By Sean Ryan - 16 September, 2016
The Respond! Voluntary Housing Association recently opened a new development near Waterford City.
The impressive development includes 21 new apartments at St John’s College, with a 10-bed group home and 36 new-build one-bed apartments overlooking the Folly.
The total redevelopment costs came to €12 million.
All of the residents in John’s College came from the Waterford City and County Local Authority waiting list.
The apartments cater mainly for the elderly and people with specific needs and requirements who are capable of independent living.
The apartments were officially opened by Minister of State Damien English TD.
Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan of Waterford and Lismore and Dean Maria Jansson carried out a blessing of the campus.
According to the John’s College Facilities Co-ordinator, David Phelan, “All of the residents have now moved in and are very happy with their accommodation and the support services offered in John’s College. We are currently running a number of activation and recreational programmes for our tenants and the wider Waterford community to counteract the effects of loneliness and social isolation.”
Meanwhile, Respond SUPPORT Ltd (a sister company of Respond!) is now offering a number of essential support services in John’s College campus for the wider Waterford community including a Community Education Centre, Conference Centre, Activation Room, Sensory Garden and The Hub Café which opened at the end of August.
There are a number of rooms available to rent for meetings, community educational classes and conferences for up to 150 people.
The Waterford Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland are one of the main anchor tenants of John’s College and use the building for their educational programmes and activities.
Speaking about the development Franciscan Fr Patrick Cogan, ofm, a founding director of Respond! stated, “We welcome all Community Groups to come up and utilise the excellent facilities on offer in John’s College. This redevelopment is the culmination of 34 years of Respond!’s work in Waterford where we have provided over 570 dwellings.”
“Now Respond SUPPORT Ltd gives back this flagship development to the people of Waterford and we invite you to participate with us in the services it will be providing.”