The festivities included a bouncy castle and face painting, animals to pet from Ark Farm in Conlig, a magician and a BBQ, all serenaded by the CWA Brass Band from Carrickfergus.
The Dundonald home in the Ballybeen estate opened in 1995 and accommodates 14 residents on a permanent basis and two residents each week for respite care. Originally managed by the Currie Community, the Church took over its management on 1st April 2009 in partnership with Choice Housing Association who are responsible for the maintenance of the building.
Attending the event, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Rt Rev Dr Ian McNie said, “I want to give thanks for the vision and commitment of the Currie Community who are the reason we are here today, and the members of our Local Support Committee.
“I also want to thank the staff for the skill, commitment and tender care, which is a demonstration of God’s love, that they show each and every day. People matter to God and as a Church we are called to live out the love of Christ as a caring church within our communities and Aaron House is just one important part of our work and mission.”
To mark the occasion the Moderator joined with some of the residents, families, staff and guests to plant bulbs in a special raised bed that will blossom into a floral ‘20’ for the residents to enjoy in the spring.
Manager of Aaron House, Denise Keegan, said, “For 20 years now Aaron House has been a home to many people with profound learning and physical disabilities, and a vital and invaluable service for families. The service that we provide goes beyond the 14 permanent residents who live here, including the 4 who have been with us from the start, as we are also able to provide independent Day Care and respite care.”
Lindsay Conway, Secretary of the Council for Social Witness, explained that along with Aaron House, the Council has overall management responsibility for 17 other projects across 14 locations. “The Church recognises the importance of the 3 strands of residential, respite and day care in the over all care of individuals and support for families,” he said.
“As a Council we seek to deliver an effective social witness service on behalf of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and to the wider community.To this end we also run Willow Brook, a supported living scheme in Coleraine for adults with a learning disability. In September of last year we took over the running of Lawnfield House a long established care home in Newcastle, which provides respite care.”