Happy New Year to you all!
We hope you and your families had a lovely Christmas holiday. It was lovely to see some of you on the virtual call with Father Christmas in December and we hope that the children who received a small Christmas gift from us were happy with their book. All children or families that have availed of a service, activity, ot talk over 2021 were gifted with an “I am Connor” book to enjoy with their families as a little thank you for your support to us over the last year.
Services, activities, and therapies
We have started back our new Spring term here with a flourish with three weekly Early Intervention groups (Wednesdays and Fridays); two weekly and one fortnightly Handwriting without Tears classes (Wednesdays and Saturdays); weekly baby/toddler sensory music with Moo Music Monaghan (Fridays); weekly Occupational Therapy (Mondays) and monthly Speech and Language Therapy (Tuesdays and Sundays). We also plan to continue with virtual Music Therapy (fortnightly on Saturdays) and are in the final development stages of returning to centre based Music Therapy. We are also looking at planning further virtual talks and seminars, as well as other exciting activities and sessions for the coming months. Limited spaces may be available in some groups so please contact us for more information.
Our counselling service is also available for any parents that may wish to access this and inquires can be made in confidence via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
World Down Syndrome Day in March
Just over two months until the highlight of the calendar year, ‘World Down Syndrome Day’, Monday 21st March 2022.
Lots of Socks 2022
All the schools in Cavan, Louth, Meath and Monaghan have been emailed and invited to join in with our “Lots of Socks” day and get everyone having fun; wearing funky, colourful socks and raising awareness and celebrating the Down Syndrome Community. Preschools, businesses and individuals are also welcome to join in also and we are delighted with the response so far. Last year nearly 80 places joined in so we hope we can match that target, or even beat it this year!
Please help us by asking your preschool or school if they would like to take part?
Maybe your workplace would like to join in too?
The concept is very simple. Sign up with DSCNE and wear bright, colourful funky socks. All participants will be sent an information resource pack. This includes handouts, lesson plans, useful facts, and games. It is then up to the school/business whether they choose to use the day as a fundraiser for us also, or just as an awareness campaign. Lots of Socks is an internationally recognised campaign for World Down Syndrome Day.
We wear colourful, funky socks as chromosomes under a microscope look a bit like socks.
A person with Down Syndrome as an extra 21st chromosome - three instead of two.
So we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on 21.03 - the 21st day of the third month - get it?
Wearing socks is also a visual aid to show that everyone is joining in, and that although we may all be different, we all share unique qualities and characteristics.
Email email@example.com for the link to register.
Information packs will be sent out around the end of February.
321 Go NEon
We are also very happy to announce, following the success of last year’s inaugural virtual event, we are once again going to be running “321 Go NEon” as a virtual fundraiser.
But this year we are going even bigger and brighter!
SAVE THE DATE: Saturday 12th March 2022, 3pm
Tickets will be available shortly on our website www.dscnortheast.ie/events , and once again we will be providing DSCNE snoods to the first 500+ entrants. We will let you know when we go “live.” 720 participants joined in for 2021
Due to current restrictions, physical fundraising events still cannot take place so we have had to remain ‘virtual’ meaning you can take part wherever you are! Participants choose their own routes within their locality and can join with members of their households remembering current guidance around restrictions and social distancing rules.
The event consists of:
Dressing up in bright, colourful or neon clothing and wearing your DSCNE snood
Walking 3 miles or 3 km in your local area
Planning in advance or tracking your route on the day
Why “321 Go NEon”?
The time and date of the event is very significant to the Down Syndrome community. It is the 21st chromosome that is triplicated in Down Syndrome, hence we are having our event on 12th March, 12/3 – 321 in reverse!
The word NEon represents the North East while neon is bright and cheerful just like the children, families and all the Team at DSCNE.
What will the proceeds go towards?
The Down Syndrome North East Centre is a non-profit organisation which provides subsidised essential services for the Down Syndrome Community in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Louth & Meath. We continue to offer a great number of free and heavily subsidized therapies, services and activities, virtual seminars, and online activities accessible to nearly 70 children with Down Syndrome, and their families, and also early years educators, special needs assistants and teaching staff across the North East region.
We are so appreciative of any donations that we receive. Thanks to those of you who may have given a donation recently, directly, or indirectly, as we were delighted to receive Christmas donations from companies across the North East who have a link with our centre, in lieu of the companies giving Christmas gifts. This is always a surprise, but one we are so grateful for.
Thank you to those of you who bought and/or sold our 2022 calendars, I think we are down to our final few here in the centre so if you still need one rush to our website asap www.dscnortheast.ie/shop or contact the centre.
Also, we must extend our appreciation to the Monaghan Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) who provided us with funding under the Community Enhancement Programme 2021, which was used towards providing CCTV for our external storage container.
Monaghan Children’s and Young People’s Service also really surprised us just before Christmas with a very generous delivery of an Imagination Playground. They received additional funding from the Department of Children Equality Disability, Inclusion and Youth (DCEDIY) in November and purchased a set of 105 Big Imagination blocks for the centre. These modular soft foam blocks are easy to stack, line up and provide endless hours of fun as well as supporting fine and motor skills, focus, self-expression, and social skills. We look forward to seeing the children and families putting them to good use with many happy hours of play. Thanks also to Play and Leisure Services for delivering so close to Christmas.
The Ireland Funds’ Heart of the Community Fund also provided us with an emergency grant which is specifically for Music Therapy so we hope, as mentioned above, to extend that programme and add it to our phased reopening so we can support even more families.
A gentle reminder; donations can be made directly from our website : https://www.dscnortheast.ie/donate and there is also the option to add a direct debit. We have some extended family members of service users choose this service as a way of continually supporting us across the year.
We were very fortunate to be awarded Pobal Covid19 Stability Schemes for Community and Voluntary, Charity and Social Enterprise organisations to assist us in 2021 when we were in urgent need of funding due to the impact of Covid19 on the finances of DSCNE. We were recognised as delivering critical frontline services and supports, all whilst all fundraising income was severely impacted by the pandemic. Unfortunately, we are unsure if there will be any similar grants or funding available this year in 2022 so we really hope you can help us by joining in with our Lots of Socks and 321 Go NEon fundraising campaigns, so that we can continue to deliver our services. As a local, non-profit charity, we receive no government funding for the day-to-day running costs of our centre and rely solely on donations and grant funding.
As always, I end each newsletter with an invitation that we are always looking for new volunteers to join our Steering Group. They meet virtually once a month and feed into the planning process for activities in the Centre, supported by the office administration team. Meetings are monthly and a maximum of 2 hours (usually less). We are looking to add parents of current service users, extended family members, and/or community volunteers as the more diverse background, the better, for the whole centre.
Come join us and have your say! Or contact Caitriona for more information as to what it involves. Servicescoordinator@dscnortheast.ie
That’s all for now, and we look forward to what 2022 will bring for the Down Syndrome Centre North East. Enclosed is our most recent schedule for January to April 2022 so you can easily see what we are currently offering, and what you might like to find out more information on.
Caitriona and all at Team DSCNE