Moygashel mum’s magical moment

Post date: 
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
Category: 
Northern Ireland
Zoe Stinson's son Harley holding a cheque for the money she raised for RNIB NI

Zoe Stinson has today handed over a cheque for £1,908.99 to RNIB NI after a hugely successful fundraising campaign in honour of her son Harley. 

These much-needed funds are already going to good use in the local area and a new support group for parents who have children with additional needs, is being set up as a direct result. 

The new group – called Magical Moments, has been created in partnership with RNIB NI, fellow charity Angel Eyes NI and Sure Start and will fill a gap in resources for families in Dungannon and the surrounding areas. 

The new group meets for the first time on June 26 in the Sure Start Dungannon and Coalisland centre on Dungannon’s Ballygawley Road. 

Roisin Meagher, from RNIB’s Children, Young people and Families team, said: “Zoe’s fundraising has been instrumental in supplementing the funding we receive from the Southern Trust in order to set up and maintain groups like Magical Moments. 

“We are delighted to be working with Angel Eyes NI and Sure Start Dungannon and Coalisland to provide information on learning and development, sensory play and to give parents and carers the chance to meet and chat over a cuppa whilst their kids play; this is vital.”  

Zoe and her family, raised the money after having the genius idea of holding a ‘Waxing in the Dark’ event on April 20 in homage to RNIB’s popular fundraising event ‘Dine in the Dark’.  

Zoe, 27, came up with the idea with her friend Jamielea Tate because she wanted to thank RNIB NI for supporting her with her one-year-old son’s sight loss diagnosis. Harley has bilateral coloboma of his iris retina and optic discs and a scarring of the maculas. 

Zoe, who proudly handed over the cheque alongside partner Andrew, said:

I’m so happy the funds are helping to create Magical Moments, because there is nothing like it here. It's so helpful to be able to talk to other parents and I'm looking forward to meeting others in the same boat as me. Harley will get to meet and play with other children his age and there will be that peer support for him growing up.” 

Jillian Greer, Family Support Team Leader for Sure Start Dungannon and Coalisland, said: “This new group will offer support for parents of children with additional needs in the area. Zoe is of our members and the fact that she took the initiative to fundraise like this is just fantastic.” 

If you would like to support RNIB NI's work through fundraising, don't hesitate to contact: [email protected]rg.uk (07879 435 231) for ideas. 

All media enquiries can be directed to Laura Cummings on: 028 9033 4132, or by email on: [email protected]. For urgent out-of-hours enquiries, please call: 07763 579 141.

Notes to editors:  

  • About RNIB: We are the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). Every six minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight. RNIB is taking a stand against exclusion, inequality and isolation to create a world without barriers where people with sight loss can lead full lives. A different world where society values blind and partially sighted people not for the disabilities they’ve overcome, but for the people they are. RNIB. See differently. Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk
     
  • RNIB’s Children, Young People and Family’s team provides services for blind and partially sighted children and young people, including those with complex needs from birth to 25 years old. This service offers specialist advice, information and guidance; connections to information and networks; family, early years and transitions support; products, toys, games, books, magazines and curriculum materials. The team also provides family learning days and weekends for children and young people with sight loss and their families. 
     
  • Angel Eyes NI is a sight loss charity set up by parents of blind and partially sighted children to provide advice and support to fellow parents. Contact them on: 028 9094 1632/3.
     
  • Sure Start is a Programme targeted at parents and children under the age of four living in the most disadvantaged areas. projects deliver a wide variety of services which are designed to support children's learning skills, health and well-being, and social and emotional development. 
     
  • Coloboma occurs in about one in 10,000 births and by the eighth week of pregnancy. The condition means that part of one or more structures inside an unborn baby’s eye does not fully develop during pregnancy. This underdeveloped tissue is normally in the lower part of the eye and it can be small or large in size. Coloboma can affect one eye (unilateral) or both eyes (bilateral) and it can affect different parts of the eye.