Western Trust invests £2.2million in new Avalon Respite Centre


Western Trust invests £2.2million in new Avalon Respite Centre

Children and young people with disabilities and their families have been benefitting from a new respite centre thanks to a £2.2million investment by the Western Trust.


The eight place residential facility - known as Avalon House - opened in recent weeks on the former Omagh General Hospital site. Located near local community amenities such as the leisure centre, parks, and the town centre, Avalon will provide respite services mainly for the Omagh and Fermanagh areas.


Kieran Downey, Western Trust Assistant Director Children’s Mental Health and Disability, said: “The development of Avalon House means the Western Trust now has more capacity for providing respite and can provide it all year round to children and young people, many of whom have complex needs.


“This development significantly enhances respite services in the area both residential and also as a centre for providing family support in the community. We are keen to explore ways of providing respite care with Avalon House as a hub for community outreach.”


Avalon House manager Maeve Campbell said the reaction of the children and young people and their families who have already used the new facility has been extremely positive.


Maeve said: “The children and young people who are coming to Avalon are coming into a bright, cheerful atmosphere with plenty of space inside and outside for play and therapeutic purposes.


“An extensive range of modern equipment is available for staff to cater for the various care needs of those who are coming to stay with us.


“Families benefitting from the respite facility feel confident in the knowledge that their children are staying in a comfortable, caring environment, whether the time spent in Avalon is an afternoon, a day or longer.”


Respite of up to a maximum period of a week is provided at Avalon and all families of children and young people availing of it liaise through a social worker to ensure that appropriate provision is made.


A dedicated staff team of 20 will deliver the respite service, adopting a ‘home from home’ philosophy to ensure that the break is a positive experience for both children and their families.