Spraoi agus Spórt, a multi-award winning social enterprise in Carndonagh, has welcomed a €500 donation from AIB to help facilitate a unique series of fun online Zoom activities.
The video series is aimed at supporting local children and young people with disabilities during the Covid-19 restrictions.
Co-founder and CEO of Spraoi agus Spórt Helen Nolan said: “We are delighted to receive this generous donation from AIB which is helping us to provide a wonderful new service that will benefit approximately 50 families in Inishowen.
“Indeed, this donation is helping us to create a unique series of fun and creative online Zoom activities for children and teenagers with a disability and/or autism which is brightening up their days and is helping parents and carers to cope with the lockdown.
“Covid-19 has been an overwhelming challenge for families of children with disabilities – not least because of the absence of a daily routine, missing friends and family members, or the support that they would normally have access to from healthcare professionals.
“Indeed, the stresses of self-isolation is particularly acute and unsettling for children and young people with disabilities.
“Our fantastic new Zoom activities are therefore not only aimed at educating and entertaining children and teenagers in a creative way but are also helping parents in terms of respite or their child’s mental health and wellbeing.
“Our many fun activities include how to make things at home, art demonstrations, online music / singing and story time sessions.
“Indeed, since we first went ‘live’ with our Zoom meetings on 20 April, we’ve had a great response and really positive feedback from parents – many sending us messages saying how much they value the new resource.
“The new Zoom activities are therefore benefitting families who are feeling isolated and alone due to the lockdown – and importantly their children are now making what can be best described as ‘joyous reconnections’ with their friends from Spraoi.
Spraoi agus Spórt CEO Helen Nolan has also said that donations like those from AIB are ‘vital’ for their organisation in terms of providing services like the Zoom meetings as their revenues have been hit hard by Covid-19.
“I am acutely aware that all sectors of society and the economy are facing unprecedented challenges at this very difficult time – and that the charity, community and voluntary sector is no exception,” she said.
“‘The Wheel’, which represents more than 1,850 organisations in our sector, has recently undertaken a survey of members that shows between 70-90% are having to cancel fundraising events and that this is having a serious impact on their ability to continue delivering services.
“Indeed, in relation to our own organisation, up until the point of the lockdown measures in March, we had a weekly footfall of 700 children and young people attending over 60 different classes and activities. However, as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions we now have no traded income from ‘paid for’ services nor any fundraised income. Indeed, we’ve had to close our charity shop Fadó – the main driver of our fundraised income stream – and all of our fundraising events, potentially for the remainder of the year, have had to been cancelled – including a summer campaign to fund the development of a dedicated youth space for teenagers, a coffee morning and our annual 5k walk/run.
“We are also unable to hire the services of many facilitators that we would normally use for our classes and activities – many of which would have really made an amazing contribution to our new Zoom meetings”.
Helen Nolan went on to say: “Importantly, I’d like to stress that we’ll be doing everything in our power to continue to offer our vital services in order to meet the needs of our community. However, I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome any donations – big or small – from businesses and members of the public who might be able to support the provision of our services during this difficult and uncertain time.
“Indeed, we are also hoping to widen access to our online Zoom meetings to other target groups in the coming weeks and months which have proven to alleviate some of the stresses of Covid-19 restrictions for families and have had such a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people who avail of the service.
“For further information on our Zoom activities or to donate to Spraoi agus Spórt please contact our helpline on 074 937 3303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org “Tags: