AU – Irabina & RRT hold a Christmas Party to support children and families with autism
It’s not often that the Lilydale RRT gets to pose with Santa Claus but that opportunity beckoned at Irabina on Saturday 28th November 2015!
Irabina Childhood Autism Services is an organisation that supports children, particularly younger children, with autism. Autism is a challenging condition that affects people of all ages. It stems from birth but is not always immediately apparent. Those of us who are privileged to have children can imagine the chagrin and deep concern of a parent at finding that their beautiful son or daughter is afflicted with this potentially, socially crippling condition. Autism affects children in different ways – some are intellectually challenged while others are brilliant, but the biggest problem they all seem to face is being able to fit in socially. Irabina exists to give these children a chance, and to support them and their families through the early years of growing up.
The Rapid Relief Team (RRT) approached Irabina, as sympathetic with their cause, to see if they could do anything to help them in their care for these people. The staff at Irabina were planning on setting on a Christmas Party for the families they care for and suggested RRT could assist in providing a BBQ for all the invitees. RRT welcomed the idea with enthusiasm and the scene was set.
At 10:30am the RRT arrived to set up for the big event. By 11:00am the BBQs were firing and the tantalising smell of hamburgers and sausages was wafting through the secluded grounds of Irabina. The families started to arrive and the day began. Parents and children, and grandparents too, came to join in the fun and enjoy the activities that had been set on for their entertainment. They jumped on the Jumping Castle (the children that is!) and were charmed by the magician; they had their faces painted with butterflies and flowers and other such things. At the height of the fun Santa himself appeared and then it was time for the presents. They gathered around him and waited for the spoils. At the end of it all the raffle was drawn, and one young lad (courtesy of his grandmother!) was the proud owner of a generous hamper!
And through it all the sausages were cooking, and the hamburgers too. Hungry children descended on the RRT marquee and devoured the offerings. With a choice of sausages with onion in bread, or hamburgers with succulent patties topped by tomato, lettuce and cheese there was plenty to please. The parents and grandparents joined in too and some were amazed that the food was all free. Bottled water and soft drinks capped off a very fulfilling meal.
The fun was all over by 1:00pm and the site was packed up. The Lilydale RRT were very mindful of the support Irabina offer and are very happy to have been part of this rewarding event. The simple service offered was a great way to be involved and the happy faces made the day all the more rewarding.