Festina Lente Saddled up for Saint Joseph’s Shankill

Look whos coming for tea! Kevin Nelson enjoying company at tea time

On Monday the 11th of November, the Festina Lente Outreach Team visited the staff and residents of St Joseph’s Shankill, to show help highlight the critical need for this award winning dementia care facility to stay open.

Saint Joseph’s Shankill is renowned for its ground breaking work in the area of dementia care functions from a key position within the local community.

The frequent visits throughout the year from Siofra and Alanna – Festina Lente’s two miniature Shetland ponies are just some of the innovative ways the Saint Joseph’s team have chosen to connect with people living with dementia in their care.

Some of the other initiatives they are involved with are; tennis coaching once a week at Shankill Tennis Club, a cinema Club on Sunday’s for people living in the community with dementia and their families, and a new swimming programme is about to begin for those people in their care that were avid swimmers in their day.

they bring so much joy to so many people

Dr Jill Carey, CEO of Festina Lente said, “It’s clear to see these two special ponies are welcome visitors at Saint Joseph’s, they bring so much joy to so many people. It is a delight to work with the team at St Joseph’s as they are eager to try new things and make connections with local community groups. If we can’t look out for people and organizations within our own community where would we be?”

Saint Joseph’s Shankill is home to 60 people living with dementia and provides two respite beds and an additional 120 day care places per week but has been operating at a significant and unsustainable deficit for over seven years. Management have been campaigning for fair funding in order to avoid closure and are meeting with the HSE and NTPF this week, and hope to agree a successful financially sustainable solution.

If we can’t look out for people and organizations within our own community where would we be?

Bray based Festina Lente is a community focused not for profit organisation offering educational, equine focused and horticultural programmes to people of all ages, backgrounds, learning abilities and interests. The organisation as a whole promotes an inclusive environment which fosters each person’s learning and well-being in a supportive, nurturing and fun manner.

Festina Lente’s Outreach Team visits schools including DEIS Schools and those with dedicated ASD units; hospitals, care centres, psychiatric units and nursing homes in the Leinster region.

Benefits of the programme include: the promotion of social and emotional wellbeing, Equine Assisted Learning opportunities and education on equine behaviour and welfare issues.

For more information visit:

www.festinalente.ie or call (01) 2720704.






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