The Rainbows programme supports children and young people affected by loss because of bereavement, separation or divorce. The service is available in local communities and selected schools throughout Ireland. The Rainbows programme may be running in your child’s school. If the programme is not running in your child’s school you can look for the list of community centres which are running the programme to find a suitable centre for your child to do the programme. Follow the link below and click on your area. Community centres are listed on the left and schools are listed on the right of the page.
Play provides a way for children to express their experiences and feelings through a natural, self-guided, self-healing process. As children’s experiences and knowledge are often communicated through play, it becomes an important vehicle for them to know and accept themselves and others. Play therapy may be helpful for your child with EB or for their siblings. Play Therapy Ireland and the Irish Play Therapy Association can recommend a therapist in your area if you email them.
Play Therapy Ireland: [email protected]
Irish Play Therapy Association: [email protected]
There are several counsellors working in Co. Westmeath. You can find a counsellor who suits your needs and location by visiting the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) or the Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy (IAHIP) websites. Both websites provide a handy tool which helps you to find a therapist in your area and gives you details of the work which they do. You can also contact both bodies by telephone to enquire about local counsellors.
Barnardos run Family Support Services such as parenting programmes, after school groups and family welfare conferences which offer all family members a chance to gather, discuss and make future plans to help your child. Barnardos offer advice and support in a non-judgemental way. You can refer your child yourself by contacting your local centre or you can ask your public health nurse or GP to refer your child. Contact your local service centre or visit Barnardos website for more information. Follow the link below to find your local service.
Currently there is no Enable Ireland service centre in Co. Westmeath. Under exceptional circumstances your GP may be able to refer your child to a service in a neighbouring county but this is a rare occurrence as access is determined according to Public Health Nurse catchment area.
Community Health Centres
At your local community health centre, you can apply for services, meet your Public Health Nurse and find information about health and personal social services. The Public Health Nurse is an important person in providing care in the community for people with EB. In order to contact your Public Health Nurse contact your nearest centre and ask for the Public Health Nurse who covers your address.
Personal Assistant Service
The HSE will sometimes provide a Personal Assistant service for people with physical disabilities who are over the age of 18. Personal Assistants work practically with individuals with disabilities to enable access to the community and to increase the person’s ability to live independently in the community. The work the Personal Assistant does is led by the individual they are working with. Currently there is very little funding for the Personal Assistant service and it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain access to the service. However, if you feel that you or a family member could benefit from this service you can contact your Local Health Office to see if the service is being provided in your area. Below is a link to the list of Local Health Offices in Ireland.
Supplementary welfare can be applied for during clinic times in the below local offices. You must attend the office which is closest to your home and attend at the appropriate time slot. You will find these time slots below. Supplementary welfare includes exceptional needs payments, urgent needs payments, dietary needs payments, back to school clothing and footwear allowance, school meals programme, rent supplement, mortgage interest supplement, humanitarian assistance scheme and basic supplementary welfare allowance.
List of local offices:
The housing department advises on and assists with queries on social and affordable housing, housing standards, adaptation for disability etc. They have an informative website which can be found at this address www.westmeathcoco.ie/en/ourservices/housing/ or you can contact them by phone, email or in person using the below contact details.
Address: Westmeath County Council, Mount Street, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.
Email: You must use the Contact Us section on their website and they will reply to you via email. www.westmeathcoco.ie/Contact%20Us/ContactUs.aspx
If you are living in private rented accommodation you can contact Threshold or the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB). Both bodies also have a helpful Frequently Asked Questions page on their websites.
Threshold – Frequently asked questions: www.threshold.ie/advice/
Phone number: 1890 334 334
Private Residential Tenancies Board – Frequently asked questions: www.prtb.ie/tenants/helpful-info
Phone number: 0818 30 30 37
Citizens Information give free confidential and independent information on a range of issues including social welfare services, housing, health, family and relationships, education and employment. This information can be accessed online, on the telephone or in person at local centres across the county. There is also a centre located in Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin which is open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30am-12:30pm which might be helpful for you and your family.
Telephone: 0761-074000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm)
List of local centres: centres.citizensinformation.ie/county.php?county=westmeath
The Money Advice and Budgeting Service can give you advice on how to handle the extra costs involved in caring for a child with EB. They have a national helpline which is open from Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and they also 2 centres located in Westmeath.
National Helpline: 0761-072000
List of local centres: www.mabs.ie/contact-mabs/westmeath/