Bandon Family Centre appealing for new town premises

October 8th, 2021 5:50 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The Bandon Family Centre in its current location on the Glasslyn Road in Bandon.

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A CENTRE that provides invaluable resources to many families and individuals in Bandon and its environs is urgently seeking a new premises within the town.

The Bandon Family Centre (BFC), which was set up over two years ago, is currently located in a small premises on the Glasslyn Road, having previously shared a premises on South Main Street.

It offers services like family support work, helps young parents and they facilitate meetings for children who are not living with their parents.

The centre currently has two family support workers, Karen O’Sullivan and Niall Rynne, while Bernie Farr heads up the administration side with Louise Hackett being the centre co-ordinator.

However, they say they are working in very cramped conditions which is impacting on the services they provide, while Covid means that more space is needed if they are to comply with guidelines.

Sheila Cahalane, chairperson of the board of directors, said that when they first moved to their present location they were quite happy with it because they had their own space and easy accessibility.

‘But then our team grew and with Covid now the space is completely inadequate. There is fantastic work being carried out here but we just need more rooms for individual counselling, play therapy and other activities,’ said Sheila, who added that suitable space for their staff is also essential.

‘We had a fantastic summer camp which was very well attended and there was great feedback from families on this.’

Sheila said they need a place that is pleasant too for people to come to and added that it’s a service that can do so much for Bandon.

‘It would be great to have nice surroundings where people can relax too. We’re very cognisant that the last year has been difficult and people are stressed and we are trying to support them in their mental states and their parenting. Our dream place would also have a garden.’

They are hoping to ideally locate a premises in the central area of the town which is accessible for people with disabilities and buggies.

They have already checked with estate agents in the town and other groups but so far this has proved unsuccessful.

‘We are appealing to the people of Bandon as well as property owners to let us know of any suitable premises and I would encourage everyone to contact us and we can see then what might work for us.’

Co-ordinator Louise Hackett said she is confident that the people of Bandon will come forward with suggestions relating to premises that might be suitable.

‘With improved accommodation the Bandon Family Centre can offer much to the families  of children and young people in the area,’ she said.

If you know of a suitable premises or are the owner of a premises you can contact the Bandon Family Centre on 023-8868107 or email [email protected].

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