The Genio international ‘Facing Change’ exhibition was launched in the Donegal County Museum, Letterkenny on Friday last and will run until the 19th of October.
Everyone welcome to attend this wonderful (free) exhibition.
Ruby McCandless’ portrait has been included to celebrate one of the many examples of how Genio funding has helped to fund services to support people to live the life of their choosing in their local community.
Spraoi agus Spórt, Carndonagh is an example of a service that has received funding from Genio. This organisation is a driving force in the community in tackling issues of loneliness and social inclusion.
Since Spraoi agus Spórt was established in 2010 inclusion has underpinned everything that they do.
Initially a monthly dedicated parent and toddler group for children with a disability, the initiative was established within the family centre.
Children were able to come in with their parents/carers and as these families started to use Spraoi agus Spórt the demand for alternative respite for children grew.
This has been available and sustained since 2014. Alternative respite for children means that children with a disability and/or autism can avail of any class or activity that is offered by Spraoi agus Spórt and a special needs assistant (SNA) suited to meeting the needs of the child is available at no additional cost to the family and will provide the appropriate level of support to the child.
Holiday and term time activities include multi activity camps, music classes, tuition, creative sewing, an afterschool club, breakfast club, fitness classes etc.
This list is ever-growing and very much tailored to service user demand and the needs of the community and extended community.
Alternatively, children or teenagers can attend ‘Club Spraoi’ under 12 group or ‘Club Spraoi’ age 12+. These are youth clubs for young people with a disability and/or autism that are lead by an experienced facilitator and a team of SNAs.
These models of service have worked really well in ensuring that children (most of whom attend mainstream schools) are not segregated according to their disability in traditional respite settings.
Social and recreational opportunities in Spraoi agus Spórt are purposeful and meaningful for these children and they are with their friends. They can do what they enjoy in a mainstream setting.
Fast forward to 2019 and many of these children are now teenagers. In 2018 this gap in service for alternative respite for teenagers was highlighted by Spraoi agus Spórt and by the HSE during Service Reform Fund (SRF) consultations with staff and service users/families across all of CHO1.
Funding was awarded by the Genio Trust following an application process jointly assessed through the Genio Trust and the HSE.
Grants were awarded through the HSE community structure and Spraoi agus Spórt secured funding for an alternative Respite Manager to implement the initiative for alternative respite for teenagers, in which Mairéad McLaughlin was appointed.
Spraoi agus Spórt is a charity governed by a voluntary board of management. The organisation relies heavily on funding and fundraising. They are extremely grateful to the local businesses and supporters who donate their time or money to this worthy cause.
They are particularly grateful to Danny McLaughlin and all involved in the organising of the 2018 Sadie John Joe Golf Classic in Greencastle in June this year.
€15,200 was raised through donations from local businesses and supporters to whom heartfelt thanks is expressed by all involved in Spraoi agus Spórt.
Each €100 sponsorship that you have given will go directly to supporting our young people with a disability by providing 6 hours or alternative respite or 3 return trips to Spraoi agus Spórt for 4 children/teenagers each time. Thank you all!
Spraoi agus Spórt are always keen to have new faces avail of their service and value the input of children, young people and their families in the development of alternative respite. Individualised plans for each young person with a disability are developed in partnership with the young person and their parent/caregiver.
Their likes and interests are discussed and their support needs are identified. A plan is then put in place for this to be implemented.
Any family wishing to avail of this service or wishing to find our more can contact Mairéad on 0868420203 or feel free to join us in Spraoi agus Spórt at our parents’ meetings on the first Thursday of each month 8-9pm or the third Monday of each month at 10.30am – next meeting 21st Oct.
Professionals and other organisations are also welcome to get in touch to find out more information or to discuss referrals.