Hafan y Sêr residential unit officially opened

Date: 21/02/2019

A new residential unit which offers respite care for children with various disabilities in Gwynedd and Anglesey has officially opened.

The Hafan y Sêr facility offers respite care for up to six children at a time in a purpose built facility. Children are referred to Hafan y Sêr, which is located in Penrhyndeudraeth, through the specialist children’s teams in Gwynedd and Anglesey.

Councillor Annwen Hughes, Gwynedd Council Chair, said: “It was an honour to officially open the Hafan y Sêr residential unit – it is clear that the provision is already offering a very important service to numerous families in Gwynedd and beyond.

“It was fantastic to see the excellent facilities which are available in the purpose-built building for children aged between 8 and 18 years old and to know that they receive care of the highest standard by dedicated members of staff.”

Hafan y Sêr is run by Gwynedd Council’s Children and Family Support Service who work closely with the Isle of Anglesey County Council. The building includes modern rooms, recreational open space, sensory equipment, computer facilities and an enclosed garden.

Councillor Dilwyn Morgan, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “Hafan y Sêr offers an invaluable service to children and families with complex needs fro­m Gwynedd and Anglesey.

“Our vision is that the children that stay at Hafan y Sêr see it as a holiday - with a chance to relax, have fun in the company of friends, take part in various activities, try new things and develop skills. It’s also so important that the facility allows families and parents to take a respite from their care responsibilities, allowing them to do things that many of us take for granted such as going shopping or going out for a meal.”

The response from families who have already made use of Hafan y Sêr has been very positive, with many parents noting that the facility has transformed their lives. This is what one family had to say:

“Hafan y Sêr is like a holiday camp for our children - they look forward for weeks to go there! The experience of staying with friends in a comfortable and caring environment is so nice for them, which is very difficult to get under normal circumstances.

“The additional needs of the children can be very hard work for families, and even one night of rest can be of great help to be able to cope with the regular demands. Hafan y Sêr truly does make a difference to the quality of life of children, young people and their families in Gwynedd.”

Hafan y Sêr offers support to children with complex needs. But, there are many other children that can benefit from short overnight care, and Gwynedd Council together with the Isle of Anglesey County Council are lloking to build on the exceptional work at Hafan y Sêr.

Councillor Dilwyn Morgan explained: “Whilst Hafan y Sêr is an important part of the care package we offer as a Council, it focuses on offering services to children and young people with the most complex needs.

“Through the ‘Amser Ni’ project, we intend to build on the range of respite services we can offer to families. The truth is that there is a general shortage of people recognised to offer short overnight respite care as foster carers and our hope is to work with people who have an interest in order to make a positive difference to children in the county.

“We are eager to hear from anyone who has an interest in registering as a foster carer who can offer short respite support. Our officers are happy to chat to anyone who is keen to find out more about the campaign.”

If you are interested in being part of the ‘Amser Ni’ scheme and to provide short overnight respite for children with disabilities, contact the team in Gwynedd on 01286 674686 or email AmserNi@gwynedd.llyw.cymru; or Anglesey on 01248 752984  or email GabbeyAllan@ynysmon.gov.uk

PHOTOGRAPHS: Official Hafan y Sêr opening