05/08/2021

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Laois Children getting huge boost from RTÉ Toy Show Appeal

Money to help put in place stepping stones to resilience in Portlaoise

Laois Children getting huge boost from RTÉ Toy Show Appeal

Ryan Tubridy presents the Late Late Toy Show

Laois children are to enjoy extra supports, services as well as access to arts and creativity as a result of grants from the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal which have been announced by the broadcaster and The Community Foundation for Ireland.

The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal raised a staggering €6.6million in donations from television viewers on a truly magical Toy Show night in December.  Half of that money was shared out between three key charities; Barnardos Ireland, Children's Health Foundation Ireland and Children's Books Ireland. 

The remaining monies from the fund were made available for children’s charities in an open call for grants managed by The Community Foundation for Ireland which are now being announced.

In addition to the national lifeline and support organisations, Portlaoise Community & Family Resource Centre is developing a Stepping Stones To Resilience Initiative. The initiative is delivered through a stepping stone design based on age/ ability, supporting personal develop, building resilience through creative engagement and learning. This funding will enable art and play therapy sessions for children and young people, music, dance and art for babies 0-4 years old and children aged 5-12 and run other creative programmes to develop life skills and resilience. (€30,718.00)

Laois children will also benefit from a range of national grants. A new National Dyslexia Learning Hub is being developed, a Deafblind literacy programme is being pioneered, The Irish Wheelchair Association will be promoting creativity for children while the health and wellbeing group Soar is starting a five year mission to ensure supports are offered to every transition year student.

The Community Foundation for Ireland says vulnerable children in Laois and across Ireland will be supported by initiatives including the development of a Traveller Mental Health Service, My Life Now will ensure children caring for a loved one are supported to develop and continue in education while SafeIreland will develop supports for children in violent homes.

Ryan Tubridy, Late Late Show host, said: “It’s time to show the people of Ireland just where the money they dug deep for last November is going, and it’s going directly to children all over the island of Ireland who are going to have better, happier, safer and more creative, enriched and nourished lives because of these donations. Thank you once again to the viewers of The Late Late Show for your continued overwhelming generosity. The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal will be back again this year to help Change Children’s Lives for Good." 

Saoirse Ruane, the Galway girl whose story inspired the establishment of the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal, added: “I'm delighted my story inspired Ryan and The Late Late Show to launch the very first Toy Show Appeal last November. I am so happy the money will go to help such wonderful charities. Since the show I have been busy, learning to cycle my bike again, returning to school and I have just gone back to play camogie.”  

In total, over 675,000 children and family members across Ireland will directly and immediately benefit from the overall RTÉ Toy Show Appeal proceeds, with thousands more set to benefit through the investment in essential resources, both medical and otherwise, for years to come.  

Dee Forbes, Director-General RTÉ,  said: “It is truly fulfilling to reach this stage in the process, where the funds so generously donated by the public as part of the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal are being distributed to so many worthy projects to support children and their families throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland. I am proud that an idea we created just months ago, that was built on the back of the generous spirit which underpins the Late Late Toy Show, has been such a force for good".  

Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Ireland added: “The generosity of viewers has been overwhelming and is now being turned into action on the ground in communities where it will make a huge difference for children and their families.  The positive impact we will see on so many young lives in the coming weeks and months should act as an inspiration to us all. It is also a sad reality that in the current challenging times, demand from groups for this grant round has outstripped the support which was available. As a Community Foundation, we are keenly aware of that shortfall, and we remain absolutely committed to working with partners in an effort to address that challenge.”  

About the initiative

The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal is a designated fund to help a range of children’s charities and causes around Ireland, to be managed on RTÉ’s behalf by The Community Foundation for Ireland www.communityfoundation.ie. The Community Foundation for Ireland was also the partner for RTÉ Does Comic Relief which raised just under €6 million for non-profit organisations that provide key supports for vulnerable citizens impacted by Covid-19.  

The Community Foundation for Ireland: Now over 20 years in existence, The Community Foundation for Ireland works with individuals, families, companies and other trusts and foundations to support a diverse range of not-for-profit organisations. Since 2000 The Community Foundation for Ireland has awarded over €75 million in grants.  The Community Foundation for Ireland is a registered charity, (Charities Regulator Number: 20044886) and is committed to the highest standards of trust and governance.   

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