Keith Duffy, patron of Irish Autism Action, is leading the call for businesses, schools, and people young and old to get involved in Blue Nose Month, launching in Ireland on Tuesday 2nd April next; World Autism Awareness Day.
Blue noses will be on sale for a month from Wednesday 9th April for €2 in Xtra-vision, Expert Electrical, Dundrum Town Centre, ESSO On-The-Run, Carphone Warehouse and Swapkit stores, with all proceeds going to Irish Autism Action.
Other corporate supporters involved in fundraising initiatives during the month include Fossett’s Circus, where the generous blue nosed clowns will host special circus performances in aid of the autism support group.
“Doing something good for someone else is the best antidote to the blues, so I would ask that people think about how they might raise a little for Irish Autism Action in April, and have some fun at the same time”, the Boyzone star said in support of the Blue Nose campaign.
Members of 40 autism support groups and special schools countrywide will host fundraising events in practically every county in Ireland during April, and Irish Autism Action is hoping more people will come on board to help raise much-needed funds, and to donate what they can.
Wearing your blue jeans to work or school; a karaoke night exclusively with songs with blue in the title; or being sponsored to wear only blue for the day, are among the fundraising activities people are organising during April, according to the group.
“Irish Autism Action doesn’t get State funding for the services we provide, so we depend entirely on the generosity of the public and on corporate support. The numbers affected by autism in Ireland are growing, and education, care, support, and equality are serious issues for these vulnerable members of our society and their families, IAA chief executive Kevin Whelan says.
Funds raised by Blue Nose Month will go towards supporting the work of the Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE) in Multyfarnham, Co. Westmeath, which was established by the charity in 2012. The charity’s objective in setting up this unique facility in Ireland is to offer vital resources to children and adults on the spectrum through a variety of services including Assessment & Diagnosis, Autism Helpline, Information Centre, supported employment opportunities and Outreach Programmes.
Information and fundraising ideas are available on the Irish Autism Action website at www.autismireland.ie, and everyone throughout the country that can help with fundraising activity or donations should contact Colette Charles, the organisation’s Fundraising & Events Co-ordinator, on 044-9371680.
What is Autism?
Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder, where the brain is not fully engaged in areas of social interaction and communication. People with autism can have severe difficulties in communicating and forming relationships with people, and in developing language, and using abstract concepts.
Autism is genetically pre-determined, although environmental ‘triggers’ may also be involved in its growing incidence. Numbers being diagnosed with autism are rising, which may, in part, be due to better diagnostic procedures. While a prevalence study for Ireland is only underway, the National Autistic Society in the UK says the condition now affects 1 in 110 children there.
The aim of Irish Autism Action is to raise the quality of life of individuals and their families affected by autism, through ensuring the provision of the highest standards in education, care, support, employment and equality of living opportunities, in partnership with families.
See www.autismireland.ie for more information and please support Blue Nose Month for Irish Autism Action