Working Life: Hazel Trudgill, director of children’s services, CoAction


I’m usually the first one to wake. I love the peace and quiet and I try to fit in half an hour of yoga to set me up for the day.


My youngest son sets off for Cork Institute of Technology, so it’s all hustle and bustle for 15 minutes. My other son works as an engineer in Limerick.


I set out for work, a 10-minute drive, in the heart of beautiful West Cork.


My first task is to check emails and phone messages. A quick look at my ‘urgent to do list’ and then my first cup of tea.


I have a management meeting. As director of Children’s Services for CoAction, I’m involved with many aspects, including the multi-disciplinary services provided to children and their families and the management of the children’s respite service.

The HSE and CoAction formed a partnership in 2013 based on the ‘Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People’ model. It’s called West Cork Child Development Services and I’m the service manager. We cater for children and young people [from birth] up to 18 years old with complex needs, including intellectual disability, autistic spectrum disorder, physical and sensory disabilities.

West Cork was one of the first places in Ireland to reconfigure and deliver therapy services in this way.


Back to my desk to check emails and return phonecalls to parents. I have a lot of contact with the parents of children in the service and I enjoy this part of my role. I manage all the referrals and often need to contact parents or liaise with other agencies. Our ethos is to provide a family- centred model of service.


I take a quick lunch break before going to meet with the team in Skibbereen. There are four teams serving more than 600 children with complex developmental needs in West Cork. The community teams are based in Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Bantry and Skibbereen.


Back to the office for a teleconference to review the inaugural National Conference on Children’s Disability Services which took place at the start of the month. More than 300 delegates and parents attended.


Home for dinner, time to relax.

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