03 Jul 2022

Laois training centre steps up to the mark for families with Autism

National Learning Centre Portlaoise initiative

autism autism laois offaly

Employer Based Training Students, Instructor (Aishling Minnock) and Centre Manager (Allan Boyle) presenting Breda and Orlaith from LOFFA (Laois Offaly Families for Autism) with a cheque donation made

The team at the National Learning Network in Portlaoise was delighted to help a local organisation that provides vital support to local families with Autism.

Trainees and instructed at the Laois centre arranged three fundraisers recently in support of LOFFA (Laois Offaly Families for Autism).  They made lots of fabulous cakes and treats to sell plus arranged Jersey Days. 

Over the course of the week, the students raised €240 which we are delighted to be able to donate to LOFFA  and in some way help with the amazing work that they do in our community. 

Instructor Aishling Minnock and Centre Manager Allan Boyle and the group presented the cheque to LOFFA chairperson Breda O'Toole and secretary Orlaith Kerrigan. 

"We were delighted to welcome Orlaith from LOFFA to our centre a couple of weeks ago and she shared with us the challenges facing families living with Autism from her own personal experience," said a statement from the centre.  

They added: "It was such a great insight to the realities so many families are facing on a daily basis and highlighted the importance of acceptance, support, respect and inclusion for all autistic people and their families.  We would like to say a big thank you to Orlaith for both her time and her honesty in sharing her own son’s story with us". 

Orlaith Kerrigan, Secretary of LOFFA, welcomed the efforts made.

"LOFFA is deeply appreciative to the National Learning Network Portlaoise Employer-Based Training Students who decided
to do a fundraiser for LOFFA and their donation of 240e, all of which goes directly towards supporting LOFFA families. 240e is enough to fund eight weekly sessions of OT for a child for example.

"Part of LOFFA'S remit is to raise awareness of autism and so we were delighted to speak at NLN.

"The talk was entitled Autism and Our Family and while it is a bit about the challenges of raising a child with autism,it is also about the very special joy that a child with autism brings to family life.

"The talk also speaks a bit about the importance of inclusion in society for families like the LOFFA families and a bit about the work of LOFFA," she said.

Orlaith added that LOFFA is available to any organisation or school to give such a talk and there is no charge for this.

NLN Portlaoise, which is part of the Rehab group, provides a range of courses for people who have had an accident, illness, mental health illness injury or have a disability and need extra supports to learn. 


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