Millbrae, Carndonagh, Co Donegal F93 WY07

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Award-winning Inishowen social enterprise, Spraoi agus Spórt, will be the main feature on RTE Nationwide this Friday 18th November. RTE visited Carndonagh to film them for a special programme about those who secured RTE Toy Show Funding.

“It’s a fantastic boost for Spraoi, for Inishowen, for Carndonagh and for all those who use our services,” says Spraoi chief executive, Helen Nolan. “They took some fantastic footage of Carndonagh town, and surrounding areas, like Culdaff Beach. But most importantly of all, they talked to those whose lives have changed by using our services.”

Helen says the RTE Nationwide crew spent two days here and talked to parents and young people who use Spraoi’s family, social, recreational, training, educational and enterprise activities, and services. “So, they got a glimpse of everything from our parent and toddlers’ groups, vintage shop and co-working hub to our digital creative lab, sea swimming and music classes.”

“Obviously, we don’t know what bits will make it to the programme but we are confident that it will reflect well on staff, service users, the town of Carndonagh and the Inishowen area.”

What RTE Nationwide Will Cover

Helen says the Nationwide show will also focus on how recipients will use the Toy Show Funding secured in the summer. “The €300,000 we received will go towards creating Donegal’s first dedicated Child and Family Hub.  Though we’ll be calling out to the community to help us raise the rest of the €1.5m needed to complete this ambitious project. So, watch this space! “

“We now have the opportunity to design a space specifically for the children and families of Inishowen.  It is very exciting to imagine what that might look like for Carndonagh. We’ve grown so rapidly since we opened in 2010. We continuously grow and innovate to meet the demands of our community. So, we’ve ended up being spread across 8 different locations, which don’t always match our needs.”

Child & Family Hub – a Game Changer

“A dedicated hub will be a ‘game-changer’ for us and the families and children who use our services. We developed and delivered creative activities for children over almost 12 years using rented accommodation, repurposed vacant buildings, and civic buildings. These spaces are not built for the services and projects we deliver, and this can restrict numbers and workshop time.

This funding will enable us to build a dedicated space on a town centre site, which can be customised for our needs. It will allow us to expand our inclusive creative and play services, in one central customised location. It will provide a new home for our family and children’s services. These include:

  • Parent and Toddler, and other parenting classes and courses,
  • Breastfeeding Support,
  • Ante & Post Natal Support,
  • School Aged Childcare,
  • School of Music,
  • Tuition,
  • Technology Workshops,
  • Classes and courses in e.g. Creative Writing, Creative Sewing, Art and Crafts, Chess, Yoga, and Mindfulness.
  • Summer Camps for children
  • Inclusive Playground
  • Training services for school leavers with complex needs
  • Day service for older people


Thanks to RTE Toy Show and RTE Nationwide

Helen says the new Family and Child Hub will “increase our capacity to deliver a greater number of inclusive services focused on creativity and play. It will ensure our service users can access many of their required supports in one central location. And for the first time we’ll have an outdoor space. This will be “co-designed” with the children, young people, and families we work with.  Outdoor play is so important for good mental and physical health and wellbeing”.

“But to us, this funding also sends us several strong and important messages.  Firstly, it is an affirmation of everything our staff, board and volunteers are doing here at our social enterprise. We are very grateful that the RTE Toy Show Appeal and the Community Foundation have confidence in us to deliver for families and children in our area.”

“Secondly, this funding sends a message to our rural community, that we deserve the best. So, we hope the community can step in and support us too on this exciting journey.”