Sensory-friendly backpacks available in Fingal areas

by Rose Barrett
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Backpacks full of sensory-friendly resources are being made available in Baldoyle, Swords and Balbriggan Libraries under the Community Recognition Fund, writes Rose Barrett.

The Mayor of Fingal Cllr Adrian Henchy launched the roll out of the backpacks in Swords Library this week, joined by County Librarian Betty Boardman and children from St Cronan’s Junior National School in Brackenstown, Swords.

Mayor Henchy said: “I am delighted that Fingal Libraries is making these sensory-resource backpacks available. This is a great way to recognise the huge contribution being made by communities in Fingal welcoming and hosting people from Ukraine and other countries seeking protection and safety”.

The Community Recognition Fund is a major initiative from the Dept of Rural and Community Development, designed to support communities across the country hosting people from Ukraine and other countries.

County Librarian Betty Boardman said: “These sensory resource backpacks are a great addition to Fingal Libraries’ collections supporting people with sensory and communication differences. Fingal Libraries is committed to making our library spaces and services inclusive of neurodivergence through the provision of materials and resources, training for library staff, programming, and sensory-friendly quiet hours”.

Children from St Cronan’s Junior NS, who were in the library for a fun sensory-friendly slime workshop, got some hands-on experience trying out the resources in the backpacks. These include fidget kits, fibre optic lights, an ocean wave projector with sounds and speaker, a wind-up dynamo torch, zip fidget bracelets, a cuddle ball, a weighted blanket, a weighted lap pad, sensory bags, a shape matching box, spark sequence and storytelling cards for speech therapy, a sensory pillow and ear defenders. Information on the backpacks is available from Baldoyle, Swords and Balbriggan Libraries.

Pictures by Shane O’Neill, Coalesce

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