The Dream Realised
The Dream Realised
In due time, two semi-detached houses, numbered 1 and 2 Hillside, Greystones in County Wicklow, were bought off the architect’s plans, before building work had begun. The properties were modified and adapted to make one house. It would become home for eight people who had intellectual and possibly also physical disabilities. Peacehaven House was opened in 1979, and was one of the first of its kind in Ireland.
In the early years the home was managed by staff who were viewed as ‘house parents’, in keeping with the concept of a family-type home, in contrast to an institution. Over time attitudes in society changed. Adult men and women who had special needs didn’t expect to be provided with a second set of parents. They needed support, not direction. So the character of Peacehaven has gradually changed. The staff are qualified in social care training. This underpins their relationship with the residents, which is that of equal adults, with the light touch of friendship and enjoyment of each other’s company. When a crisis arises the staff deal with it with sensitivity and confidence. When there’s a celebration the house sings with joy. Peacehaven parties are legendary!
When it was time to expand the work, with the support of the Eastern Health Board the Trustees bought a second house, in the Blacklion area of Greystones. It was named Blake House, in recognition of Miss Dorothy Blake’s Dream and her work for the charity. There are six residents living in Blake House.
In 2008 Peacehaven bought 52 Applewood Heights in Greystones. This family home had already been extended, and it was comprehensively adapted to the required standard. The first residents moved into the house in January 2012 and it now provides home for five residents who are able to live more independently. With a staff member ready to give support where it’s needed, these men and women enjoy freedom and autonomy that would previously have been the stuff of dreams. Their Dreams are Realised.
Peacehaven is now a Limited Company. The Health Service Executive is supportive, as is the Health, Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).