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Ireland’s first inclusive remote working hub opens in Ovens

April 29th, 2022 5:50 PM

By Southern Star Team

At the hub’s opening were, from left: Lord mayor Colm Kelleher; Kate Jarvey, founder and chairperson of the Crann Centre; Sarah Dulley, Impact Hub user and Colin Hunt, AIB Group. (Photo: Miki Barlok)

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THE country’s first purpose-built fully inclusive remote working hub for people with disabilities has been opened in Ovens.

The ‘Impact [email protected]’ is located at the Crann Centre and provides a range of life-changing services and supports for people with disabilities.

The  new hub will enable people living with disabilities, such as spina bifida and cerebral palsy, to better participate in the world of work, enjoy the benefits of inclusive co-working and create business and employment opportunities.

Developed in partnership with the Ballincollig Business Association and the Rubicon Centre at Munster Technological University (MTU), the hub features a 17-desk facility with high-speed broadband, a fully accessible working environment and ample free parking in a peaceful three-acre setting which also includes a leisure space, fitness area and inclusive playground.

The new facility, just opened by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar,  will add to the infrastructure in some of Cork’s largest residential areas which are also home to major employers in technology, science, and services.

Businesses located within the hub will benefit from tailored business supports and mentoring from Cork city and county Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and the mentoring ecosystem at the Rubicon at MTU.

The Tánaiste said: ‘I’m a big fan of remote and hybrid working, and the government wants it to be a much bigger part of working life. My view is that as long as the work gets done and services to the public aren’t adversely affected, it should be facilitated. The pandemic showed us what’s possible but now we need to put the structures in place to make choice, when possible, the new normal.

‘This new hub is one of hundreds we are investing in across the country. This one is different, however, in that it has been purpose-built to be as inclusive as possible. Remote working opens up opportunities for many, including those with disabilities and we need to make sure the facilities we are putting in place meet their needs.’

Cork county mayor Gillian Coughlan added: ‘This hub is a very practical initiative to build inclusion in the workplace, which we fully support.’

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