Heroes of Crann Centre Honoured

Crann, the trailblazing Irish charity, providing solutions for families with neuro-physical disabilities has been honoured with Joint Cork Persons of the Month awards. Philanthropist Kate Jarvey founded the Crann Centre, and she and volunteer Terry O’Neill have been named Joint Cork Persons of the Month for September. Their names now also go forward, with the other Persons of the Month chosen this year, for possible selection as Cork Persons of the Year at a Gala Awards Lunch on January 27th next at the Rochestown Park Hotel.

The Crann Centre is based in Ovens, Ballincollig and their services include health & continence, psychological well being, mobility, education & career pathways, community networks plus independent living. They provide services and supports for children, adults and families who are living with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or childhood stroke.

Kate Jarvey, from Kanturk, along with the late Timmy Buckley founded the Crann Centre in 2014. They currently support over 270 families and they have established many “first in Ireland” initiatives, such as their Model of Care, Co-Working Spaces which supports people with disabilities to remote work in a collaborative environment, and a fully accessible Playground and Leisure Space.

Kate Jarvey recently opened a 25 acre accessible Conservation Area at her farm near Kanturk which gives people with disabilities the opportunity to access nature in an inclusive working conservation area.

Terry O’Neill, a master craftsman, was responsible for building the huge accessible wooden Pirate Ship which is very much the centrepiece of the “first in Ireland fully accessible playground and leisure area” for children with neuro-physical disabilities. The playground was officially opened by Taoiseach Micheál Martin in July.

Terry is also a past Chairman and committee member of the Cork Spina Bifida Association. Terry’s late son Cathal had Spina Bifida and in his memory Terry has given years of service to children with disabilities.

“I would like to thank all my colleagues at Cumnor Construction and other volunteers and sponsors for their help at the Crann playground, I know Cathal would approve of the way it turned out” said Terry at the award presentation.

Chief Executive of Crann Padraig Mallon added “Our staff and Board members are absolutely delighted with this recognition for our Founder and Chairperson Kate and for our super volunteer Terry who, supported by a small group of friends, spent every Saturday over the past year building the huge Pirate Ship by hand.”

Speaking of her motivation in establishing the Crann Centre Kate Jarvey said, “I wanted to break the pattern of fragmented care services for people with disability and their families, so I hope that Crann will be that change maker now and for many years to come.”

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