The spirit of Christmas is alive and thriving in Inishowen all year round, says leading social enterprise, Spraoi agus Spórt.
“We want to send the warmest of thanks to those who have kept our services going in 2022,” says Spraoi chief executive, Helen Nolan. “We provide services and activities for young families, children, young people, and adults that are inclusive of disability and/or autism. This includes everything from afterschool childcare, and parent & baby groups and programmes, to world class digital creative training and remote working facilities.”
“But being inclusive is a huge part of what Spraoi agus Spórt is all about. This means making our activities accessible for children with a disability and/or autism. So, we provide Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) at no additional cost to parents, so these children can participate in the same way as their peers.”
“We offered support to 42 children with disabilities and special needs over the past year. We could not have supported these children and their families without the incredible generosity of the people of Carndonagh and the surrounding areas.”
Helen says they do receive HSE funding, but it does not cover the level of support they offer. “So, we want the public to understand the true impact of what they do. They help create a level playing field for children with a disability and/or autism. They also take pressure off their families by funding access to respite care, which gives them a well-deserved break.”
“Over the past year, donations have helped children with a disability and/or autism to join our multi-activity camps, secure respite care and take part in the special group provision we run in July. The respite care gives families a break too, particularly in the school holidays.”
Helen cites the example of 9-year-old Cayla McCarron, who took part in her first mainstream camp this year. “She loved everything about it. She regaled her family every evening with stories of all the activities she took part in – games, painting, Lego, baking and messy play.” Her mum Patricia loved the fact that Cayla is supported to take part in a mainstream camp. “I know she is in a safe environment and can have fun like other children her age.”
Helen says one visiting family from Dublin stayed a whole month in Inishowen last summer “because of the care we offered their son. He required the support of two SNAs and they could not get a place for him at any camps in Dublin. Their son got the chance to take part and his parents could rest easy knowing he was getting the best of care.”
“Your contributions can ensure that children like Cayla can continue to be supported to attend camps for many years to come. Helen says they get support from the community in lots of ways.
“People buy from and donate to our vintage shop, Fadó in Bridge Street, Carndonagh. They also support our online shop, Siopa Spraoi and fundraisers that we or others hold on our behalf. We also receive donations through our website, and it is amazing how much some individuals contribute to support our services.”
“We would like to wish all our families and service users, our funders, and our community a very happy Christmas and every best wish for 2023. Check out our website https://spraoiagussport.ie/ to keep up to date with our work or to make a donation.