Connect with us

Real Estate

Staff ‘bewildered’ by sudden closure of Dublin mental health facility

Published

on

The sudden closure of a HSE-funded mental health service in Dublin has prompted calls for an investigation into its management and demands that it “open its books” for scrutiny.

Hesed House in Inchicore has provided counselling and psychotherapy to adults, children and families for almost 30 years. It closes on Friday with a creditors’ meeting scheduled for the same day.

Staff were initially informed last month by letter, it would close on June 18th and in the last fortnight that it would close on June 4th. Sources say they were told the decision to close was taken following funding cuts by the HSE. It is understood the service received about €154,000 a year from a variety of sources including the HSE and the local drug and alcohol taskforce.

It employed four therapist administrators and had several hundred clients on its books, a source told The Irish Times. Staff are understood to be “bewildered” and “heartbroken” by the sudden closure and the news that a liquidator is to be appointed.

The service has been run out of a house on Tyrconnell Road owned by the Sisters of Mercy and let to the operators for a “peppercorn”, or token, rent.

Clinical director, Padraic Gibson, did not respond to calls or texts from The Irish Times.

Dublin South-Central TD Bríd Smith said she was concerned the sudden closure would leave vulnerable clients without a service. “The workers have been left completely in the dark about what has been happening. Some scrutiny of how Hesed House has been managed must be brought to bear. The most important thing now is that the welfare of the clients of this high quality service is protected and the workers are properly looked after.”

Local councillor, Daithí Doolan, said the service provided “to some of the most vulnerable people and families in the community” was “essential . . . and must continue to be provided”. He said this could be achieved with a new board of management, and under new governance, from the same location. Otherwise, he said, clients must be “sensitively referred on to other services”.

“First and foremost the continuing needs of the clients must be met. The rights of the employees must be treated with dignity and respected.

“There are sensitive files there that need to be protected. And then management should be held to account for how this service has been run.”

A spokeswoman for the HSE said: “The closure of Hesed House was an independent decision of the board of management of Hesed House.

“The HSE are willing and keen to work with the liquidator to support the transfer of clients and their files to other appropriate organisations. As the decision was taken by the board of management the HSE is unable to comment regarding closure of Hesed House.”

The Sisters of Mercy said: “We were informed of the recent decision in regard to the Hesed House service in recent days. This service stands as an independent service, run by an independent board, in which we have no role or responsibility.”

Source link

Real Estate

Britain’s blossoming love for Japanese design in the home

Published

on

The design has a red lid and a narrow neck which widens to form a base of sturdy hips. When poured, the contents flow in a singular, uninterrupted stream.

The Kikkoman bottle hasn’t changed since it was designed in 1961 by Kenji Ekuan for the world’s largest soy sauce producer.

Simplicity has made it ubiquitous. And crucially, it works — think of wrestling with glass Heinz ketchup bottles or constantly wiping lids on plastic iterations. Likely, Kikkoman’s bottle is the reason we’re so familiar with soy sauce.

Serene: A contemporary Japanese-style sitting room. The country's influence can be seen most clearly in the clean, elegant and functional everyday products we use in our homes

Serene: A contemporary Japanese-style sitting room. The country’s influence can be seen most clearly in the clean, elegant and functional everyday products we use in our homes

In the introduction to her book Japanese Design Since 1945 (£35, Thames & Hudson), Naomi Pollock writes: ‘In Japan, good design is everywhere. But most of all, it’s in the home.’

The trend for Japanese-inspired, UK-based brands, such as Wagamama, Superdry and Yo! Sushi, is well worn, but the country’s influence is likely seen most clearly in the clean, elegant and functional everyday products we use in our homes.

Inspired idea 

The Japanese approach to design is summed up well by a single product – Muji’s right angle sock (from £3.50, muji.eu). 

As the foot is perpendicular to the leg, the sock should follow the shape of the body: design centres on the user rather than the designer.

The word ‘Muji’ translates as ‘without brand’ and the company invites (often renowned) designers to create reasonably priced products anonymously. 

Design guru Naoto Fukasawa is an adviser to Muji, and his wall-mounted CD player for the company (£149) is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Naoto Fukasawa's butterfly-inspired Grande Papilio Swivel Lounge Chair (£2,869, chaplins.co.uk)

Naoto Fukasawa’s butterfly-inspired Grande Papilio Swivel Lounge Chair (£2,869, chaplins.co.uk)

In the UK, Chaplins stocks a large selection of products from Japan, including some from the designer.

‘The idea is to create designs that appear to have been sculpted by the elements,’ says Ludovic Aublanc, creative director at Chaplins. ‘It’s the kind of minimalism that brims with emotion, that makes you grateful and happy to come home.’

The company stocks Fukasawa’s butterfly-inspired Papilio range – chairs and sofas sporting headset ‘wings’ to protect the user’s head (Grande Papilio Swivel Lounge Chair, £2,869, chaplins.co.uk).

Simple seating

Japanese designers have described the chair as the centre of design and an extension of the human form. It follows that these things should be easy on both the body and the eye.

Habitat’s Mori charcoal two-seater sofa (£716, habitat.co.uk) certainly fits the bill. It is compact, unfussy and elegant with its plush curved armrests and contrasting thin, wooden legs.

Simple unfinished woodwork is a key part of design in Japan, like the solid oak dining chairs from Oak Furnitureland (£140, oakfurnitureland.com) which would pair well with the Japanese oak Castor Table by Karimoku New Standard (£1,169, nest.co.uk).

Clutter free

Last year, decluttering guru Marie Kondo took the world by storm with her hit Netflix show. The programme has been talked of plenty, but we’re perhaps unaware of how key these principles are to Japanese design.

A large part of the focus on user-friendly products comes down to space. As ever, it’s important for Muji, with its storage bed (from £299) which has spacious drawers to banish clutter. Loaf has the Woody storage bed (from £995, loaf.com).

Simple boxy shelving units such as the Ikea Kallax range (from £15, ikea.com) are practical, but can also be used for displaying plants, books and records.

Or, for a modern twist, try the John Lewis Dice shelving unit bookcase (£450, johnlewis.com). The company also stocks Japanese brand Like-it’s clear storage products (from £8).

Crockery that rocks 

Japanese pottery has long been a feature of our homes, and a collection by John Lewis is a nod to this. Inspired by woodblock prints, the range includes glassware, plates, mugs and even Christmas decorations. 

It’s all delicate, bright patterns and the infuser mugs by Tokyo Design Studio (from £25) are a highlight.

But elegant motifs are only part of the story. The earthy charcoals, whites and beiges of Hasami Porcelain (hasami-porcelain.com) are a calming, elegant addition to any kitchen.

Hasami teapots start from £65 and mugs from £22 (la-gent.com) – also pick up a copy of Okakura Kakuzo’s The Book Of Tea, written in 1906, an insight into the Japanese ritual of tea-making. Elsewhere, an Oriental Hobnail tea set costs from £22.98 (wayfair.co.uk).

For eating, Denby Pottery has Japanese-inspired bowls from £58 for four in grey and white (denbypottery.com).

Finally, being able to serve Japan’s other favourite drink – the highball – is a must. Try LSA’s Mia Highball glasses (£27 for four, lsa-international.com) or, for something cheaper, a set of six Duralex Prisme highballs is £11.99 at rinkit.com.

Then grab a bottle of Akashi whisky (£28.50, waitrosecellar.com), add ice, stir clockwise 13 times, add soda water, stir again and appreciate another example of elegance and simplicity in Japanese design.

What your home really needs is… a Christmas throw

At this time of year, people fall into two groups: those who believe more is more, with bright lights and decorations aplenty; and others who keep things simple, with a few holly sprigs and a carefully adorned tree.

Yuletide luxury: You could use this Alpaca Fair Isle Throw, £99.50, all year round

Yuletide luxury: You could use this Alpaca Fair Isle Throw, £99.50, all year round

But whether you’re a maximalist or a minimalist, your home will need a Christmas throw because someone in your festive bubble is bound to complain about being cold.

If glitter is your thing, you’ll like the fleece star throw from Marks & Spencer (£25, marksand spencer.com). 

Or snuggle up under Dunelm’s red cable-knit design with a fleecey inside (£60, dunelm.com).

For something more fun, Redbubble has one that reads: ‘This is my Hallmark Christmas movie watching blanket’ (£34.73, redbubble.com).

Going low-key? How about a white and grey reindeer pattern with red pompoms (£40, barkerand stonehouse.com)? 

Or this Alpaca Fair Isle Throw , £99.50, notonthe highstreet.com), which you could use all year round.

Anne Ashworth 

Source link

Continue Reading

Real Estate

Extending grace period on checks in North would be ‘problematic’ – Taoiseach

Published

on

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said it will be “very problematic” if the UK again extends unilaterally the grace period for Northern Ireland Protocol checks.

But speaking on the Trevor Phillips on Sunday programme on Sky News, Mr Martin also insisted a breakthrough between the EU and UK was still possible “if there’s a will there on both sides”.

His comments came after Boris Johnson escalated his dispute with the European Union by warning he will do whatever it takes to keep goods flowing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Following talks with the EU’s key figures on Saturday, the British prime minister said he would not hesitate to take unilateral action to protect the position of Northern Ireland in the increasingly bitter row over post-Brexit trading arrangements.

The row – dubbed the “sausage war” – could mean chilled meats will not be shipped across the Irish Sea because of EU rules after the end of the month.

The UK is considering extending the current grace period without the consent of Brussels to ensure that sausages and mince can continue to reach Northern Ireland’s shops.

But Mr Martin told Sky News that the “channels do exist to get this resolved”.

He added: “In particular, the Sefcovic/Frost process should be fully explored and optimised to get an agreement and I think the prospects, in my view, if there’s a will there on both sides, and there is a will there from the European Union side I know that, I detect from the British prime minister Boris Johnson that the British government is anxious to get a resolution of this, so I think we should work at it.”

Mr Martin said he believed an SPS agreement (on plant and animal health measures) could remove 80 per cent of protocol checks.

When asked about the possibility of the UK unilaterally extending the grace period for checks, Mr Martin said: “I think it will be very problematic because it’s not about sausages per se, it really is about the fact that an agreement had been entered into, not too long ago, signed off by the British government with the European Union.

“If there’s consistent, unilateral deviation from that agreement, that clearly undermines the broader relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, which is in nobody’s interest and therefore that’s why the UK with the EU have to work very hard now in the coming weeks.

“I know the European Union are anxious to resolve this and want to resolve it but they need to see a similar reciprocity from the UK side.”

When asked if the protocol is undermining Northern Ireland’s place within the UK, Mr Martin said: “We’ve never seen the Protocol as a constitutional issue, it doesn’t in any way interfere with the constitutional status of Northern Ireland as defined and articulated in the Good Friday [Belfast] Agreement.

“We’re very clear from the Irish Government perspective on that, but we do believe in seamless trade on the island of Ireland, it makes sense. We believe in seamless trade insofar as we possibly can between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.”

‘A bit of respect’

British foreign secretary Dominic Raab accused EU leaders of trying to undermine the status of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom.

After talks at the G7 summit in Cornwall between Boris Johnson and key EU figures failed to achieve a breakthrough in the dispute over the implementation of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement in Northern Ireland, Mr Raab said the EU was showing a lack of respect.

“What we cannot have is the continuing disruption of trade and effectively try to change the status of Northern Ireland, contrary to the consent and wishes of the people, which is not just contrary to the Northern Ireland Protocol but also to the Belfast Agreement,” he told Mr Phillips on Sky News.

“We have serially seen senior EU figures talk about Northern Ireland as if it was some kind of different country to the UK. It is not only offensive, it has real-world effects on the communities in Northern Ireland, creates great concern, great consternation.

“Could you imagine if we talked about Catalonia, the Flemish part of Belgium, one of the lander in Germany, northern Italy, Corsica in France as different countries. We need a bit of respect here.– PA

Source link

Continue Reading

Real Estate

Aviva Investors acquires Dutch logistics portfolio

Published

on

Union Investment has sold a logistics portfolio comprising two assets in the Netherlands for an undisclosed sum. In Nijmegen, a 35,000m² distribution centre located at Bijsterhuizen 1127 was sold to its tenant while in Eindhoven, a 64,000m² warehouse was sold to Aviva Investors.

 

The contemporary warehouse property in Nijmegen was designed by local architect firm Schreven BV, constructed between 1997 and 2000, and features 10 – 14.5 meters clear height and up to 5,000 kg/m² floor load capacity. It is fully leased to a worldwide courier, who purchased the property for its own use.

 

The Eindhoven facility is located within the logistics distribution centre ‘Acht’ in Eindhoven, situated close to both the A2 and A67 motorways and the city’s international airport, whilst also being adjacent to one of the main railroad arteries which provides direct access to the Rotterdam harbour.

 

Stephan Riechers, Head of Investment Management Logistics & Light Industrial at Union Investment, said: “The transaction follows our recent acquisition of a Pan-European logistics portfolio that contained these assets. They were sold as they did not align with the strategy of our open-ended real estate fund UniImmo: Europa. We typically focus on new developments, new builds and existing properties built in the last 10 years. The transaction was a good opportunity to optimize the fund’s portfolio.”

 

Douglas van Oers, Director and Co-Head Logistics & Industrial at Savills in the Netherlands, said: “The logistics real estate stock in the Netherlands grew by 3 million m² in 2020, while the vacancy rate fell from 6.1% to 5.6%, indicating continued interest in logistics real estate. In 2020, over 2.6 million m² of logistics real estate was leased and this ongoing demand is causing rents in many regions to rise. The Eindhoven asset aligned perfectly with Aviva Investors’ desire to invest in strategically important locations for their European logistics portfolio, and the asset management opportunities of this particular property caught their interest.”

 

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!