A ball at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin tonight will
celebrate 20 years since Cherry Farm Hospital closed, releasing
its intellectually disabled residents to the community.
Heather Maxwell, mother of a former resident, said the event
helped celebrate the advent of deinstitutionalisation, which
had been hugely positive for the intellectually disabled.
More than 160 people with intellectual disabilities entered
the community when Cherry Farm closed on November 7, 1992.
The event celebrates five services established in Dunedin to
cater for those with intellectual disabilities when Cherry
These include residential projects such as the Hawksbury
Community Living Trust, and day centres including the
Connections Centre, Corstorphine.
Connections Centre programme manager, Kay Murray, said
deinstitutionalisation had been very successful for the
intellectually disabled. Instead of being "locked away", they
were part of Dunedin, enhancing the community.
In Cherry Farm, they were housed in dormitories of up to 60
residents, she said.
Up to 180 people were attending the ball, including former
residents, families and former staff.