Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland launches a pilot awareness campaign with three top hotels

30 Jun 2022

Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) has joined forces with the Rochestown Park Hotel, The Kingsley Hotel and Newpark Hotel to ensure all families with an autism assistance dog are supported when they visit, stay or dine with them. Commencing on July 1st, this pilot awareness-raising campaign aims to provide a welcoming and inclusive space for all families attending these hotels. 

Speaking at the launch of the campaign Niall O’Halloran, Purchasing Manager at the Rochestown Park Hotel, said, “In recent years we have seen a noticeable increase in the amount of assistance dogs that are accompanying children within the hotel.  We know that up to now, guests and diners in the hotel and indeed many staff, were unfamiliar with how to adapt or modify their behaviour around a child who may be accompanied by an assistance dog. With the help of AADI, we are now in a position to contribute in some small way to creating better experiences for families”

As part of the pilot, AADI designed and created a pull-up banner which the hotels generously committed to purchasing and placing at a focal point within their main reception areas. Upon arrival at the hotels, guests will be greeted with the banner featuring Koda, an AADI autism assistance dog, and are encouraged to read Koda’s message to learn how they can best support a family with an autism assistance dog by following four simple steps.  In addition to the banner, staff at the hotels have received a guide produced by AADI explaining the role of an assistance dog and how they can make an experience for a family with an assistance dog more comfortable. 

Caitriona Sheehan, HR Manager from The Kingsley Hotel, said We are delighted to be part of Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) awareness campaign launch at The Kingsley, and proud to be among the first hotels to pilot the scheme. We are always working towards becoming more aware and inclusive at The Kingsley for our staff and for our guests. This amazing campaign will create meaningful awareness for AADI in 4 simple steps.”

Commenting on the campaign, Joanna Hannick, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Newpark Hotel, explains, “Koda’s message is important to us all and the more awareness we can create the better.  The team at Newpark Hotel are very proud to be a part of the Autism Assistance Dogs pilot awareness campaign”.   

Eileen Aherne, Corporate Partnerships & Philanthropy Manager at AADI, says, “We are delighted to be working with these three hotels on the pilot awareness campaign. As a charity we train and place highly skilled autism assistance dogs with families throughout Ireland.  These dogs transform lives and allow families to go back out into the community and do things they may have not have been able to before.   These fantastic hotels are committed to ensuring guests and staff provide a first-class welcome for assistance dogs and their families, and we at AADI are incredibly grateful to them for helping to bring this campaign to life”.

Following the anticipated success of the pilot campaign over the summer months, AADI hopes to expand this awareness-raising initiative to include even more of their supporters within the hospitality sector.

Rochestown Park Hotel launches the AADI Pilot Awareness Campaign.   Pictured left to right: Niall O’ Halloran, Purchasing Manager at the Rochestown Park Hotel, Eileen Aherne, AADI, Aileen Foy, AADI, Tom Tobin, General Manager at the Rochestown Park Hotel and AADI Dogs Quest and Norris

AADI Dogs Quest and Norris at launch of the pilot awareness campaign.

Kingsley Hotel launches the AADI Pilot Awareness Campaign. Pictured left to right: Suzanne Mahony AADI, Catriona Sheehan, HR Manager at The Kingsley, Orlane Picard, Guest Relations Agent and Darren Murray, Food & Beverage Supervisor and AADI Dog Willis.

Newpark Hotel launches AADI Pilot Awareness Campaign. Pictured left to right: Ross Houlihan, Trainee Manager and Amy Costigan, Duty Manager.