Features: Llar 'Joan Trials' - Cheshire Home, Barcelona
Llar 'Joan Trias' - Cheshire Home in Barcelona
Bumble outside the Llar 'Joan Trias' Cheshire Home In Barcelona
We had an appointment at the Cheshire Home at 10.00am and we set off to find the street. After a couple of wrong turns we found the street and parked just out-side on the pavement. Parking in Barcelona is not easy and trying to find a space is a full-time occupation. That was one of the great aspects to Morocco, wherever you went, parking 'guardians' would appear ushering you to a parking space for just a few Dirhams. Parking meters? They were the parking meters! There aren't many major towns or cities in the world where at any time of the day or night you can be assured of a parking space. Morocco must be one of the few exceptions.
The Director of the Home is Toni Rodriguez who unfortunately was not there that day but we were met by Pablo Rodriguez-Peret who is in charge of the Education department and Monica Rodriguez Pernias who is a Social Worker at the Home and they very kindly gave us a tour of the centre. It was opened in 1995 by the Minister of Social Welfare, Antoni Comas and is both a residence and occupational centre for adults with cerebral palsy and other severe physical disabilities. It has 30 residents and 25 day care visitors. The building itself is right in the heart of Barcelona and extends over 5 floors. It is actually leased from the St Vincent de Paul nuns who continue to occupy the 4th floor and really is a fabulous site for the Home.
The ground floor has a large computer room which provides facilities for learning computer skills and on to more advanced levels such as producing 'La Nostra Llar' which is a magazine published annually from the centre giving information on the services they provide, interviews with individual residents, quizzes, recipes and a whole host of other information. They also published a beautiful book of poems and artwork from the residents. We took the opportunity of showing Pablo our web-site at this point and it was very interesting for him to see the other Cheshire Homes we had visited in Morocco.
The residents and day care visitors engage in a whole range of activities including tapestry, painting and modelling and their handicrafts are on display throughout the centre. Those with communication difficulties are also taught to read, write or speak through the use of special learning aids. Being a centre for adults, the focus is very much on providing the residents and day care visitors with the skills to make their lives as independent as possible whether it be learning computer skills, reading and writing or indeed an appreciation and understanding of art and poetry which is often a wonderful way to express your innermost feelings and emotions, particularly if communication is impaired.
A small selection of the beautiful crafts produced at the Home.
It was August when we visited and the majority of residents were with their families for the Summer vacation. We did however, manage to meet a few people and they very kindly posed for an impromptu photograph.
An impromptu photograph of some of the residents
The centre is primarily state funded and is a fine example of what can be achieved with both money and space. There are lifts to all floors and superb facilities from the bathrooms to the bedrooms.
Lack of adequate space is a huge obstacle to overcome especially as many of the Homes have waiting lists to join and with property at a premium in most cities, moving to larger premises is not always an option without government support. The Llar 'Joan Trias' is one of many Homes in Spain and shows that with full recognition of 'disabilities' by the government, superb facilities can be provided and quality of life improved as a result.
Chaka accompanied us throughout our tour and was again the focus of a great deal of attention, which of course he lapped up.
We would like to thank Pablo and Monica for kindly showing us around the Home and wish everyone continued success in the future.