Tuesday last saw the start of the first Autism specific Summer camp in Mayo.
As the clouds parted and the sun came out, children and their parents arrived from all parts of the county to Manulla Football Club for the start of a very memorable week.
Colette Heaney and Elisha Sweeney, the two mums behind this wonderful venture, are overwhelmed by the support and generosity of the people of Mayo to the camp.
"People are giving of their time and expertise with us so that the children can have the best experience while on camp. When we embarked on this project, we had no idea that it would have such an impact on so many people. Various organisations have stepped up to offer their support" explained Colette.
Elisha outlined the wonderful support they have received from Ray Mc Namara of Mayo support Partnership, Leah in Mayo Volunteers, Mayo Fire Service, Order of Malta, the Gardaí, Mayo Early Intervention and the school going age section of Western care. Both ladies praised the staff and management of Manulla Football Club who stepped up to the mark when the ladies were looking for a venue to host the camp. Manulla FC is a state-of-the-art facility and a perfect venue for a camp of this kind.
During the camp the children were exposed to lots of different activities and to visits from lots of very famous personalities from Fireman Sam to Peppa Pig. Minister Michael Ring also popped in to offer his support to the ladies which was greatly appreciated.
The camp continued this week and Colette and Elisha would like to thank the amazing volunteers who have given up of their time to help make the camp such a special experience for the children and their families. Without their generosity of spirit, the camp would not have been such a wonderful success.
They were especially grateful to Linda from Soul Vibration, Mervyn from Music Generation, Noreen from Noga Yoga, Emma Daly, Mayo Mascots, Dance world, Gerry Butler and The bike clinic for sharing of their time and expertise and making the camp such a positive and enjoyable experience for all.
When the sun sets on Manulla and the camp at the end of the week, Colette and Elisha will be setting the wheels in motion for the next venture with Manulla Football Club and their drive towards a more inclusive society for all children with ASD.