A NEW redeveloped lounge was officially opened at Lisalanna on Friday, October 19.

The Wooden Spoon Lounge was created following a service redesign thanks to a range of funders, including Wooden Spoon, Hugh Fraser CRERAR, Mugdock and James Weir.

Alan Miller, children’s services manager at Action for Children who operate the short-break service at Lisalanna explained how the redesign will work.

He said: “Lisalanna has worked with East Ayrshire Council supporting children since 1996.

“There have been significant changes in social care over the last four or five years and it is important that Lisalanna acknowledged that and made sure that we continue to support parents in the way that they wish to be supported.

“With the changes in social care, we are noticing that many parents feel that other supports which didn’t involve an overnight stay were more valuable to them and their children.What we’ve done here is we have reduced the number of overnight residential beds from six down to two.

“We’ve basically split the building, one side now has two young people who are here full time. The other side still continues to offer the respite to families in East Ayrshire and we’ve got three bedrooms on this side.”

Depute Provost Claire Leitch – who helped unveil the new lounge – added: “Thanks to the redesign, there have been rooms redesigned giving children and young people with additional support needs an incredible provision of service and support.

“What strikes me every single time I come to a centre such as Lisalanna is that I feel and I know with every bit of my being that every young person has something to contribute to the world and if we give them the support and encouragement to do so they absolutely can be the best them possible.

“This is keeping children and young people with additional support needs local so their families are able to come and see them.

“Having some thing like this for Cumnock and Doon Valley is amazing that the young people who need the additional support and respite are staying in local communities.”

Former service user Deryn Brown is also positive about Lisalanna’s future. He said: “This service has meant quite a bit to me. I’ve 10 years of it here and I’ve really enjoyed it. It has got me to where I am today. As long as it still helps people with special needs, it’s going to be thriving very well.”

Cumnock MP Bill Grant attended the launch and said: “I think Cumnock can be proud of the facility here. I think the redesign brings it forward, modernises it and makes it a more ambient environment for those who visit.”

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