A support group based in Limavady that helps children with additional needs and their families is set to benefit thanks to big hearted Dungiven woman, Danielle Farren.
Danielle, a special needs classroom assistance at St. Canice P.S. in Dungiven, dyed her blonde locks blue on Friday to raise awareness about autism.
She’s also been involved in organising a non-uniform day at the school on Friday, which will also raise funds.Danielle, who jokingly dubbed herself Dungiven’s ‘Marge Simpson’, said whatever she raises will go to COS (Circle of Support) Roe Valley.
The 31-year-old said it was St. Canice P.S. student, Milo Brolly, who inspired her to fundraise. Danielle has worked with Milo, who has autism, for the last six years and has developed a close bond with him.
“Milo is a loveable child. He’s really happy in school and all the other pupils and staff are brilliant with him, as they are with other children with special needs. Milo is very dependent on me in school, but he has started to build relationships. In nursery, Milo was non verbal, but now his speech is really coming on, which is brilliant,” said Danielle.
Through working with Milo, Danielle became concerned about her own son, two-year-old Charlie, who has been referred to be tested.
“COS is a great group for parents and they offer great support which I might need myself someday,” said Danielle, who thanked everyone who has supported the fundraiser and her colleagues at St. Canice P.S.
Danielle’s brother, DJ Reid also dyed his hair blue last week while his colleagues at Specialist Joinery Group have agreed to join Danielle and fundraise for Roe Valley COS too.
Louise Barron, outreach coordinator with Roe Valley COS, praised Danielle and the others for their fundraising. She said the group has tripled its numbers in Limavady since it started three years ago.
Louise said COS brings families together and offers support through a number of social settings. It helps maintain out-of-term routine for young people with additional needs, for example through Easter activities and summer schemes, said Louise. She said whatever is raised through Danielle’s efforts will help.
“It all helps, no matter what is raised. People say ‘I was going to donate to COS, but it’s only £50’, well £50 goes a long way. It all helps out,” added Louise.
To find out more go to COS Roe Valley Facebook page or call Louise on 07842452559. To donate to Danielle visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Danielle-Farren1