Millions of TV viewers will this weekend watch five Derry mums honoured for their work with autistic children and their parents.
The five mums, the founders of local group COS (Circle of Support), get the Surprise Surprise treatment on ITV this Sunday night.
Juliana Harkin, Carrie Coyle, Caroline Campbell, Denise O’Kane and Amy Campbell met through the Little Orchids playschool. Over the last 18 months they’ve been the driving force of the group and its website.
“We can’t say too much about the programme,” Carrie told the ‘Journal’ yesterday.
“But it was very emotional and we were all totally shocked.”
The five women, nominated by Juliana’s sister Finola, were totally in the dark about the ITV show, now presented by Holly Willoughby.
“We thought we were going over to London to make a documentary about autism,” Carrie said.
Circle of Support has grown rapidly over the past year and a half, and now offers a range of support and education services.
Carrie says one of the things Surprise Surprise producers were particularly keen on was the autism-friendly cinema outings. These are tailored so kids with autism can enjoy a trip to the cinema, and organised in conjunction with Brunswick Cinebowl.
It’s a busy time for the group, who as well as the TV appearance are in the process of opening their first permanent premises.
More details on the work of COS and the latest developments are available online at www.cos-circleofsupport.com