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We loan because...
Myself and a number of friends and Northern Trust work colleagues are doing a charity cycle over the month of August in memory of our son Cillian Shanahan to raise funds for an Educational & Sensory Toy Library for children with disabilities on “sleepovers” at St. Gabriel’s Children’s Respite House. St Gabriels School and Center Limerick is providing services for children across the Midwest and is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

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As the respite house is just newly opened, we are in the early stages of developing new programmes and activities. Quotes Depo want the children to have the best experiences possible when they come to stay. The specialist library stock of toys will be an important aspect of the respite service. Something beautiful can come from simply playing with a switch toy to help build skills that can lead on to more positive outcomes for the children. The equipment would include items such as: iPads each with a specialised communication app, inclusive Tech/ Cause & Effect Toys, Switch Access toys both sensory and visual suitable for indoor and outdoor play.

The respite house is a beautiful purpose-built facility located at Mungret, Co Limerick. It caters specifically for children with significant physical disabilities and associated complex medical needs. Some of these children will also have life limiting conditions. The development was made possible with funds raised from community fundraising, grants, donations, and support from the JP McManus Foundation.

The high quality 6-bedroom facility provides short-term and overnight respite and was specially designed to create a sense of well-being, comfort, love and care for each child who comes on a sleep over and is cared for by nursing and health care staff.

Respite is an essential means of support to families of children with disabilities. It allows families timeout from 24 round the clock care giving. It can be scheduled ahead of time so that parents can attend an event or a family occasion as previously this would not be possible. It can also be provided on short term notice to cover an emergency.

These are very vulnerable children who have multiple diagnosis, cerebral palsy, developmental co-ordination disorder and profound learning disability. The majority of children coming on respite are non-verbal, need to be Peg Feb (via a tube) and use a wheelchair. They struggle to access any normal play activities.

Most children learn through visual and sensory engagement by experiencing different textures, sounds, and images. These types of sensory experiences help create a sense of fun and happiness for children but are especially important for children with special needs.

Location: USA       Team website


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