Over 500 people savour summer fun at Carnfunnock thanks to Mae Murray Foundation

A Larne charity has been thanked for providing recreational events for hundreds of people this summer at Carnfunnock Country Park.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 1:18 pm

The Mae Murray Foundation supported over 500 people, across 18 events. All of the families attending have a family member who may have a physical, learning, sensory or complex need.

Alix Crawford, chairperson of the charity, explained: “Carnfunnock was chosen thanks to its covered outdoor space and good access. There is ample blue badge parking and the pathways are good firm terrain.

“Mae Murray Foundation is committed to providing dignified toileting for everyone at its events. Thanks to support from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, disabled toilet facilities - to ‘Changing Places’ standard - which include a hoist and adult sized changing bench were provided. The Foundation is delighted that MEA have now built a Changing Places toilet at the park for ongoing use, making Carnfunnock accessible to more people than before.” Click here

Jordan and Donna chilling between sessions.

From music sessions and drumming to games, painting and craft - there was something for everyone.

Alix added: “These sessions were only possible thanks to funding by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland through Community, Arts, Culture & Heritage Fund and Department of Communities.”

Families taking part in the activities provided positive feedback on their experiences with the following testimonials:

One

Ryan can't wait to get started.

“As a family who had been shielding, we are still being very cautious about where we go. We felt very safe at these sessions as they were outdoors and it was clear the Foundation had gone to a lot of trouble to reduce risk of transmission.”

“It was a great opportunity to see other people and enjoy some family time. The look on my son’s face was one of pure joy! The staff and volunteers at Mae Murray are so welcoming. It just feels like one big family.”

“Having a Changing Places toilet is essential for us and activities that are suited to the differing needs of my two children. The events at Carnfunnock we’re simply wonderful and we were able to relax knowing that all our needs were met.”

“We struggle to find events that are safe during Covid. Actually any time of the year it’s difficult to find activities that my daughter can actually take part in. She thoroughly enjoys music and arts based sessions so these have been invaluable to us as a family.”

Matthew enjoying the beat.

“Throughout this pandemic Mae Murray has been a constant for my family. We are so grateful for their support. Even before Covid, the name Mae Murray Foundation spelt out friendships, support and inclusion.”

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Click here to read: Surfing made accessible for over 100 people via Larne’s Mae Murray Foundation

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Jude has learnt new skills and is an expert drummer.

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Finlay loving the music with Laura, Mae Murray Foundation project leader.