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‘They could suddenly see a future’ – How the CRC and The Care Trust help people with disabilities and their families

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The Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) was founded in 1951 to deal with the aftermath of the polio epidemic that swept Ireland in the 40s and 50s.

Founders Lady Valerie Goulding and Kathleen O’Rourke set up the CRC to respond to the needs of children and adults who had been left with disabilities as a result of the illness. It has grown from a small clinic in Upper Pembroke Street in Dublin to an advanced organisation that supports people with disabilities and their families across the country.

To mark the launch of Fair Play To You, a new online lottery from The Care Trust that will raise funds for CRC, Rehab and the Mater Hospital, we spoke to CRC CEO Stephanie Manahan about how its services help its users.

A national specialist in physical disabilities

From its humble beginnings in the 50s, the CRC has grown to become an organisation that works with around 3,500 children with disabilities and their families as well as almost 400 adults.

“Clearly time moved on significantly and the world became more sophisticated and the CRC grew and grew and grew to encompass, in the main, a broader spectrum of physical disabilities,” explains Stephanie.

“We are one of the very few organisations in the country that specialises in physical disability so we specialise in rare and complex physical disabilities across the country. We have people from every county in Ireland who would attend our services.”

Users can avail of its specialist services in its Dublin, Waterford or Limerick locations but it also provides clinical outreach services. It also has a multidisciplinary team that includes a doctor, speech and language therapist, social worker, psychologist, occupational therapist and physio who provide consultations throughout the country.

Although the majority of its work is with children and families, it also provides adults with rehabilitation, individualised care, disability services and education opportunities aimed at supporting meaningful occupation and integration to their communities.

It’s all part of the greater mission to help people with disabilities fulfil their potential and be as independent as possible.