HB Fundays Campaign raises over €250,000 for Down Syndrome Ireland
More than 250 families of babies and young children with Down syndrome have been directly supported thanks to funds raised as part of this year’s HB Fundays campaign with HB Ice-cream, Down Syndrome Ireland has announced.
Some €251,648 was raised as part of this year’s campaign and the funds raised has allowed the charity to accelerate funding for the roll-out of a vital language development programme for young children with Down syndrome called See and Learn and Parent-Link, a local support service for new parents of babies with Down syndrome, provided by parent volunteers who will be trained and supported by Down Syndrome Ireland.
Down Syndrome Ireland member Tara Lundberg from Donabate whose daughter is Siún (5), said: “Learning to talk is a particular challenge for most children with Down syndrome. The See and Learn programme is, put simply, life-changing as it helps children with Down syndrome like Siún develop their language and communication skills from a very young age.”
The charity has provided 220 See and Learn kits and delivered See and Learn training across 15 sites to more than 600 parents and early years educators, supporting approximately 250 children with Down syndrome in early years settings to increase language development. Parent-Link training has been also been piloted and will be rolled out to the charity’s network of 25 branches around the country over the coming months.
Speaking about the 2019 Fundays campaign, Down Syndrome Ireland CEO Gary Owens said: “We are so grateful to all the ice cream lovers out there who held a HB Fundays party this year – you are helping young children with Down syndrome develop vital speech and language skills and also helping new parents receive the support they need directly from other parents who are sharing the same journey. Thank you.”
Elaine Prendergast, Brand Manager, Unilever Ireland, added: “We are very proud to once again partner with Down Syndrome Ireland on HB Fundays for the 18th year running. We would like to extend a big thank you to each and every one of you who participated in the HB Fundays campaign this year to support the invaluable work of DSI. We’re already looking forward to next Summer’s campaign!”
Down Syndrome Ireland and HB Ice-cream have been in partnership for 18 years and the HB Fundays Campaign has now raised a whopping €3.75 million to date. The HB Ice Cream Fundays parties are about having fun and taking time out with family, friends, colleagues, while enjoying Ireland’s favourite ice cream. Each HB Fundays party makes a real and lasting difference to children with Down syndrome and their families throughout Ireland. The campaign is an integral source of funding for the development of Down Syndrome Ireland’s nationwide support services.