Pay Less for the Dress a resounding success in Limerick

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We are delighted to announce that ‘Pay Less for the Dress’ was a resounding success and it raised a massive €8578.45!! It wouldn’t have happened without a lot of dedication and time from the amazing, voluntary, organising committee of Michelle, Maylinda, Vivienne, Lynn, Martina and Michael who organised the event on our behalf. Thank you from all of us here at AADI and also thank you, on behalf of the children and families on our waiting list. Also a special thank you to their family and friends who helped out on the night but most importantly supported and encouraged them in the weeks leading up to the big event.

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On the night, the atmosphere was buzzing helped in particularly by the performance of singer, Linda Keane and the MC Lorraine O'Connell. Our special guest on the night, DJ Louise Cantillon from Spin SW added to the excitement and buzz in the Absolute Hotel who kindly facilitated the event by gifting us the use of their Abbey suite.

It took an army of 15-20 volunteers to staff the event on the night, many of these volunteers had been with us all day preparing the room for the event. The effort was outstanding but it really payed off. The feedback from those attending was amazing. We were delighted that everyone who attended had such an amazing time.

The event received some amazing support in the form of sponsorship and spot prizes as well as all the dresses that were donated. Local businesses were exceptionally generous and we would like to extend a special thank you to each and every one of them who supported the event. They are listed below:

University Concert Hall, Establishment Bar & Restaurant, Spotless Dry cleaners, Aura Leisure Centre, Trabolgan, Matthew Stephens Jewellers, Game of Thrones tours Belfast, Delphi Resort, Glen Tavern, Chapel St Tattoo, Third Eye Tattoo, Soul Addiction Tattoo, Nolans Butchers, The Fit Factory, Gain Pet Food, Loughwell Farm, Savoy Hotel, Visage Hair Salon, TK Max, Currys, Ballyneety Golf Club, Tap House Annacotty, Woodlands House Hotel, Catherine Hickey Hair, Ez Living, Thompsons Funeral Home, Dannies Closet, Mountain Warehouse, Lough Lannagh Holiday Village, Pat Shack, Delta Karting, Lloyds Pharmacy, Tracy Skehan Hair, Deirdre Kelly Beauty, Jeeves Dry Cleaners, Dulla Ploughing Association, Adams of Glin, Maria Byrne, Avril Henry, Hugh Campbell, Cahill’s Cheese, Brown Paper Killaloe, Irish Rail, Lynda Keane, Virginjas Bridal Shop, Dream Ireland Holidays, Carambola, A Class Above, Abbey Boarding Kennels, Ballymorris Pottery, Angel Times, Laura’s Baked Creations, Garrets Butchers, Galway Bay Hotel, Unique Hair & Beauty, Barkers and Bowes Dog Groomers, Limerick Printmakers, Alexandra Dental, Back Baller, ERS, Willie O’Dea, Tesco Roxboro, Amees, The Ivory Closet, So Beautiful, Harper’s Coffee, Be Fabulous, Lawless Flowers, Vanilla Browns, Reva’s Spa, Bean an Ti and Supervalu Castletroy.

We have a large number of dresses still remaining after the event and we are excited to hear what fundraising/event ideas our volunteers are going to come up with to sell the remaining dresses. So if you missed the main event, keep an eye on our facebook for details of upcoming events/dress sales!


Tips for hosting a successful Facebook Fundraiser

Overview

So you have decided to host a Facebook fundraiser? That’s amazing! We are delighted that you have chosen to change the world for children with autism by supporting us. Unfortunately just creating a fundraiser, posting about it once, and leaving it out there probably isn’t going to get very much traction. So we would like to share with you a few tips to help you reach your fundraising goal.

Follow these steps and you could be surprised at how much support you get for your fundraiser!

Getting started

Whether you are pledging your birthday or doing a challenge event, setting up a Facebook Fundraiser couldn’t be easier. CLICK HERE and Facebook will guide you through the setup, and in just a few clicks you will be ready to start sharing your fundraiser. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook Fundraising tips below to make the most out of your fundraiser.

The best news is, Facebook Fundraisers are currently 100% free and Facebook transfer all monies donated directly into our bank account. We as a charity are not charged any fees or transaction charges. Your donors are not charged a cent for donating. Every single cent donated goes towards changing the world for a child with autism. Isn’t that awesome!

Successful Fundraising Tips

Time It

If possible schedule your fundraiser so that it has a good lead up time and ends about 4 days after your actual birthday or event.

Using our tips you should expect to see a breakdown similar to the following:

·         Pre-Birthday/Event: 64%

·         Day of Birthday/Event: 27%

·         Post-Birthday/Event: 9%

Set a Lower Goal

Don’t set yourself up for disappointment early! Set a lower goal like €150 or €200. This provides several psychological benefits. Your friends who donate will feel like their donation makes a bigger impact, there is a more realistic heartstring pull to reach your goal, and you can always increase your goal or let it go over your initial ask. Donating €10 to a fundraiser with a €500 goal that only raises €100 is depressing – donating €10 to a fundraiser that hits its €100 goal feels great!

Have a “Free” Option

Not everyone will be able to donate, wants to donate or trusts internet donations (although we can assure you Facebook donations are very safe and fee free). That is okay! If you set your fundraiser up asking for people to either donate or share the event if they don’t want to donate, your fundraiser will get more attention and traction than if the people who didn’t donate did nothing at all. The people who didn’t want to donate will share the event and it will take over the internet!

“It’s my birthday and I challenge you to help me change the world for children with autism by doing one or both of these things: 1) Donate Something AND/OR 2) Share this!”

Invite Your Friends

Invite all of your friends one by one to the fundraiser. Have 5,000 friends? Yes, you still need to invite all of them! This sounds like a daunting task, but its easier than you think!

Speed up invites by using a desktop browser to navigate to the fundraiser page. Open the invite dialog and you should see a list of all of your friends with an “Invite” button beside each one. Facebook limits invites to pages and groups but it seems like it does not limit the number of invites to a fundraiser. 

Click “Invite” for your first friend and press the “Tab” key. The next friend’s Invite button should now be highlighted. Press the space “Space” key to press that selected button. Then hit Tab and Space for the next friend. Continue to quickly press Tab and Space until you have cycled through all of your friends. If you pass up a friend accidentally you can hold “Shift” and press Tab to go backwards. This method is much faster than clicking. You can speed this process up even more by pre-loading your friends in the list by scrolling down and lazy loading them all before starting. Do you feel like a hacker now?

Points of Contact

You are going to need to contact people several times during the course of your fundraiser. Treat it like a campaign. You are running for the office of reaching your goal and you have to rely on your friends to get you there! Most of your donations will be from you personally interacting with people rather than people organically discovering your fundraiser on their timeline or through their notifications.

Initial Public Offering

As soon as you start your fundraiser, look through your recent Facebook Messenger interactions and send a generic message to everyone you talk with regularly. Something generic that sounds personal works great.

“Hey, I just started a birthday fundraiser and I don’t want people to think I can’t raise money so could u donate something so I at least have a head start? Love u!”

Venture Out

Facebook is not the only place you should go. Copy the link to your Fundraiser and text/whatsapp it to people, tweet it, share it on your snapchat story!

It’s THE Day

Leading up to your birthday/event you should have received a good deal of donations from your friends. Or at least signs of support, best wishes, Likes, Shares etc.

But now it is the big day and you are going to get lots of messages on your timeline from people wishing you ‘Good Luck’ or ‘Happy Birthday’ (Depending on why you set up your fundraiser).

One of the cool things Facebook does for the good of mankind is it automatically groups all of these timeline posts together so it doesn’t fill anyone’s news feed. Since all the posts aren’t seen, you can respond to them all with a generic message and link to the fundraiser without it filling everyone’s timeline with you commenting on everything!

You may also opt to go the more personal (seeming) route and send a message instead. Either way keep the message simple and generic but word it to seem personal.

“Hey thanks for the Happy Birthday J. Will you support my fundraiser giving what you can AND/OR sharing it. I’m so close to my goal and its for an amazing charity! Your the best :D, Lol [Insert Le Link Here]”

Post Updates

Post updates from time to time on your Facebook graciously thanking everyone who donated and updating on the progress toward the goal. Every time the fundraiser is mentioned, new people may become exposed to it. People will be glad to be making you happy and people will donate to make you happier.

Miss Fundraisiality

When your fundraiser is about 3 days from ending or if you reach your goal early, write a nice public message graciously thanking everyone for donating, reminding everyone about the amazing cause they donated to, and letting everyone know how happy they have made you by supporting you. You may yet get a few more donations after your speech.

Finally

Best of luck!!! We really hope you reach your fundraising goal. If you have any questions or queries, please give me a call on (022)43851 or email me at carla@aadi.ie

Today FMs Phil Cawley talks candidly to us in AADI about why our service is critical to bringing children with autism and their families back to our communities........... where they belong!

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"When I first heard of Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, I has no idea that these amazing creatures were used for anything other than helping people with sight difficulties.

Having first hand experience of my sons ASD, I understand completely the fears that children and young people with autism can go through. Anyone with experience of autism will tell you that the simplest noise or sudden change can dramatically affect the child.

These autism assistance dogs, when trained to to such a high standard, as is evident with AADI's recent accreditation with Assistance Dogs International, have such a life changing impact on the child with autism and their future. And the future of all of the family. It is truly incredible!

I talked with Aidan who received Gandi from AADI, and when I spoke with him, I felt that Aidan had been given a new life, independence, and this is all down to the charity's training of his Autism Assistance Dog.

I got behind Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland as I have seen first hand what they are doing to reach these children with autism and their families, how they are a lifeline to these families, how they want to reach more children struggling with the invisible symptoms of autism.

Exploring alternative methods is something that all carers of children with autism want to look at. Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland are a support that I truly believe is one of the roads that families should consider as a way to help the growth of their child with autism.

For far too long, autism has been in the shadows. Your family, your neighbour, your community have all been touched by someone affected by autism. It is time for us to move up, educate ourselves and become more ASD aware. It is time for us to support charities like Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland who are striving against funding shortages to make life better for children with autism and their families in our communities across Ireland." Phil Cawley

Petworld raise €9429.58 for children on Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland's waiting list

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We met with the team at Petworld to share how their support is making an impact on the lives of families affected by autism. Niall Raymonds spoke about the life changing difference that AADI dog Alvin has made on the lives of all of their family. Speaking at the event, Niall explained, “Alvin has brought hope and happiness to our family”. Thank you to everyone at Petworld for being part of this life changing story

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SPEARLINE ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH AUTISM ASSISTANCE DOGS IRELAND

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Spearline is delighted to announce a three year partnership with Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI). Spearline’s software solution Spearline Data Protection will be used by Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland to manage and demonstrate their entire General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance programme.

Ciara Lucy, Managing Director of Spearline met with Nuala Geraghty, CEO of AADI and Cherie Tyner,  Communications, PR and Corporate Partnerships Manager for AADI to officially launch the partnership in Cork this week.

John Considine, Chairperson to the Board of Directors of Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland says “Data Protection is one of the foremost concerns in the running of a charity. The charity sector is an industry which processes a large amount of sensitive personal data - both that of our clients as well as details of our sponsors and donors. We are dedicated to protecting this information and ensuring that we take every possible measure to avoid a breach. Reputation and trust are paramount for charities and we want to demonstrate to our supporters that we are invested in good governance around data protection.”

Ciara Lucy, Managing Director of Spearline says “Spearline is proud to work with Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland as a charity partner. We are familiar with the value they add to the national community and the significance of their work. Charities have an increased responsibility in the care of data with the introduction of the GDPR and need to be meticulous in implementing solid systems to manage their compliance obligations. At Spearline we have created a single platform solution for the management and demonstration of GDPR compliance which Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland will now use in their organisation.”

AADI was set up in 2010 as a response to the number of children with autism in Ireland who urgently need the support of an assistance dog.  AADI’s primary focus is to train and place Autism Assistance Dogs with children with autism who are struggling to cope with the distressing elements of this invisible disability, such as chronic anxiety, sensory overload, self harming and bolting in to the road as the child may be unable to process danger.  AADI have the first and only Autism Assistance Dog Programme in Ireland to achieve the exceptional Assistance Dogs International accreditation. The charity provide their life changing service completely free of charge to families and are reliant on the kindness of individuals and corporations to change the world for children with autism across Ireland.

Spearline won SME Cork Company of the Year 2018 at the Cork Company of the Year Awards run by Cork Chamber. Since then Spearline have grown staff numbers and product offerings as well as acquiring a landmark building in Skibbereen to house the increasing team.   Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland is proud to affiliate with Spearline who are a wholly Irish owned company with a global footprint working with some of the world’s largest brands.


40 days and 800 kilometer Camino to raise vital funds

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My name is Deborah Walsh, I'm from Lucan in Co. Dublin and I've taken 40 days out from my daily life to walk the 800 km Camino French way to raise urgently needed funds for the children on Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland waiting list.

I chose to raise money for AADI because of my dear friends daughter, a special little girl who has autism and who is on AADIs waiting list. 

I understand the huge difference AADI Autism Assistance Dogs make to children with Autism and so by doing this 800 kilometer trek I want to raise as much money as possible to help the charity to reach more children who desperately need the support of one of their autism assistance dogs.  This trek will be a lifeline to families who are currently struggling to cope.

If you would like to join me in helping support these wonderful children, then click here

Follow me along my travels and help spread awareness of the work of this wonderful charity by visiting my facebook page and sharing the journey here

Together we can help change the world for children with autism and their families XXXX

 

 

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THIS SEPTEMBER TAKE ON A CHALLENGE LIKE NO OTHER AND CHANGE THE WORLD FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

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Exciting news for those who want a REAL CHALLENGE. . . . . . . 

Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, in partnership with Ballyhass Lakes, Mallow, Co. Cork are hosting the incredible ‘Adventure Challenge for Autism’ on 29th September, with hundreds of challenge hungry competitors expected to take part.  

Step out of your comfort zone and take on an adventure like no other, tackling 5 challenges over 3 hours.  Participants can expect to get masked with mud and soaked to the skin as they navigate through the ability testing assault course, fly the 150 meter zip-line across quarry lakes, take on the Gladiator Challenge, abseil and much much more.  Suitable for thrill seekers big and small, participants can enter as a team, a family or individually. 

Competition will be neck and neck as competitors are scored on each challenge that they successfully complete.  For those guys and gals who don’t like to lose, there will be prizes galore in all categories.

CEO of AADI,  Nuala Geraghty says, “This is definitely a thrilling event for people who really love to push themselves.  They don’t come much bigger or better than this.  We partnered with Ballyhass Lakes as they have an incredible reputation for top class events.  We know that the ‘Adventure Challenge for Autism’ will bring teams and families together to test themselves to achieve success, have the time of their lives and ultimately help to get more assistance dogs to children with autism who are currently struggling to cope with the crippling elements of this invisible disability.  I would urge everyone to sign up.  You will definitely get mud in your face but you will also help families struggling to cope with autism live a new life through the support of one of our highly skilled assistance dogs.”

So set yourself a real challenge with the ‘Adventure Challenge for Autism’ and sign up here today.  This is one serious adventure!!!!!!

 

Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland achieve the FIRST and ONLY accreditation for an Autism Assistance Dog Programme in Ireland with Assistance Dogs International

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Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) are this month celebrating their accreditation with Assistance Dogs International for their exceptional standards and training of their Autism Assistance Dogs for children with autism across Ireland.  This award will place AADI as the first and only Autism Assistance Dog Programme in Ireland to be accredited to these international standards and comes at a time when statistics highlight that 1 in every 65 children in Ireland have a diagnosis of this invisible disability. 

Not all organisations that undergo this rigorous assessment process are granted accreditation.  Status as an accredited charity means that AADI has met the internationally recognised standards for excellence in provision of task specific dog training, welfare and education and is an achievement that the team at the charity want all of their donors, corporate partners and volunteers to be proud of too.

Speaking of the success, CEO, Nuala Geraghty explains, “We believe that the children with autism and families that we work to support and provide our services to deserve the very best.  We train our assistance dogs over a two year period to mitigate the difficulties that the child is experiencing because of autism, such as chronic anxiety, lack of danger awareness and inability to go to public places because of sensory overload.  Our autism assistance dogs give back life to the child and their family, helping children with autism to reach their potential and return to being part of their communities, where they belong.  

Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland invests two years and over 9,100 hours of training in each dog to get our dogs to the stage where they will be the lifeline for a child and family affected by autism.  

Our success as the first and only Autism Assistance Dog Programme in Ireland to be accredited with ADI helps to affirm the fact that the services that we provide are of exceptional standard and have an impact on children across Ireland that is lasting a lifetime.  Without doubt, going through the accreditation process was an intense time, but it propelled us to take stock and acknowledge how determined we are to get more autism assistance dogs to children with autism who urgently need them. 

It is a constant reminder that our responsibility is to continuously improve the worlds of children with autism and their families through the training that we invest in our dogs.  To say that we are proud of the service that we provide and the accolade that we have received from Assistance Dogs International is probably an understatement.  We are literally over the moon with this achievement.  The news comes as we mark International Assistance Dog Week, 5 – 11 August 2018 and the incredible changes that our dogs bring to the lives of children with autism and their families.” 

The standards to which Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland train their dogs can be clearly seen in the success stories that they have with families such as the O’ Briens from County Wicklow.  AADI placed Zara with Mia this year.  Lisa O’Brien, Mia’s mum, states “We can see the support that Zara brings Mia already, how Zara looks out for and minds Mia.  Zara gives independence to us as a family.    Before we received Zara from Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, you would get all sorts of looks and whispering, where people would gather their thoughts and come up with their own diagnosis of Mia.  Mia’s brothers and sister would sense this straight away and lip read every conversation around them.  It was very upsetting for them.  Now that people can see Mia attached with Zara, there is instant acceptance of my daughter. 

Mia has no awareness of the risk that strangers pose and in the past she would hug strangers.  As parents this was very worrying.  Mia is very trusting, but this means that she is vulnerable.  Now, with Zara, Mia is more focused and by being attached with her assistance dog, she is safe and doesn’t go up to strangers.  Zara gives us a new hope”. 

It takes 2 years and costs €22,000 to train AADI Dogs to Assistance Dogs International Standards.  The charity receives no government funding and is reliant on the support of individuals and companies across Ireland.  Most importantly, all of the charity's assistance dogs are provided to families completely free of charge and are only placed with the family when the dog is fully qualified to make a life lasting impact.    

If you would like to change the world of a child with autism on our waiting list, you can be their lifeline by sponsoring one of our autism assistance puppies in training for as little as €3 a week.  Click here to change a child's world

Petworld and Horkans make a lasting impact!!!!

Thank you sincerely to all of the staff and customers of Petworld and Horkans Garden Centres who have made such a massive effort in raising critical funds to make life better for children with autism.

You are now the proud sponsors of Poppy the autism assistance puppy. Poppy, through your sponsorship, is going to transform the life of a child with autism and their family beyond recognition.

This is all because of you in Petworld and Horkans. On behalf of the children with autism and their families who we support, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for caring so much.  Thank you for being a lifeline

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