2014 The Year Ahead

SNPA has always been parent led by an Executive Committee of parents who volunteer their time. Towards the end of last year, we lost our Treasurer Susan Sheehy under the most tragic of circumstances. Sue was an integral part of the running of SNPA as well as fulfilling her other voluntary commitments to Chairing Kerry Autism Action, pursuing interests in the area of Rare Disorders and also Surf2Heal in Co. Kerry. We miss her dearly and our thoughts are with her family and friends.

SNPAs first Disability Information Day Kerry 2010
Left to Right: SNPA Committee & Volunteers Patricia Houlihan, Noel Cuddy, Sue Sheehy, Lorraine Dempsey & Yvonne Dillon

SNPA is 100% voluntary with no paid staff and does not charge parents a membership fee as we realise that parents may already be paying a fee to disability specific organisations and local groups and do not want to over burden parents financially. We also do not receive any form of Government funding and rely totally on donations and fundraising activities which to date have not been an area of focus due to the sheer volume of time spent in meeting our aims and objectives by supporting parents, travelling around Ireland to provide information stands and speaking at events, participating in consultations and Government review groups and collaborating with other organisations in the disability sector to continue to press for measurable change and investment in people with disabilities and their families.

As Committee colleagues and as friends, we have had to adjust to the loss of Sue who was an inspirational cog in the wheel that keeps SNPA growing. We had so many plans together and now is the time to regroup and carry on with the vision of reaching out to more parents on the ground across Ireland, broadening ways of providing information and peer support and uniting parents voices in solidarity by ‘Bringing Parents Together’.

This vision is only possible with the help of many and in that regard, this year we are seeking out people who can volunteer some skills and a little time to help with an ever growing parent led voluntary organisation with charitable status. So if you have particular skills in Admin, PR/Marketing, fundraising, bookkeeping, special interests & blog writing etc. we would love to hear from you. Or if you are thinking of running information events or a regular support group in your area but don’t know how to get things off the ground, please get in touch and we will help you get it set up and organised. If you are time restricted but wish to do something to help, you could help by distributing our information leaflets to your local schools, GP Surgery, support groups and community centers so that other parents who may need us can find us!

 If you would like to support us by running a fundraising coffee morning, table quiz or take part in a sponsored sporting event, we would really appreciate the support and you can set up your own online event and fundraising page on our iDonate profile

We would love to hear from you, so please email info@specialneedsparents.ie and help us grow in 2014.

Lorraine Dempsey