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Tuesday, 21st March 2023

Tescos awards €25k to Autism Support Louth Meath for sensory garden at ABACAS

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Announcing the grant to Drogheda ABACAS Special School are Marty Geraghty, Tesco Area Manager; Jacinta Walsh, co-founder of Drogheda ABACAS Special School; Rosemary Garth, Tesco Communications Director; Logan Kelly; Michelle McHugh, Principal of Drogheda ABACAS Special School and Eoin Killoran Tesco Extra Drogheda. Photo: Fennell Photography.

Drogheda's ABACAS Special School has been awarded €25,000 in funding from Tesco's once-off 25 Years Community Fund initiative. They intend to use the money to create a musical sensory garden.

ABACAS School for Children with Autism and complex needs was founded 20 years ago by a group of parents called Autism Support Louth and Meath with the main aim of improving the supports for autistic people and their families.

The school is now fully recognised by the Department of Education and is regarded as a centre of best practice, where it runs parent support groups, training and information nights, advocacy and information for families and summer camps. 

As Tesco Ireland marks 25 years of operating in Ireland, it has been celebrating and recognising the thousands of good causes and local projects all over Ireland that work to support and build thriving communities. Over 650 local causes from all over Ireland applied to ‘The 25 Years Community Fund’. 

The hotly contested judging took place last week with a panel comprising broadcaster and presenter, Blathnaid Treacy; Tesco Ireland Communications Director, Rosemary Garth; Business in The Community, CEO, Tomás Sercovich; Grants and Donor Services Executive at The Community Foundation for Ireland, Shreya Chaturvedi; and Assistant Principal at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Deborah Dignam. 

Speaking at the winners’ announcement Rosemary Garth, Communications Director, Tesco Ireland said: To celebrate 25 years of Tesco Ireland, we wanted to do something really special to celebrate the various community groups and causes who give so much of their time and efforts to supporting our local communities. 

Little Lily O'Leary pictured with the Principal of the ABACAS Special School, Michelle McHugh and Tesco’s Communications Director Rosemary Garth at the announcement.

What an exciting process this has been; having so many fantastic entries meant that making a decision was incredibly tough, and that’s why we decided to announce runner-up funding for each area. We believe we have chosen truly deserving winners and we can’t wait to see their plans come to fruition over the next few months.” 

Broadcaster Blathnaid Treacy added: It’s been an absolute joy to be a part of the judging panel for The 25 Years Community Fund and I found it very inspiring going through all of the entries for the competition. Although there can only be one winner from each region, it was such a tough decision to make, but I’m delighted for all of the groups.” 

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