Clonmel Generously Hosts Marathon In Aid Of Autism Charity

They say charity begins at home and Ireland’s newest autism charity, Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) is a testament to that old adage. The charity is delighted to be the beneficiaries of the Clonmel 10km Mini Marathon on Sunday October 9th. The event will start and end at the Park Hotel, Clonmel with the race getting underway at 2pm.

AADI has been in existence since April 2010 and to date has placed 3 trained assistance dogs and 6 companion dogs with children and their families who are dealing with autism nationwide.  The dogs can provide independence and safety for the children, allowing them to go out in public, act as an unconditional source of love and affection for the child and help them to improve interaction and socialisation skills.

Director of fundraising Breeda Clancy says any additional funding will be a massive boost. “We depend hugely on all fundraising undertaken by those who partake in events such as the Clonmel Mini-Marathon on behalf of AADI, flag days, our online store, calendar sales and other activities but the cost of training a dog to such specific standards is enormous.

Nuala Geraghty, AADI’s training service manager agrees. “AADI is only up and running for just over a year and we are doing our best to train and provide as many dogs as we can but to train dogs to the proper standard is a lengthy process and demand is very high. AADI has so far made a huge difference to the lives of many autistic children. “We train dogs, mainly Labradors or Golden retrievers, as assistance dogs to help autistic children break down the barriers preventing them from interacting with society”, says Nuala. “There is really nothing like seeing the calming effect the dog can have on a child’s behaviour”.

The Clonmel event is being organised by Teresa Burke who can be contacted on 087 6199 881 for sponsorship packs and further information or you can join AADI on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @autismdogsirl

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