Help the Rainbow Club secure the premises at Mahon Heath Centre

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Please help us by signing our petition to secure a new home for the Rainbow Club, and allow us to expand and establish ourselves permanently. We are appealing to Ann Doherty, CEO and Niall Ó Donnabháin, Senior Executive Estates Officer at Cork City Council to consider the allocation of the unused premises at Mahon Health Centre, Cork for permanent use by the Rainbow Club. The Club currently rents space in Mahon Community Centre, but we have outgrown it and now urgently need a space of our own so we can help those in need of our services.

The Rainbow Club is a voluntary club in Mahon that supports children with autism and their families. The Club supports 322 children with autism per week but is full to capacity, with a waiting list in excess of 150 children, all in need of our help. The Club has 42 volunteers working for it, with more coming on board shortly. The volunteers are helping children to develop social skills and other important skills including speech and language, sport, art and music. The Club allows children with autism to be children, to have fun while learning, and to be accepted regardless of their challenges. The Club is a bubbly, vibrant, happy place. Parents meet other parents who share similar challenges and find an essential support network. The Club is well run and full of people who are expert in supporting children with autism.  

The Rainbow Club was established in July 2015 by Karen O’Mahony and her husband Jon, a couple with two sons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Karen and Jon understand the needs of children with autism and see parents struggling every day. The Club is the only one of its kind in Cork. Parents and carers of children with autism find out about it and are desperate for their child to join due to its excellent reputation and because they need this lifeline of support. They are actively involved in fundraising for the Club and are strong advocates of its importance.

At the moment, due to the size restriction of the space we rent, the Club cannot take on any more children, which leads to families struggling unnecessarily. No one wants to see this happen, especially when there are volunteers already on board who are willing to help. We just need a place to do our good work in. We have our solution but we need help to make it happen.

Please help us by signing our petition. Thank you.


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