Laois Down Syndrome branch launches Dreams Fundraiser

Leinster Express reporter


Leinster Express reporter

Laois charity celebrating World Down Syndrome Day

Down Syndrome Ireland “Laois Branch” celebrated World Down Syndrome Day recently by encouraging all their members to wear colourful odd socks for the day, and many taking part in the DSI virtual “Purple Run”.

The day celebrates all things Down Syndrome, with the run usually happening in the Phoenix Park.

On the day March 21, the Laois Branch of DSI has also launched its €4 Text to Donate number 50300 with the word Dreams Fundraiser in support of their Employment Training Centre of Excellence project in Abbeyleix.

They will soon start publishing one member’s profile each month, so the public can meet the people they will be
supporting, and learn how they will make a difference to the lives of DSI Laois members going forward. The first member profile to kick off this fundraiser is Sadhbh Lalor. Read about her below. 

The DSI Laois Branch “Field of Dreams” project is a centre to be built in Abbeyleix.

It will incorporate a coffee shop, charity shop, horticulture base, office spaces, therapy and training rooms, walkway, running track. The vision is to equip members with an array of skills and abilities to hold down jobs in meaningful paid employment.

This is hoped to lead to independence, both personal and financial, and indeed Independent Living in a project that will run alongside, and adjacent to the Laois “Field of Dreams” project.

Michael Gorman is chairman.

"The project will help our Branch to complete our “Cradle to Grave Philosophy” whereby we support our members throughout their life cycle.

"Our Branch has acquired a 4-acre site from Laois County Council to establish this project which will make such a huge difference to the lived lives of people with intellectual and physical difficulties in the county. It will also alleviate the huge pressure on the Day Services in the county in terms of overcrowding.

"We are asking the public to support this endeavour by donating €4 to our Text to Donate fundraiser going forward, or alternatively donate to our Gofundme page at ( People may donate however much or little they want to in this way.

"We currently supply heavily reduced Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy and Chiropody to name a few. This Employment Training Centre of Excellence project will, with the help and support of the public in Laois and surrounds, help us to complete the life cycle support for people with Down Syndrome in delivering financial and social independence, Independent Living and meaningful social integration into the fabric of our communities here in Laois," Michael said.

The Laois Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland has been in existence since March 1995 and continues to be the Primary Source of support for people with Down Syndrome and their families in the county.