Monday 22 July 2019

Young girl raises much-needed funds for Ballycanew National School Autistic Unit

Sarah Cloke, who sold sunflower plants that she grew from seeds in support of autism unit
Sarah Cloke, who sold sunflower plants that she grew from seeds in support of autism unit
Anne Marie Kelly, school principal Seamus Dempsey, Sarah Cloke and teacher Hannah Roche at Ballycanew NS

Sara Gahan

A young eight-year old girl has donated €455 to Ballycanew National School Autism Unit through a very thoughtful fundraiser.

Sarah Cloke, who attends Gaelscoil Moshíológ in Gorey, planted 180 sunflowers seeds in pots. When the flower sprouted and was ready to be placed in the ground, she decided to sell them outside Ballycanew National School for €2 per sunflower.

A parent of a child with autism, Anne-Marie Kelly, said Sarah wanted to help the pupils with autism. 'She is friends with my son and wanted to do something to help,' added Anne-Marie.

The money will contribute towards the funds for Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and Behavioural. Anne-Marie said the Department of Education can only provide so much so it is up to the parents and staff to fundraise the rest.

'The parents, staff and Principal Seamus Dempsey are very touched with Sarah's generosity,' said Anne-Marie. 'She really gave us a dig out and it is hugely appreciated.

Sarah and Anne-Marie had glorious weather selling the sunflowers.

Currently, there are 18 autistic children attending Ballycanew National School. Anne-Marie said she was lucky enough to get a place for her son.

'They are highly rated with providing education to kids with autism,' said Anne-Marie. 'It is a great facility and building, but there is so much more needed.'

Anne-Marie said on behalf of the parent, staff and Mr Dempsey they would like to give a big thank you to Sarah for her amazing kindness.

Gorey Guardian