Taken at the Helium Arts Spring Programme in Limerick. Photographer: Lucy Dawson
Helium Arts is to launch their programme for children living with a lifelong physical health condition in Nenagh.
The programme will be run by Silver Arch Family Resource Centre (FRC) in the Tyone Community Centre.
Speaking about the new programme, Founder and CEO of Helium Arts Helene Hugel, said:
"We are thrilled to be extending the reach of our arts programmes to more young people and families in Ireland by launching a new venue in Tipperary. In Ireland, there are 160,000 children and teenagers living every day with the long-term effects of illness. Families and children in the Tipperary area can now attend a workshop close to their own home, eliminating the stress of travelling long distances to avail of our services.
"Furthermore, attendees of the programme in Autumn will have the opportunity to spark new friendships and create a network within their own community. Having these types of connections will continue to help transform their healthcare experience and improve their mental health and well-being.
"The launch of the new venue in Tipperary is thanks to the support of our funders - the Creative Ireland Programme, the Department of Health, the HSE, and the Arts Council," said Ms Hugel.
The first programme in Tipperary will be a free three-day art camp during the mid-term break,
The camp led by professional artist Paul Bokslag will run from Tuesday, November 1 to Thursday, November 3.
It will consist of a morning workshop for children aged 6-8 years and an afternoon workshop for older children aged 9-12 years.
Helium Arts have locations in Cork, Limerick, and Galway, which have served over 2,000 children living with lifelong physical health conditions since 2019.
The organisation has run programmes at University Hospital Limerick, which some families may be familiar with.
Tipperary Arts Officer, Melanie Scott, said:
"Helium Arts has a strong track record for high quality and engaging programmes for children and their families. It is great news that their Creative Health Programme will be available to participants in Tipperary this Autumn."
Team Leader for Well Being Services for the Silver Arch Family Resource Centre, Sinead Ryan, said the Silver Arch Family Resource Centre is proud to work with helium Arts.
“The Silver Arch Family Resource Centre has a long history of providing community-based support, information and advocacy services to individuals, families and groups in North Tipperary, and we are proud to support the work of Helium Arts,” said Ms Ryan.
During the workshops, a paramedic will provide medical support, and volunteers are present to provide extra one-to-one support.
To find out more about the programme or to refer a child, please contact Helium Arts’ Family Liaison on firstname.lastname@example.org or 083 010 3240.
Helium Arts are also looking for volunteers in the Tipperary area to assist lead artist Paul with the workshops and provide one-to-one support to children who may have additional needs.
To apply, visit helium.ie/volunteer or email email@example.com.
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