Photo credit: Dermot O’ Sullivan photography
The fourth annual Clonakilty Carnival took place on Saturday 15th June 2019 and was a huge success from start to finish. Organised by the carnival committee, led by the wonderful Michelle Mitton, it was the most wonderful occasion to bring everyone together for one big party. It was truly amazing to step back and to see how everyone in the town worked together to put together such a large scale event and a true testament to all the hard work and effort were the huge smiles on everyone’s faces all day!
This year, we were approached by Clonakilty- Autism Friendly Town to see if we would be interested in providing a sensory space for the event. Of course, we were delighted to provide this, as we knew that many of our own children would be attending with their families and we thought it was very important to ensure that they too, had an enjoyable day out. Moreover 1 in 4 children have additional needs in Ireland and many families would usually avoid carnivals like this because of the lack of sensory spaces. We wanted the carnival to be all inclusive and all accepting, which it absolutely was.
We set up a sensory tent, with everything from lava tiles, timers, fidgets, brushes, plush animals, sensory balls and tactile objects. We envisioned this as a place for the children to come to get quiet time away from the bustling streets of chaos and noise that is typical of these events.
So many children and families visited us throughout the day. There were some seats set up in the tent for parents and a volunteer from the Clonakilty- Autism Friendly Town was fantastic in helping us out. The feedback from everyone was amazing, with many saying that we were the best addition to the carnival this year. Families were genuinely so thankful that we were there to regulate their children when the carnival became too overwhelming. It is always so lovely to hear things like that.
We hope that if you visited us at the Clonakilty Carnival, you enjoyed your time. On the day, we were signing up volunteers to do some fundraising for us. Please get in touch, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org if this is something you might be interested in. Not-for-profits like us rely so much on fundraising and people volunteering for events, in order for us to keep delivering our high quality services to children and families.