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  • Northside East

Fundraising drive boosts St Michael’s House

Tuesday, 31st October, 2017 1:00pm
Fundraising drive boosts St Michael’s House

Noel and Kevin Hughes with Nora Dempsey (Castle Day Service Manager) and Anna Shakespeare (chief executive of St Michael’s House) in the new relaxation therapy room at the Castle Day Service premises in Coolock.

Fundraising drive boosts St Michael’s House

Noel and Kevin Hughes with Nora Dempsey (Castle Day Service Manager) and Anna Shakespeare (chief executive of St Michael’s House) in the new relaxation therapy room at the Castle Day Service premises in Coolock.

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SERVICE users at St Michael’s House Castle Day Service in Coolock were given the gift of two fantastic new rooms thanks to the fundraising drive of Raheny man Noel Hughes.

The 77-year-old local golfer has raised more than €70,000 over the past eight years for St Michael’s House through an annual golf classic at Donabate.

And last week his dreams for the service users, including his son Kevin, were realised when two beautiful rooms were opened in the former factory space.

The new relaxation therapy room and training room were built thanks to Noel’s fundraising, and a large crowd gathered to see Kevin cut the ribbon in front of his friends, their parents and members of staff.

St Michael’s House chief executive Anna Shakespeare outlined what the rooms will mean to the service users at Castle Day Service.

"On behalf of St Michael's House, I would like to thank Noel Hughes and his family for his continued support for our services,” said Ms Shakespeare. 

“The Donabate Golf Classic has raised much-needed funds for two of our services during a period of austerity.

“Over the past eight years, these funds have aided significant developments to enhance our training service and residential home.

“Our service users now have two new rooms to conduct in-house further education which reduces our costs of accessing external facilities.  

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who has supported these events and to the Hughes family for all their hard work to ensure its success. This kind of community support is greatly appreciated.”

Head of unit Nora Dempsey outlined the difference that the rooms would make.

“Because of Noel, we can provide classes in our rooms. We have media lab, music, drama, strength and balance, tai chi, mental wellbeing, relationship and QQI courses,” said Nora.

“Our service users now have facilities to hold their meetings and plan their advocacy rights.

“The relaxation room allows service users much-needed space to meet with members of our clinical team, and have a place to relax, unwind and spend quality time with their friends.”

Noel originally held his first two classics to raise funds towards buying a minibus for Castle Day Service.

“The response was so great that we made the day an annual fixture, with all proceeds being split between Kevin’s residential home at Sallowood, Santry Avenue, and the training centre at Castle,” said Noel.

“Between them, these units provide services to nearly 60 adult service users with intellectual disabilities directly.

“We, and many other families like us, are indebted to St Michael’s House for the work that they do.

“Thanks to the support of his care workers, Kevin and his friends have the confidence and skills to perform many tasks that enrich their lives.

He added: “I’d like to thank Kevin’s care workers, especially Aoife and all the staff at Sallowood and Nora Dempsey, Darren Murphy and team at Castle and all of our friends and club colleagues who support the classic.”


Noel Hughes and Anna Shakespeare, chief executive of St Michael’s House, cutting the ribbon to open the new relaxation, therapy  and training rooms at the Castle Day Service premises in Coolock. PHOTOS: DARREN KINSELLA

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