By Joe Barrett
Laois received a share of funding that was raised through public donations to the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal.
A specific share of €20,000 has been granted to Parents First Laois Offaly that will be used to enrich and develop early childhood learning through home-based play and developmental activities for children aged up to three years who have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
While Parents First Laois Offaly is based in Tullamore, Laois will be the primary funding location.
Laois will also receive funding from other sources from the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal who partnered with the Community Foundation for Ireland in allocating the grants.
Midlands Science was approved €16,500. This funding will be used in Longford Laois, Westmeath and Offaly to provide young people with the tools to engage with science as an act of engaged citizenship, which will inform their future development as active citizens, enabling them to make informed choices and a transition into adulthood.
The Carlow and South Leinster Rape Crisis Centre which caters for people in Carlow Kildare, Laois and Wicklow received €5,000 to provide education workshops in consent in relationships between young teenagers.
A sum of €70,000 was given to Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, which covers 20 counties including Laois, to set up a family support programme, which is a 12-month project with the placement of 25 dogs with 25 families, thereby increasing the wellbeing and quality of life for children with autism and their families.
The distribution of the funding will benefit over 1.1 million children and their families from donations raised during the 2021 Late Late Toy Show Appeal. Over 150 charities across Ireland received funding.
Speaking about the announcement, Ryan Tubridy, the host of the Late Late Show, said: “The Irish public has simply blown us away with their generosity and kindness of spirit. The donations given will enrich the lives of children across our island who need it most to give them the support, care, and encouragement that they need. We want to offer a huge thank you to every single person who donated. We were truly overwhelmed with the response.”
Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Ireland, said: “Children, parents and amazing organisations are seeing the magic of the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal turned into actions which will transform young lives. From addressing essential needs, improving wellbeing to supporting creativity and play the generosity of television viewers is bringing not only vital support but also colour and joy to children, families and to wider communities. Offering support and benefit to 1.1 million lives is an incredible achievement. It is one which every viewer in every county should be proud of.”