Sensory Fun with Friends gets fundraising boost from community

By Mary Dennehy

A PARENT-led group that provides a diverse range of fun activities for children with sensory needs has received a funding boost from the local community.

Sensory Fun with Friends was founded in 2017 by local parents Lynn Byrne and Eileen Birchall in response to a lack of activities that all siblings within a family could do together.

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John Kilbride of Jobstown House presents a cheque for €1,000 to Hillary Geelon, Lynn Byrne, Trisha Williams and Eileen Birchall from Sensory Fun with Friends

The work of the group, which is supported by a team of volunteers, was recognised by the community, with Jobstown House and its customers and Marks Celtic FC both raising money for the fun club.

Last Friday, the staff and customers of Jobstown House presented the group with a cheque for €1,000 – which was raised through the pub’s in-house initiative, Coins for the Community.

This fundraising drive, which has already fundraised for the Tallaght Cancer Support Group, was started by the public house last year, and raises funds for charities, groups and clubs working on the ground in communities.

Speaking with The Echo, John Kilbride, owner of Jobstown House, said that customers are encouraged to throw their loose change into buckets at the bar for a chosen group.

John said that each group or charity gets three months, with a call-out being made for the next local group or club to come forward.

“Coins for the Community is an in-house, customer supported initiative”, John told The Echo.

“It gets great support from our customers, and is 100 per cent down to them, they’re the ones throwing their change in the buckets.

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Chloe, Hillary and Lea at the Jobstown cheque presentation night 

“People like to know that the money raised is going directly to good causes within their community.

“We were delighted to support Sensory Fun with Friends.”

A few weeks previously, and as reported on by The Echo, more than €3,000 was raised at an annual fancy dress pitch and putt event, which was followed by a fundraiser in Mark’s Celtic FC.

Organised by Jobstown man Jeff O’Toole, the fancy dress pitch and putt event has been running for 10 years and is held in memory of Jeff’s aunt, Mary O’Toole.

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Mark's Celtic presentation - Jeff O'Toole, Darren Byrne and Carl Maguire with Eileen and Lynn 

Speaking with The Echo, Lynn Byrne, co-founder of Sensory Fun with Friends, said: “We’re overwhelmed by the amount of support and generosity of people.

“Everyone really has come out in support of local groups.

“The money will go towards the group’s running costs, like insurance, and overheads, and will go towards subsidising camps at Easter and in the summer.

“If we didn’t have this support it would be very hard to meet running costs.”

Lynn also wished to thank all of the volunteers who have helped the group to “flourish and grow”.

For further information visit Sensory Fun with Friends Facebook page.

Any groups interested in putting themselves forward for the Coins for the Community campaign are encouraged to contact Jobstown House through its Facebook page or call the pub on 4514140.

See this week's Echo, in shops now, for a picture page from the Jobstown House presentation

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