Cedar Court in Downpatrick is a purpose-built facility managed in partnership by the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust and Choice Housing Association to support the housing and health needs of people with dementia and a range of other conditions. The facility offers person centred, flexible care and safety and security while promoting their independence. It allows tenants to age in place with the type and level of support adjusted as people’s needs change.
Last year, the tenants decided they wanted to set up a formal committee to ensure they had a voice in the way their housing and their community was run. The Trust and Choice Housing asked Empowering Communities to get involved as an independent organisation to support them in establishing a Tenants’ Committee. Sheenagh McNally, now Supporting Communities’ Head Corporate Services, met with the tenants regularly and gave advice and support making some “friends for life” along the way.
The newly established committee was formally celebrated on the 26th of September at Cedar Court with plenty of cake and friends. We sat down, on a warm but windy afternoon, in the courtyard for a chat with Siobain Robinson, the Committee’s chairperson. She tells Sheenagh about the journey they’ve been on to establish the group and how important it is for everyone to have a voice and an identity in their own community wherever that might be and thanks her for empowering them to express that voice and be heard.
We wish the group every success in their future endeavours and, as Siobain, reminds us in this short video, we’re always at the end of the phone if they need any help!