On Friday 8th May, Minister Paudie Coffey TD officially launched the ‘Respond to John’s College’ support services plan at the Respond Head Office in Airmount, Waterford. The plan aims to deliver high quality homes and support services to cater for Older People in John’s College and the wider Waterford community.
The construction of John’s College began in March 2014 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. The development includes 21 new apartments in the College, with a 10-bed group home and 36 new-build one-bed apartments overlooking the Folly. Respond also plans to open up a number of essential support services within Johns College including a Day Centre, Community Education Centre, Activation Room, Counselling Service and a Sensory Garden for Older People and people with specific needs and requirements.
“The redevelopment of Johns College is great news for Waterford and will provide a sustainable community for Older People who wish to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. The extra support services including the Day Centre, Activation Room and Community Education Centre will ensure that Older People remain active within their own community and this will help to counteract loneliness and social isolation”.
The total project costs of building John’s College will come to €12 million. Some €8million of this has been made available in State mortgages to Respond from Waterford City Council through the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. The remaining €4million will be provided by Respond of which some €2.25 million has come in a private borrowing initiative from AIB Bank.
Fr. Patrick Cogan, ofm, stated:
“Over the last 33 years, Respond has provided quality housing, education and support for older people and families in Waterford and throughout the country. We now need the help of the people of Waterford to make these essential facilities for the community a reality. We are fundraising to equip four key support service areas within the College which will be of huge benefit to the wider community in Waterford for many years to come”.
Over the next number of months, Respond will be organising a number of key events to raise the vital funds required. Philip O’Reilly, National Co-ordinator of Services for Older People with Respond is leading this initiative and will be making a number of key announcements in the coming weeks.
Please view more information about the Respond to John’s College – Building the Future plan including the history of John’s College here
A Support Committee has also been set up to guide the final stages of the John’s College development and to ensure that the support services will be of the highest standard. The committee is representative of a number of agencies including the HSE, Department of Health, AIB and the Community and voluntary sector. Respond would like to acknowledge the expert advice and guidance we have received from the committee members especially in the area of developing essential services for John’s College.