Trailblazing Crann duo are honoured as joint Cork Persons of the Month

Trailblazing Crann duo are honoured as joint Cork Persons of the Month

The Cork Persons of the Year will be announced at a gala awards lunch which will be held on 27 January at the Rochestown Park Hotel. Pic. Tony O’Connell.

TWO heroes of a trailblazing charity which provides solutions for families with neuro-physical disabilities have been honoured with joint Cork Persons of the Month awards.

The Crann Centre is based in Ovens, and it provides services and supports for children, adults and families who are living with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or childhood stroke.

Its services support health and continence, psychological well-being, mobility, education and career pathways, community networks, and independent living.

The Crann Centre founder Kate Jarvey and volunteer Terry O’Neill have been named Joint Cork Persons of the Month for September, and their names will go forward, with the other Persons of the Month chosen this year, for possible selection as Cork Persons of the Year.

The Cork Persons of the Year will be announced at a gala awards lunch which will be held on 27 January at the Rochestown Park Hotel.

Kanturk native Kate Jarvey founded the Crann Centre with the late Timmy Buckley in 2014, and the centre currently supports over 270 families.

“I wanted to break the pattern of fragmented care services for people with disability and their families, so I hope that Crann will be that change maker now and for many years to come,” Ms Jarvey said.

Crann has established many “first in Ireland” initiatives, such as its model of care, co-working spaces which support people with disabilities to work remotely in a collaborative environment, and a fully accessible playground and leisure space.

Ms Jarvey recently opened a 25-acre accessible conservation area at her farm near Kanturk, giving people with disabilities the opportunity to access nature in an inclusive working conservation area.

Terry O’Neill, a master craftsman, was responsible for building the accessible wooden pirate ship which is the centrepiece of the centre’s playground and leisure area for children with neuro-physical disabilities.

The playground was officially opened by Taoiseach Micheál Martin in July.

Terry’s late son Cathal had Spina Bifida, and in Cathal’s memory Terry has given years of service to children with disabilities.

Terry is a past chairman and committee member of the Cork Spina Bifida Association.

I would like to thank all my colleagues at Cumnor Construction and other volunteers and sponsors for their help at the Crann playground, I know Cathal would approve of the way it turned out,” Mr O’Neill said at the award presentation.

Padraig Mallon, chief executive of Crann welcomed the award to Ms Jarvey and Mr O’Neill.

“Our staff and board members are absolutely delighted with this recognition for our founder and chairperson Kate, and for our super volunteer Terry who, supported by a small group of friends, spent every Saturday over the past year building the huge pirate ship by hand,” Mr Mallon said.

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