RTÉ Toy Show Appeal Supports Baboró’s Work for Children with Additional Needs

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding from the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal grants by Community Foundation Ireland. This grant will fund the research, development and roll out of a creative sensory workshop model for children with additional needs in schools across Ireland, accompanied by skills sharing with teachers.

This project will allow time for research and development of bespoke creative workshops for children with complex needs which can be delivered in school settings by artists specialising in this work. The workshops will be devised in collaboration with Rosedale School in accordance with the needs of the children and the wider school community. Teachers and support staff within the school will also have an opportunity to learn creative practices to augment their own teaching practice.

This initial work with Rosedale School will inform a new model that will be delivered to more schools in Ireland.

Over many years, Baboró has developed an audience for specialist performances and workshops for children with a range of additional needs. Every year, demand for these shows from special schools and classes in Galway city and county outstrips the limited places available. This project will help Baboró to reach more children with severe and profound additional needs, including the most vulnerable children who are not able to leave their school campus to attend shows.

“We are delighted to present some incredible work at the festival for this specialist audience but capacity is very limited to ensure that each audience member’s needs can be accommodated. We now find ourselves in a situation where demand from schools exceeds supply. Secondly, some children with complex physical and intellectual needs cannot travel to a festival venue and therefore miss out on their Baboró experience. This funding will allow us to begin to bridge this gap.” - Aislinn Ó hEocha, Executive Artistic Director of Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

"Funding from the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal will have an immeasurable impact on the lives of the students in Rosedale School.

Baboró have always [programmed] shows that cater for the sensory needs of our students. Their [performances and events] are truly unique and magical. However we face many obstacles when trying to access Baboró such as access to transport to attend venues, limited availability of places and venues that may not be equipped to meet the needs of our pupils in terms of space and accessibility.

This funding will mean that Baboró [workshops] will take place within Rosedale School which will be an enormous benefit to our students who will be able to access the shows in a familiar and more predictable environment. It will afford our children who have the most significant needs the opportunity to immerse themselves in the arts and to explore and experience all the learning and sensory benefits that this will bring.

We cannot thank The Toy Show Appeal enough for choosing Baboró and Rosedale School as one of their beneficiaries of the [grants]. I would also like to pay tribute to the family of the beautiful Saoirse Ruane for the legacy she has left. Her inspiration for The Toy Show Appeal will bring immense joy to students of Rosedale School." - Statement from Rosedale School

This project will also enhance the capacity of the sector to create new work for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties through artist mentorship by Phillida Eves, Rosán Sensory Adventures, artist bursaries and the presentation of sensory performances at the annual festival.

Further information about this project will be available later in the year.

Sign up to Baboró’s newsletter for news and opportunities related to this project.

About the RTE Toy Show Appeal

Inspired by children, the RTE Toy Show Appeal works to bring the magic of the Late Late Toy Show to every child in Ireland. By funding essential support, health, well-being, play and creativity we aim to change children’s lives for good.

The donations to the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal, are received and managed by registered charity, Community Foundation Ireland with whom we work in partnership. For more information about Community Foundation Ireland, please see here: Community Foundation Ireland – For change. For better. For all

The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal has raised over €21million for children’s charities across the island of Ireland to date.