AN appeal for a new base of operations for the Bandon Family Resource Centre was made at a meeting of the Regional Health Forum.
Cllr Sean O’Donovan (FF) expressed the hope that the family resource centre – which is currently located at a two-room facility at Glasslyn Road – could be moved to the recently vacated Watergate Centre next to the community hospital at Ardan.
The providers of the mental health care service at the Watergate Centre recently moved into the new primary health care centre at Market Street.
Cllr O’Donovan said the move presented an ideal opportunity to increase the services provided by the Bandon Family Resource Centre.
‘The resource centre is in a crisis situation because they are looking for a new home,’ he said. ‘They have been searching unsuccessfully for the last 12 months.
‘Currently, they are dealing with 30 families, but if they had more space they could provide more services for more people.
‘At present,’ he said, ‘they can only provide counselling in one room. There would also be an opportunity to make their two part-time workers full-time if they had additional facilities.’
Cllr O’Donovan said the existing premises at Glasslyn Road is not suitable because the services need outdoor space.
And he pointed out that the Watergate Centre has six rooms, plenty of parking and a garden around it.
His proposal was rejected by Michael Fitzgerald, the chief officer with Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, who said there would be ‘an on-going requirement for the use of the Watergate Centre for the foreseeable future.
‘There are a number of developments in specialist areas within mental health which are set to take place over the coming months,’ he added, ‘and there is a significant shortfall of team-based mental health accommodation in the greater Cork city area and its environs, including Bandon.’
He said Cork Kerry Community Healthcare fully recognises the importance of the services the centre provides and the alliance of service provision between the HSE, Túsla and Bandon Family Resource Centre and he said they would keep the accommodation situation in Bandon ‘under review’. Cllr O’Donovan said if any person has a suitable building they could contact the centre, or him directly, on 086 2351013.