Blossom Ireland was a runner up and won £500 of Good Neighbour during our 2016 campaign.
What is Blossom Ireland?
Blossom Ireland was set up in 2010 to work with children and their families with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. Blossom Ireland provide fun, affordable, innovative activities that enables them to be as good as they can be, including Easter & summer camps, yoga classes, and Blossom Buddies for children aged 8-18 years.
Blossom Ireland currently works with 72 children with an intellectual disability, and their families. Blossom Buddies, was piloted in 2015 and is now running on a weekly basis with 15 teens attending. The project has worked on developing life skills to enable them to access normal community life including skills regarding ordering and paying for food in a local restaurant, purchasing items in a shop and road safety skills.
The programme also focusses on developing positive friendships and learning about personal relationships, feelings and boundaries. The older teens need support and practical experience for them to make a meaningful career choice as they enter adulthood. They often express how worried they are about leaving school and ‘what is next’. Some have expressed a desire to access work experience and internships within Blossom and out in the community. The aim of the project is to develop and deliver Blossom Buddies Gateway: a life skills and work experience programme for teenagers with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities aged 16-18 years. The main objectives are to:
Create new links and develop existing community relationships with local businesses and organisations.
Explore career development with the teenagers and identify their areas of interest, through group work, individual work and a person centred plan
Identify and organise possible work experience opportunities for the teens.
Training of staff within participating workplaces around disability awareness
Provide qualified support to enable our teens to engage and learn in the work place.
Focus on the practical aspects of working, such as using public transport, making/buying lunch etc.
Increase awareness among local organisations of the benefits young people with intellectual
disabilities can bring to the workforce
Evaluate the project and identify how to expand the model
Why should Blossom Ireland receive a donation from the Good Neighbour programme?
A recent report by the ESRI has shown that there is a particularly low employment rate among people with disabilities, with only 27% of working age people with a disability in employment. One particular difficulty facing adults and young people with an intellectual disability is getting that first piece of experience in the world of work. The Blossom Buddies Gateway project will address this challenge. The project has a positive working relationship with Raheny Business association, who have opened the doors to many local businesses. These businesses are very supportive of Blossom Ireland. This project will benefit up to 15 young people between the ages of 16 – 18, from the Dublin region, with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. The project will ensure that up to 15 teenagers with an intellectual disability are engaged with the local business community in Raheny and know what area they would like to work in when they leave school. Blossom Ireland wants to build on from Blossom Buddies to ensure that when they leave their service they leave as confident, assertive young adults, who know what they want to achieve and know how to achieve it.
What could Blossom Ireland use the money for?
Blossom Ireland would use the Good Neighbour programme’s donation money to pay towards the launch of Blossom Buddies Gateway. The total cost of the pilot project is detailed below:
€30k budget will allow 2 staff to attend specialised training course in UK to enable them to develop person-centred plans for their young teens.
2 groups of 7 to 8 teens (1 facilitator + 3 support staff per group) over 24 weeks:
Course fee €600 x 2people – €1200 Flights (return to UK):€150 x 2trips x 2people – €600 Accomodation/night:€90 x 4 nights x 2 people – €720 Food/travel allowance: €50 x 6 days x 2 people – €600
Airport transfer (incl train & Taxi): €50 x 2trips x 2 people – €200 Staff pay rate while attending: €25 x 48hrs x 1 -€1200 Subtotal 1: €3320 Services Development Manager (Planning): 1 x €25ph x 8hrs x 24 wks – €4800
Premises: 1 x €25ph x 6hrs x 24 wks – €3600 Group Facilitator: 1 x €25ph x 8hrs x 24 wks – €9600 6 x Support Staff: €14ph x 3hrs x 24wks – €6048 Materials: €50pwk x 24 wks – €1200
Post pilot evaluation: x €25ph x 20hrs x 1wk – €500 Sub Total 2: €25748
Gross Total: €29068