Hundreds of teenagers and young adults with Down syndrome across Ireland will build skills to help them lead happier, healthier and more fulfilled lives, thanks to energy supplier Energia.
Energia – one of Ireland’s largest suppliers of energy to Irish homes and businesses – has jointly appointed Down Syndrome Ireland and Foyle Down Syndrome Trust to be its 2017 Charity Partners.
Together, as a direct result of Energia’s support, the two charities are creating a Personal Development Programme for teenagers and young adults with Down syndrome that will be delivered across the island of Ireland.
The programme is going to be a huge opportunity to create awareness of the abilities of a person with Down syndrome within Energia’s teams and customers and will raise vital funds so the two charities can introduce this new service to support thousands of families across Ireland.
It will support teenagers and young adults with Down syndrome in maintaining relationships and build social skills to enable them to live independent and more fulfilled lives. Modules will also include sex education, safety and building self-advocacy skills.
Down Syndrome Ireland is a member based organisation with 3,500 members comprised of a national support office and 26 local branches nationwide which provide a range of services including Parental Support, Early Development, Speech & Language, Health, Education and Personal Development. Some 93% of the funding required by the charity to achieve its goals are through local & national fundraising initiatives, voluntary contributions, projects and corporate company support from the likes of Energia.
Energia staff have raised over €120,000 over the past four years for their charities of choice across the island, including Headway, MS , Alone and Guide Dogs.
Michael Ringland, Chair of the Charities Committee, Energia Group, commented, “Energia is delighted to announce that Foyle Down Syndrome Trust and Down Syndrome Ireland are our chosen charities for 2017. Energia has dedicated and active staff that enjoy helping their charity each year.”
“The staff are particularly resourceful when it comes to fundraising ideas. The staff have organised a wide variety of activities including a Halloween treats sale, Cyber Monday, a fantasy football league, competing in a triathlon, a hamper raffle, a quiz night, Black Friday sale, a crisp sandwich day, an airport run and a number of staff competed in Energia’s own 24hr race.”
Mary Doherty, President of Down Syndrome Ireland, said “We all face different and difficult challenges in life. With the right support, we can face these challenges head on. People with Down syndrome are no different to you and I, they just need more support, particularly in the early years. Thanks to Energia, teenagers and young adults with Down syndrome will be supported to develop the right skills to lead happy, independent and more fulfilled lives.”
Foyle Down Syndrome Trust was founded in 1995 by parents of children with Down syndrome who believed that more could be done to develop the potential of their children. The Trust’s mission is to ‘foster a culture of inclusion’.
It has an innovative and groundbreaking approach to the educational and social inclusion of children and young people with Down syndrome and empowers and assists parents in leading their children to live an independent life.
Lorraine Gallen, Manager at Foyle Down Syndrome Trust, said, “Foyle Down Syndrome Trust and Down Syndrome Ireland are very grateful to Energia staff who have chosen to support young people with Down syndrome across the Island of Ireland in 2017. We are looking forward to working together on this important project to make life better for all participants.”