Nenagh Special Needs Activity Fund

The Nenagh Special Needs Activity Fund was set up to part fund the weekly activities attended by many children with special needs from in and around Nenagh. The activities include horse-riding at McDonnell’s Riding School, Ballintoher, swimming at the Nenagh Swimming Pool and Jump n Gyms. Once a month there is a blessing in St. Mary’s of the Rosary for children and adults with disabilities, we say some prayers and sing some songs, this is from 12:30-12:50 and all are welcome, also once a month there is a story reading and colouring activity in the library from 12:30-1:00 all are welcome here also. Please contact Joan about dates for theses events. Children with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in these activities with the help of many volunteers and groups such as Riding for the disabled, transition year students from the schools in town, Enable Ireland and independent volunteers.

Groups from Suaimhneas (Special Class for Autism), Aoibhneas (Special Class for Autism) and children with Enable Ireland come to these activities. It is an invaluable service which allows parents or staff to bring the pupils to activities which will have numerous benefits for them. Many children are learning new skills such as horse-riding and how to swim, activities that may not have been otherwise possible. It is also possible for children to go to Jumping Gyms after swimming for a social skills and play session. A beneficial aspect of these sessions is the fact that they are private sessions run only for these groups and with people who have knowledge of special needs. The horse-riding is organised by Riding for the disabled and the pool is private for our session also. This allows the children to learn at their own pace and have fun at the same time in a safe environment.Many of the children that attend the activity sessions have had huge success in overcoming fears and gaining independence in areas such as swimming/dressing/showering etc, they also gain a lot of sensory feedback from the activities as well as having opportunities to socialise with other children and groups. There are currently about 20 children using the service however with more fundraising etc we would hope to build on these numbers.

Money which we fundraise or is donated goes towards fees for horse-riding, pool rental fees, specialised equipment for the pool(floatation devices, physio equipment and occupational therapy equipment.) and fees for Jump N Gyms. This service is an invaluable service which caters for a spectrum of special needs and a huge catchment area. If you would like further information on how to become a volunteer or on fundraising or donations please contact Joan Dunne on 086-8604687.

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