each day for people who come into the centre. That includes collecting them on the bus and bringing them home, a three-course meal, maybe tea and biscuits a couple of times, the activity we’re doing that day … it’s all a minimum charge and subsidised, thanks to the generous donations we get throughout the year,” says Wendy.

Chiropody, personal care and a laundry service are also available, while on Fridays double meals can be provided to support people over the weekend.

The kind and caring staff of the centre, from its drivers to care assistants and supervisors to catering staff, are an integral part of the warm, friendly and welcoming atmosphere evident there.

“Without a doubt, the service is helping people to stay in their own homes,” says Wendy.

“I know when the centre was closed it put a lot of pressure on families. Having the centre there is that element of checking in; it’s a real peace of mind for families and we’ll always ring next of kin if we felt that people were unwell or not themselves that day,” she adds.

The ongoing support of the public is vital to Tullow Day Care Centre and they are extremely grateful to those who support them with year-round fundraising. The centre’s two main upcoming fundraising events are a golf classic in Mount Wolseley on 22 June and the South Eastern Vintage Machinery Club’s vintage day in Ardattin on 24 July.

For further information on the fundraising events, please contact Lorraine or Emma on 059 9151833.

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