Liss Ard Es­tate to help raise autism aware­ness

Irish Examiner - County - - News -

Liss Ard Es­tate Sk­ib­bereen is host­ing two events to raise aware­ness about autism, on Septem­ber 29 and 30.

On Septem­ber 29, all of the pupils at­tend­ing the autism spec­trum disor­der (ASD) classes in St Pa­trick’s Boys’ Na­tional School are in­vited, with their fam­i­lies, to at­tend an autism friendly lunch in Liss Ard House.

Liss Ard has com­mu­ni­cated ex­ten­sively with the school to cre­ate a suit­able lunch en­vi­ron­ment — they will dim the lights, back­ground mu­sic will be dropped and the chefs will serve plat­ters to cater for all the di­etary re­quire­ments of the chil­dren, as well as cater­ing for their fam­i­lies.

Af­ter­wards, the fam­i­lies are wel­come to ex­plore the beau­ti­ful gar­dens and walks within the es­tate.

“We are ab­so­lutely blown away by the gen­eros­ity of the gen­eral man­ager Ai­dan Shana­han, the own­ers and all the staff for this in­cred­i­ble ges­ture,” said Alan Fo­ley, the prin­ci­pal of St Pa­trick’s BNS.

“Our pupils come from all over West Cork, so the fam­i­lies rarely get to meet out­side of school. This is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for the fam­i­lies to meet so­cially in a safe and autism friendly en­vi­ron­ment.”

How­ever, Liss Ard is not stop­ping there. The fol­low­ing evening, it is host­ing a char­ity din­ner for 60 lucky guests who will be treated to a drinks re­cep­tion fol­lowed by a five-course tast­ing menu. There will be no set charge on the night — guests will pay what they feel the din­ner is worth.

The en­tire pro­ceeds will be do­nated to the ASD classes in St Pa­trick’s BNS.

The full time staff have also agreed to do­nate their wages from the night.

“It’s just fan­tas­tic,” said Mr Fo­ley. “We would have been happy with the lunch for the pupils and their fam­i­lies. But the char­ity din­ner will be a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to raise aware­ness of autism.

“On top of that, we will re­ceive 100% of the pro­ceeds from the night for our ASD classes, as well as the staff’s wages.

“A lot of the equip­ment and re­sources that we need for our ASD classes are quite unique and as a re­sult, are of­ten ex­pen­sive. We want the best for our pupils and thanks to the gen­eros­ity of Ai­dan and all at Liss Ard, we will be in a po­si­tion to do this.”

Front, from left: Anne Crow­ley, deputy prin­ci­pal; Danny Barter, chef; Joshua Grad­don, chef; Alan Fo­ley, prin­ci­pal. Back, from left: Tommy Con­nolly, James Kingston, Ryan Mur­phy, all stu­dents in ASD Class St Pa­trick’s BNS Sk­ib­bereen. Liss Ard Es­tate Sk­ib­bereen are host­ing two events to raise aware­ness about autism on Satur­day 29 and Sun­day 30 of Septem­ber. On Satur­day, all of the pupils at­tend­ing the autism spec­trum disor­der (ASD) classes in St Pa­trick’s Boys’ Na­tional School are in­vited, with their fam­i­lies, to at­tend an autism-friendly lunch in Liss Ard House, left.

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