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  • Writer's pictureDanny Joyce | Editor

RTÉ Toy Show Appeal’s Grants to help transform young lives all across the island of Ireland

The lives of children across Ireland will be improved in multiple ways through 122 RTÉ Toy Show Appeal grants announced today, which were made possible by the generosity of viewers of last November’s Late Late Toy Show.

The response from Late Late Toy Show viewers to the appeal will help transform the lives of 1.1 million children, young people and their families in Ireland, with every county on the island benefitting from grants totaling €3.6million.


The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal began in 2020,and was inspired by the story of Saoirse Ruane from Kiltullagh Co Galway, who won the hearts of the nation with her appearance on The Late Late Toy Show. Saoirse sadly passed away in March of this year, and RTÉ Director General Kevin Backhurst today spoke of Saoirse’s enduring legacy with The Toy Show Appeal.


Announcing the grants, RTÉ Director General Kevin Bakhurst said: “The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal is one of the most important things that we do as an organisation. We are so grateful for the support of our Late Late Toy Show audience whose generosity has ensured that RTÉ can continue to make a positive difference to the lives of thousands of children, and their families across the island, north and south."


"Children have always been the inspiration behind the Late Late Toy Show and have, in turn, inspired the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal, not least, Saoirse Ruane who will be remembered as someone who made such a positive and lasting impact on us all. Her memory will live on through the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal and the many young lives that will be transformed.”   

The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal, in partnership with the Community Foundation Ireland, announced today that the following five charities are to receive transformative grants of €120,000 each.


  • The Offaly Traveller Movement was awarded funds to extend its unique ‘Travelling to Wellbeing Mental Health Service’ which is a Traveller specific programme to address the critical mental health needs within the Traveller community.


  • Crosscare was awarded a transformative grant for their innovative ‘social supermarket’ pilot aimed at addressing the root causes of food poverty in a dignified and effective way and promoting a move away from food banks that can perpetuate poverty and contribute to industry around food surplus.


  • Community Law & Mediation received funding for its ‘Children and Young People’s Law Service’ to meet the needs and realise change for marginalised groups.


  • Children At Risk in Ireland CARI was awarded a transformative grant for its trauma-informed therapeutic group support for adolescents who have experienced child sexual abuse, and parent support groups for carers of adolescents who have experienced child sexual abuse.


  • Baboró International Arts Festival for Children was granted the award to roll out a creative sensory workshop model for children with additional needs in five schools across Galway, Westmeath, and Clare, accompanied by professional development for teachers.


The remainder of the donations will be split amongst over a hundred charities across the island of Ireland by charity partner Community Foundation Ireland who manage the grant process on behalf of RTÉ and its viewers. Among the recipient charities are organisations like AsIAm Ireland’s Autism Charity, Barnardos, Barretstown, Cancer Care West and Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation.


Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Ireland said: “Children’s lives in every county are about to be transformed thanks to the huge generosity of RTÉ Late Late Toy Show viewers and the Toy Show Appeal. Colour, excitement and joy are being introduced into so many young lives including those living with illness and disability. Protection and safety will also be provided to those living with bullying, in violent homes and facing abuse. The Community Foundation is a proud partner of RTÉ in realising the vision of viewers to support children across Ireland.” 


Grants are being provided under three main areas of support:


  • Addressing Essential Needs to assist those children in every county who face the greatest challenges. Projects include: family support for children across Ireland at risk of food poverty, therapy and counselling for children and young people facing homelessness (Dublin), and specialist legal support for children in the care system. €650,000 has been dedicated to ensuring children are fed, warm, safe and have brilliant opportunities ahead of them.


  • Health and Wellbeing focuses on supporting children living with disabilities and life limiting conditions. In total, over €1.5M is being awarded this year to provide health, disability supports, mental wellbeing and therapy services. Grants include supports for children with cancer diagnosis in Cavan, palliative care supports for children in Munster and supporting those with ADHD in Belfast.


  • Creativity and Play will ensure the lives of marginalised and disadvantaged children are full of colour, creativity and fun. Grants include: providing access to recreational activities including surfing in Donegal and Galway, developing a neurodiversity sensory centre in Leinster, and a youth theatre for children with disabilities all across Ireland.


Local projects and organisations in every county of Ireland will receive grants to help with a diverse range of needs including meeting basic needs like food and essentials, disability supports, creativity and play and bereavement support. Over £287,000 has been awarded to 13 charities and organisations in Northern Ireland including Angel Eyes NI Services, Youthlife, Sticky Fingers Arts and Action Mental Health.


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