A Dungannon business has raised money for the Buddy Bear Trust Conductive Education School which helps children with cerebral palsy.
Fionnuala O’Neill and Elaine McNickle from the The Makeup and Hair Studio at Derrytresk Road, Coalisland invited clients and friends to make a donation to help raise funds for the Dungannon School which is not Government funded like other schools.
Fionnuala explained: “This unique special school exists because people from the wider community helped open it over 25 years ago to give children with cerebral palsy a better quality of life.
“People in their 30 and 40’s remember, including myself, raising funds at their own school by ‘Sponsored Silences’ and ‘Read Ins’ and Sports days to help children at the Killyman Road school. And then one day I saw on the television that they had won an award and needed the general public’s help once again to refurbish two new classrooms.”
Thanks to the hardwork of the staff, the facility won Families First NI and the big award, Spirit of NI for Education and both the late Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster, Deputy and First Ministers presented the award at the Culloden Hotel which was screened on television.
Fionnuala and Elaine were so moved when they saw the young mums being shown by their expert Conductor/Teachers from the world famous Peto Institute how to motivate their precious children to roll over, to change position and how to grasp to hold, that they decided to help.
Fionnuala continued: “The children were being taught how to do some of the things we all take for granted like walking, holding and even communicating.
“We never realised that there was such a special facility in Dungannon and that children travelled to it at their own expense from Omagh, Derry, Coleraine, Belfast, Fermanagh, Newry and even further afield. So both Elaine and I decided to contact the school and offer our help.”
In response Brendan McConville, Chair of the Trust and Ms Ildiko Veres, School Principal for 25 years introduced the local duo to the three other Conductors and the two specially trained Classroom Assistance and showed them the two additional classrooms they are refurbishing with the help of volunteers and the members of the Buddy Bear Trust football teams.
Fionnuala added: “Brendan explained that unfortunately a lot of parents are not informed that help is available and so we decided to highlight their work to our customers, family and friends and welcomed any donations. And they didn’t let us down raising an amazing £560 for the Trust.
“Both Elaine and I would really like to say a massive thanks to everyone.”
Delighted with the gift which will help them refurbish two new classrooms so more children can attend, the staff and Brendan McConville chair of the Buddy Bear Trust Conductive Education School concluded: “We are delighted with their generosity. We hope others will follow their example as the school was founded 25 years ago by this Community and is still giving real help and hope to parents.”