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Portlaoise RehabCare Centre Awarded Green Flag

15/07/2014 Portlaoise RehabCare Centre Awarded Green Flag

A green flag has been awarded to RehabCare in recognition of the hard work, dedication and commitment to the environment by the people who use the service and the staff. The prestigious Green Flag, which is recognised internationally, was officially unveiled today (Thursday 3 July) by service users Jamie Murray and Michelle Coonan, at a ceremony in the resource centre on Main Street. Representatives from the Portlaoise Town Council and local employers attended the ceremony along with the families and friends of those involved in the centre.

The RehabCare group followed a seven-step programme set out by An Tasice whose mission is to promote responsible behaviour towards the environment. A committee was set up, whose first task was to carry out an environmental review. The programme provides a range of learning resources which helped to raise everybody’s awareness of environmental issues. The action plan to get credit with a Green Flag included having a talk from Anne-Marie Kelly, Environmental Officer with Laois County Council, engaging with the local community on recycling practices, and setting up special bins and a recycling point within the centre. All the separated waste was then brought to Portlaoise Recycling Centre.

Michelle Coonan, who uses the RehabCare services in Portlaoise, explains how everyone got involved. “We worked hard to promote a litter free environment and now we have gotten the reward. It was something that we may not have given enough attention to in the past, but the team effort was really good and now we are all delighted with our Green Flag Award.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Deirdre Bailey, Community Services Manager, commended all those involved in the recycling project. “Today is a very special day for everyone who has worked so hard in order to secure the prestigious Green Flag. We are immensely proud of everyone for their commitment.”

Toyin Oyebade, who is a Programme Facilitator in the Centre and a co-ordinator of the Green Flag programme said, “Everyone had a role to play, from picking up litter, to making posters to raise awareness about how our actions impact on the environment. The recycling project is not only good for the world around us, it has also helped to reduce running costs in the centre with increased our energy efficiency.”

In partnership with the Health Service Executive, RehabCare provides a wide range of high-quality person-centred services to 39 people with disabilities in Portlaoise. Programmes include independent living, personal development, positive mental health, computing, horticulture, history, art, current affairs and a variety of social and leisure activities. The centre also provides a range of education, training and employment opportunities according to individual wishes and abilities.

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