Graduation

Congratulations to the wonderful students from our Athboy class who graduated recently.

Aimee, Ann-Marie, Cara, Cathal, Deirdre, Dualta, Eileen, Eleanor, Emily,Fintan, Joan, Liam, Katie, Michelle, Monica, Teresa and Tomás graduated from a mixof four courses – Latch-On Literacy and Technology, MOTE My Opinion My Vote,Work Skills and Personal Development.

Athboy Graduation Class 2022

They were joined by proud families, friends, teachers and DSI branch and national representatives for a lovely celebration ceremony in the Darnley Lodge Hotel, Athboy.

The Athboy class started out in September 2016 with 10 students for a two-year Latch-On programme. After an enjoyable and worthwhile two years, and with 8 morestudents joining, the class continued to work through DSI’s adult education modules.With the programme extended due to Covid, all modules were completed in March2022.

The Louth Meath branch was delighted to have such a fantastic group of students. We look forward to seeing them move on, building on the skills and friendships that havebeen developed over the six years of the programme.

Tons of Fun Tots welcomes an unexpected guest …

There was great excitement at the Tons of Fun Tots playgroup during its last session when a certain someone in a familiar red suit paid an unexpected visit to some of the youngest members of the DSI Louth Meath Branch.

We had a room full of excited boys and girls, all dressed up for Christmas, and ready to party with their teacher, Triona Cussen. We were practicing “good sitting” and singing some seasonal classics. All the boys and girls were attentively watching Triona demonstrate some Lámh signs along with the songs when who should come in the door  … only Santa Claus!

Practicing Good Sitting

Some of the children were very excited to meet the man himself while others were a little more hesitant but Santa made sure he had a little something for everyone in his sack.

Suffice to say it was a great morning and a wonderful lead up to the Christmas season.

A special word of thanks to Mickey Rooney and all the staff in St Mary’s GAA, Ardee as well as the transition year students from Ardee Community School. The Christmas party was a huge success, enjoyed by both the babies and parents alike.

A Happy Christmas to you all.

Tons of Fun Tots is a play & educational group based in Ardee for pre-school children with Down Syndrome. The group is suitable for babies/wobblers/toddlers from 6 months to preschool/school age. However, new mums/dads & younger babies are always welcome. The group is a formal, but fun-based, learning environment for infants and young children and introduces them to lots of songs and rhymes using Lámh which helps develop their social skills and build a close circle of friends. It is also a valuable resource for parents, providing an opportunity for them to see Lámh being used in a setting that is both informal and more importantly, fun.

For further information on Tons of Fun Tots, please contact:

Brendan Stephenson at secretarydslm@gmail.com or Andrea McArdle 086-3709831 https://dsilmb.ie/more/tons-of-fun-tots/

Regional Advisory Council

The Regional Advisory Council held its first formal meeting on September 4th in Conyngham Arms hotel Slane.

The newly formed Regional Advisory Council(RAC) is an independent self-advocacy group for adults with Down syndrome in the North East area. The 14 member council, consisting primarily of people from Meath and Louth but also some from Westmeath and Cavan, is the first of its kind within DSI’s 25 branches. Based on the successful National Advisory Council developed over a number of years, the RAC offers an opportunity for the branch members to have a structured input into the plans and activities of DSI in the region.

Speaking at the first meeting of the Council, Louth Meath branch chairperson Paul Radford said:

“We are proud to be the first branch in Ireland to commence the Regional Advisory Council initiative. We have known for a long time, as both parents and committee members, that people with Down syndrome have their own voice and opinion about how they want to live their lives. The RAC will ensure that those voices are listened to, those opinions respected and acted upon.”

Council facilitator and DSI National Advocacy Officer, Helena Connors said:

“We are delighted that the Louth Meath branch are taking the lead on the RAC programme and we hope to follow suit with other branches across our countrywide membership. Over the next two years, the Regional Advisory Council members will engage in structured self-advocacy and organisational skills training that will enable them to be confident and effective self-advocates. They will be electing their own officers and speaking out on the issues of concern to themselves and the communities in which they live. Watch this space!”

https://downsyndrome.ie/a-national-first-for-the-north-east/

Allyson Maher Helena Connors DSI council ficilitator national advocacy officer , Megan Mc Cormick ,Brendan O’ Shea and Niamh Mc Nally at the newly formed regional advisory council Launch at the Conyngham Arms Slane Photo Jimmy Weldon

Conor O’ Dowd, Fintan Bray,Mike Egan Louth Meath resource officer,Tomas Nally and Cathal Byrne at the newly formed DSI regional advisory council Launch at the Conyngham Arms Slane Photo Jimmy Weldon

Annmarie Whelan, Fintan Bray and Elearnor Murray at the newly formed DSI regional advisory council Launch at the Conyngham Arms Slane Photo Jimmy Weldon

Paul Radford Chairperson, Liam Foley,Helena Connors DSI council ficilitator national advocacy officer, Fintan Bray, Mike Egan DSI Louth , Meath resource officer at the newly formed regional advisory launch at the Conyngham Arms Slane

Education Conference 2019/2020

Down Syndrome Ireland have organised Education Conferences for 2019/2020.

“Managing Behaviour & Transitions for the Student with Down Syndrome”

“Supporting the Child with Down Syndrome in Mainstream Primary School”

 

Please note: early booking is essential as, due to the high costs involved, the conferences will only go ahead if sufficient numbers are booked. Each Primary, Post-Primary and Special School have also been notified.

Full details and a booking facility for each conference will be available on www.downsyndrome.ie from September 1st2019.

 

Invitation to Join the Regional Advisory Council

Many thanks to everyone who attended the Information Evening on the Regional Advisory Council last week. A special thanks to our guests, Eileen Dunne(former Chairperson of the National Advisory Council) and Helena Connors(Adult Advocacy Officer, DSI) who shared their experience and advice with us.

We are now delighted to formally extend our:

Invitation to join the new Regional Advisory Council in the Louth/Meath Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland
What is a Regional Advisory Council?
• The Regional Advisory Council (RAC) gives adults with Down syndrome a chance to talk about the local issues that are important to them
• The Louth/Meath Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland listens to what the council has to say
• The RAC will decide what projects to work on
• In 2020, the RAC will vote for 1-3 members to join the National Advisory Council
The RAC supports council members to become more confident and to learn new skills like:

• Respectful listening
• Giving opinions
• Travel to Council meetings independently
• Know your Rights
• How to speak at meetings
• How to be in charge of a meeting
• How to be an officer of the Regional Advisory Council
• Talking to others about what you do in the RAC
How does the Regional Advisory Council work?

• The RAC meets monthly. There are no meetings in July and August
• RAC members sit on the council for three years; the first year is primarily training in advocacy and communication skills
• Two facilitators will support the work of the RAC
If you are an adult(18+) with Down syndrome and interested in joining the Regional Advisory Council, please submit your name and contact details to:
Mike Egan, Regional Resource Officer, Louth Meath Branch DSI.
Phone: 085.8618866 Email: mike@downsyndrome.ie

I Can I Will Video

Triona Cussen, who teaches at Tons of Fun Tots group in Ardee which is supported by Down Syndrome Ireland LouthMeath has produced the following lip sync video, featuring her three groups, Triona’s Tots (in Ardee), Team 21 Tots (Radisson Dublin Airport) and her group in the Down Syndrome Centre Dublin. The beautiful video features some of our members.

The hope is this video will raise positive awareness around Down Syndrome and change perceptions of children with special needs . We want to show the world how valued and cherished our kids are by their families and the words of the song echo that. We believe this video really does have the potential to go viral but we need your help in sharing it as far and wide as you can . So we urge you on March 6th to share share share !
#ICanAndIWill #howlongwillIloveyou #WDSD2019video #Team21tots #Triona’stots

 

LOTS OF SOCKS

Lots of Socks

Down Syndrome Louth Meath invites everyone to wear LOTS OF SOCKS on Thursday 21st March 2019 to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) to raise awareness on World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD).

We want to get people talking about WDSD on 21st March.

We can do this if we all wear socks…BUT NOT JUST ANY SOCKS…brightly coloured socks, long socks, printed socks, and 1 sock…maybe even 3 socks for 3 chromosomes. If you don’t normally wear socks then wear them.

The meaning behind wearing Odd socks is that

We are all different, We are all human, We are all the same.

On 21st March 2019, wear LOTS OF SOCKS and invite all your friends, family and colleagues to do the same.

Valentines Party 2019 in the Conyngham Arms Hotel Slane.

Valentines Party 2019 in the Conyngham Arms Hotel Slane.

We had a wonderful Valentines Part on Valentines night in the always fabulous Conyngham Arms Hotel Slane.

A big Thank you to our Member Conor O’Dowd and Liz Murray for the Photos.

A big Thank you also Liz Murray and her team for organising the party.

https://dsilmb.ie/more/photo-video-library/

Branch Website Relaunch

Down Syndrome Ireland Louth Meath Branch has relaunched our Website www.dsilmb.ie.
We launched it in conjunction with PayPal as part of their 3rd annual Charity Opportunity Hack 2018 which took place on Thursday 1st & 2nd November. The event, which took place at the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin, brought together 30 PayPal teammates to create and develop digital resources and systems for Irish charities over a 28-hour period of which Down Syndrome Ireland Louth Meath Branch was one.
The Branch has a fabulous new Website where we will be able to keep our members informed about our services, News, Events as well as allowing us to fundraise for the Branch online as well as being able to take payments on line..
We would like to extend a huge thank you to PayPal for including us in their Hackathon as well as to the four Hackers on the day that came from as far afield as France, The Netherlands, Italy and Spain.
Hackers in the Photo are Andrea Cavallini from Italy, Meias Ahmad from The Netherlands, Francois Panassac from France, and Ubaldo Colmenar from Spain.