Louth and Meath
The Louth/Meath Branch was founded in 1982 and represents approximately 250 member families throughout the counties of Meath and Louth. Our branch is run on a completely voluntary basis by a committee elected annually at our Annual General Meeting; hence our motto is “Parents for Parents”. The committee meets once a month (usually the first Monday in the month) at 7.30pm in the Conyngham Arms Hotel Slane. New committee members are always welcome. Our goal is to help people with Down syndrome make their own futures as bright and independent as possible by providing them with education, support and friendship every step of the way. We manage an “Early Intervention Home Teacher Programme” for preschool children (aged from 1 year to 6 years) with Down syndrome in the counties of Louth and Meath.
This Programme was set up by the Branch in 1982 as there was no State provided Home Teacher Programme available to children our counties. There are no administrative costs associated with the Programme, as it is managed on a completely voluntary basis by members of the branch who are parents of children with Down syndrome. The Programme consists of Early Intervention Home Teachers visiting the home of the child with Down syndrome for one to two hours every fortnight throughout the school year (approximately 20 visits per year). The Home Teacher Programme is centred on play; it is through this medium which children learn and develop. The Home Teacher has training and skills to help parents join their child at play and maximize the child’s play relationship with parents, and considers children’s play as the context for early intervention.
The Home Teacher can liaise with staff in Pre-schools and Primary Schools to promote the best possible early education experience for children on the Programme. The Programme is managed on a day to day basis by the Branches Home Teacher Programme Coordinator who is the parent of a child participating in the Programme, assisted by other members of the branch. We employ six Home Teachers on a part-time basis. Queries from members on any aspect of the programme should be addressed to the Branches Home Teacher Co-ordinator, Paula McDonagh on the phone 087 6942830 / email@example.com.
The Adult Literacy Programme/ Latch-on
The Adult Literacy Programme is a programme which has been developed by the University of Queensland, Australia and brought to Ireland by Down Syndrome Ireland. Down Syndrome Ireland’s involvement came about as a result of the concerns of parents nationwide in relation to low literacy levels among their adult children with Down syndrome. The programme which has been designed specifically for adults with intellectual disabilities provides opportunities for adults with Down syndrome to commence and/or continue their literacy development. It is a socio-cultural approach to literacy and uses a combination of technology and more traditional methods of literacy instruction to enhance the literacy development of adults with intellectual disabilities. The Adult Literacy Programme in the Louth/Meath Branch will be run twice-weekly over a period of about eighteen months from when it commences. There will usually be two classes running, one in Navan and one in the Drogheda/Dundalk area. Each class will be run by a qualified teacher who has been accredited to teach the programme. Each class will have one or two tutors depending on the number of students. The maximum number of students in any one class is twelve. This Programme will be heavily subsidised by the Branch. A unique feature of the Programme is that it has a strong foundation in educational research and practice. From the beginning (1998) research has been an integral component of the programme. Research findings indicate that individuals with intellectual disabilities have achieved levels of literacy that were once regarded as unattainable. Such achievements have been possible because of an increased recognition of the need to maintain literacy as part of lifelong learning. Longitudinal studies carried out by the University of Queensland support the view that when adults with intellectual disability are provided with opportunities to broaden their literacy education through appropriate teaching and learning strategies they continue to develop and improve their language and literacy skills.
For further information or to book a place on the course, please contact:
Geraldine Regan, Adult Literacy Programme Co-ordinator
Phone - 087 8157542
E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
Members can apply for a annual subsidy of up to €600 once they undertake fundraising on behalf of DSI, Louth / Meath Branch or are an active committee member. (as detailed below)
A.)Members are required to participate in a minimum of 4 fundraising events per year (approximately 2 hours per event)
B.)organise a fundraising event that raises at least €400
a combination of both A and B
Active committee members are considered to be Officers, Programme Coordinators or members who attend at least 8 committee meetings per year.
Members are required to submit completed applications, accompanied by receipts and details of fundraising undertaken or details of committee duties carried out to the Assistant Treasurer twice a year. For the period January to June, applications should be submitted by the 31st July, for the period July to December, applications should be submitted by the 31st January (Forms submitted after these dates will be processed during the next application period) .
- Therapies / tuition must be undertaken by a qualified & registered therapist or tutor.
- If a members health insurance covers the cost of any/all of the therapies on the list a claim should be made in the first instance against their insurance.
- Programmes and activities that are managed or organised by the Branch are excluded from inclusion the Funding Scheme ex. Adult Literacy Programme.
- The scheme (as with all programmes/schemes managed by DSI, Louth / Meath Branch) is administered on a completely voluntary basis by parents of children with Down syndrome.
- When lodging funds please ensure that the name of the member with Down syndrome, is included on the lodgement slip.
- Appeals regarding payment of subsidies must be made to the Chairperson at email@example.com
Speech & Drama Classes
The Branch runs Speech and Drama classes in three locations throughout Louth & Meath. (Details below) If you have queries please give either of our Speech & Drama teachers a call. Classes are provided free of charge to members.
The classes take place on a Thursday evening from 5.30pm to 6.30pm at The Unity centre Navan.
Contact Ellie Cosgrove 087 6671393
The classes are divided into two groups and take place on Saturday mornings (Younger Group: 10.30 - 11.30am, Older Group: 11.30 - 12.30pm) in St. Peters Church of Ireland Church, Peter St., Drogheda.
Contact Audrey Jackson for more information Phone: 087-958 1446
Activities for Teenagers & Young Adults
Keep Fit Class
This takes place on Thursday evening at 7pm in Integral, Boyne Business Park Drogheda. Participants must be 16 years or over. Please contact Eunan Freeman on 086 2523714 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information or if you would like to come along
This takes place most Saturdays at 12 noon, in the Leisure Park, Rathmullen Road, Drogheda. This is a non contact sport. Please contact Sheelagh McNally on 086 1539442 or email@example.com if you would like more information or if you would like to come along
Participants in these activities must be paid members of the Louth Meath Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland
Tons Of Fun Tots baby/toddler playgroup
St. Mary's GAA clubrooms, Ardee.
Times 10-12 every Thursday. We also have Triona from Team21 Tots providing music, songs, circle time & lots more entertainment from 10.30-11.30……….with a chance for a cuppa, chat & catch up beforehand & time to feed/change baby afterwards.
The group is suitable for babies/wobblers/toddlers from 6 months to preschool/school age. The cost is €40 per month or €15 per session for people who can't attend every week.
It's a great chance to meet other parents & children! If you are interested, please request to join the Facebook page below.
083 8972044 firstname.lastname@example.org
Branch Administrator: Brendan Stephenson 083 8972044
Regional Resource Officer: Mike Egan 085 8618866 email@example.com
Committee:- The committee meets once a month, (usually the first Monday in the month) at 7.30pm in the Conyngham Arms Hotel Slane. New committee members are always welcome.
Eleanor Cosgrove on 087 667 1393 / Sirpa Makinen on 086 861 4970
Additional Social Media Channels
The Louth Meath Branch is on Instagram! You can find them at @LouthMeathDS