New Afterschool Announced for New Ross

Respond Support  today announced  they will be opening a new afterschool service in New Ross, Co. Wexford. The Den After-school service is based in Bunscoil Rís, Edmund Rice Senior School, it will provide 25 after-school places for children age 5 to 12 years and will be fully operational from the end of March.

New Afterschool
Bunscoil Rís

“The provision of school age childcare within a school setting represents an interagency approach to optimising local resources in meeting the needs of communities. Respond Support are delighted to be working collaboratively with Bunscoil Rís in addressing the shortage of high quality school age children places in the Irishtown area and we look forward to seeing this new model enhance young people’s experiences in after-school care.”

Lisa O’Rourke , National Early Years Education manager.


Opening of Manor St. John January 2018

Early Years Centre Lisduggan

Acorns Early Years Service opens its doors!

We are delighted to announce that our newest service is now open in Manor St. John, Lisduggan, Waterford City.  The service provides high quality early education and care for children age 9mths to 12 years and currently has an intake of 28 children under 3 years of age. As the service expands over the next 12 months it will create 96 additional  affordable childcare places for the area. Acorns Early Years’ Service is committed to ensuring every child has access to quality early education and in doing so will cater for the full range of childcare programmes funded through the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. We look forward to seeing the service grow from strength to strength over the coming months.

Opening of New Dublin Office ‘Respond Support at Axis’ Ballymun

Respond Support opened its first independent office in the Dublin Region on January 2018.

Announcing the opening of their new office in the Axis arts & community resource centre based in Ballymun, Albert Perris CEO of Respond Support noted “Having an office in Ballymun will strengthen our presence in the greater Dublin region as we seek to grow and develop new services there.  The Office, located in the heart of the Ballymun Community, will provide administrative and management support to existing and new services planned in the region”.

Launch of Resettlement Services in Waterford and Kilkenny

Respond Support today announced it is to be the Key Service partner in the provision of Refugee Resettlement services in counties Waterford and Kilkenny. Working closely with the Department of Justice and Equality, with both local authorities and a range of other agencies,  Respond Support will work over the next two years with Syrian Refugees settling into the community.  Translators, Intercultural workers and Resettlement Support staff will take up their posts in the coming weeks, to commence service delivery in January.

 “ We look forward to be working in partnership with the Department of Justice & Equality, Local Councils and local Statutory agencies in the delivery of the Resettlement Programme. The situation in Syria has been described as the worst humanitarian crises of our time and we look forward to working with and assisting the families to settle in and integrate  into their new communities.”

David Parslow , National Manager of Specialist Services

Opening of New Early Years Centre

Respond Support announced the opening of a new Early Years centre based in Manor St, John, Lisduggan, Waterford City. The centre will provide number of full time part-time places.

“We are delighted to bring this purpose built state of the art facility back into full use to serve the local and wider community of Waterford City. We have ambitious plans to maximise the value of this facility, through developing a range of integrated services to serve families in the local and wider community. “

Albert Perris, CEO


End of an Era for Respond! College

Following a recent strategic review and period of deliberation and reflection on our role in the Accredited Education sector, on current and future needs, the development in recent years of other providers and partnerships responding to professional housing training needs, and the sustainability of a small specialist college, a decision has been taken to close Respond! College, after the current cohort of students have completed their studies. 

Respond College was established to provide specialist accredited training to the housing and community sector in Ireland and was one of the first accredited institutions to provide accredited professional housing training in Ireland.  In recent years a number of important providers have expanded their offering and delivery in this area including the Institute of Public Administration (IPA), Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), and the Housing Agency.

During the operation of the College, a large number of student cohorts engaged in a wide variety of specialist training courses such as Housing and Estate Management, Community Development, Community Healthcare and many other Community related courses.

Respond College played an important, timely and innovative role in the development and introduction of professional training to housing professionals in Ireland.  Respond College has been a key advocate and outlier in the professionalization of the housing sector in Ireland over the past decade and has contributed significantly to the professional development of housing staff, community development professionals, housing associations and housing bodies. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners, staff and students who have worked with Respond! College over the years, and in particular to wish the current class of 2017 well in their final Year.


Albert Perris

CEO, Respond Support


Recent promotions in Respond Support:

Dear Colleagues

Please join me in congratulating the following staff members on their recent promotions in Respond Support:

David Parslow –  National Manager for Family Support and Specialist Services (immediate effect)

Tom Power – Director Of Services and Service Development (effective June 1st)

Lorraine Fleming – Administrator and PA to CEO Respond Support (effective July 2017)

Bonnie- HR Manager


Class of 2016 graduate from Respond! College

Respond! College today welcomed 33 graduates to Dublin for their commencement ceremony at the High Park campus, Drumcondra. All of today’s graduates completed internationally-recognised certificates in Community Studies, Health Service Skills and Housing Practice.  Many of the graduates had returned to Third Level education in later life, for the first time.

Addressing the graduates, during the award ceremony Senator Lynn Ruane applauded the graduates.

“I’d like to offer my congratulations to today’s graduates and wish them all the best with their future endeavours. I can personally attest to how difficult a late in life return to formal education can be and everyone commencing today should be applauded for tackling and overcoming this challenge.  Education is a powerful tool for changing both the lives of individuals and Irish society as a whole and I’m inspired by the example set by everyone today in taking the initiative to learn a new skill, study a new area and gain a qualification they can put to excellent use in the future.”

Margaret Tynan, one of the graduates celebrating after said

“I’m thrilled I went back to education to Respond! College. The very first day was tough as I had been out of school so long but I persevered and it was a great experience. I now have a full-time job in healthcare and I have no doubt that the course and the work experience we got lead directly to my new job.  I would say to anybody – people who want to go back into the workforce or people who just want to learn new skills – to take that leap and sign up for classes.”

Commenting after the ceremony, Albert Perris, Chief Executive Officer of Respond Support and Head of Respond College, noted

‘We see again this year the power of community based education in providing choice, options and opportunities for those committed  to life-long learning and professional and personal development.  It is imperative that after a decade of cuts to Third Level budgets, and a trend toward consolidation in the sector, that investment is restored and diversity of opportunity promoted, within community based education.  While some progress has been made in recent years in addressing barriers to accessing Third Level education, more needs to be done, specifically to enable those who seek to up-skill or re-skill in later life.  Barriers to education is not simply about college fees .  Childcare options and costs, transport costs, and accommodation are all prohibitive barriers for many older students wishing to go to college and re-skill’. If third level education is to be accessible to all,  there needs to be local community based options for those unable to relocate or travel”.


Housing numbers are only one side of the equation – we cannot forget to build communities

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Simon Coveney TD today visited John’s College – Respond!’s latest social housing development – in Waterford city. To date, Respond! has built 574 social homes and 4 childcare centres in Waterford city and county alone.

John’s College was refurbished and redeveloped by Respond! Housing with the financial support of Waterford City Council and the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government through the Capital Assistance Scheme, the Capital Advance Lease Facility and Payment and Availability Agreement. The €12 million scheme has delivered 57 one bedroom apartments, a 10 bed group home and extensive communal facilities.

Minister Coveney said:

“I’m delighted to be here today to visit this development provided by Respond and I would like to congratulate them on their great work in transforming what was previously a disused building which is now being used to provide homes for elderly people. We need to see more projects like this which make use of derelict properties. Approved Housing Bodies such as Respond are vital to the delivery of Rebuilding Ireland the Action Plan for Housing & Homelessness. The Action Plan is all about providing homes and sustainable communities for families nationwide and this project is a fine example of this with a community centre on site for the wider community”

Ned Brennan, Chief Operations Officer, Respond! Housing said:

“We are delighted to have played the lead role in saving and refurbishing this iconic Waterford City landmark building and converting it to modern housing and facilities for the benefit of the community”

John’s College is home to over 60 residents, some of whom require supports to live independently. John’s College acts as a community centre for the wider area, and is home to the Waterford branch of Downs Syndrome Ireland, the Cuidiú mother and toddler group, the Hub café and an artist in residence. Respond! College will run a Certificate in Housing Practice and a major award course in Health Service Skills and other educational courses for residents and the wider community, in the facility, this coming term”

Albert Perris, Chief Executive Officer of Respond Support said:

“Waterford city and county currently has 6,000 people in need of accommodation and this is a crisis we all have to address. However, housing is only one part of the solution. Communities need services; children need facilities and families need supports.

The Respond! model is not one where we simply build houses, but one where we are committed to the creation and development of resourced communities to enable and empower people to fulfil their potential.  We do this through the provision of housing along with services, supports, education and life-skills.

Integrated housing can only be delivered through integrated planning and we hope that ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ will contribute to this. Housing, along with services are a core component in the development of truly sustainable communities.”

James McCarthy resident of John’s College said:

“In John’s College I know I am never alone. I have recently joined the choir set up by the residents. We all have skills we can teach to others. It’s never too late to learn”