Recycle Mobility Programme Launched!
There was great excitement today in Dublin’s Merrion Square, as Variety Ireland’s Child Ambassador, Saoírse Ruane launched her “Recycle Mobility Programme” supported by Minister of State at the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, Anne Rabbitte. The programme has been allocated funding by both Minister Rabbitte and Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan.
Saoírse , who is Variety Ireland’s first ever child ambassador, along with Minister Rabbitte and Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, are championing Variety Ireland ‘s cause to provide children with mobility issues with special mobility trikes. These trikes will enable young people with mobility disabilities to participate in cycling activities with their families.
This programme offers many benefits to children. It helps with a child’s physical needs as they will be able to exercise, It offers inclusion with other family members and friends, and it also contributes positively to their mental health needs and to their overall well-being and independence.
Variety Ireland’s Recycle Mobility Programme is the first of its kind anywhere in Europe. Families with children with mobilities issues can apply for funding for a specially adapted trike to suit their child’s exact requirements so they too can enjoy outdoor activities with family and friends.
Once a child has outgrown their trike, it is then passed back to Variety Ireland who after a few modifications will then pass the upcycled trike on to another child for further enjoyment making this campaign environmentally friendly and fully sustainable.
Since her appearance on the Late Late Toy Show in 2020, 9-year-old, Saoírse continues to inspire children and families across Ireland through her own ability and determination in overcoming the loss of her leg and is now back cycling, playing camogie and learning how to swim.
Commenting at the launch of her “Recycle Mobility Prorgramme”, Variety Ireland’s Child Ambassador said” Cycling is so much fun and I think every child should be given the chance to get outdoors and enjoy it with their friends and family”
“I’m so grateful to both Minister Rabbitte and Minister Ryan for supporting my programme which is good for the planet. This is going to help so many children. Can you imagine all the happy faces of children across Ireland who are now going to get the opportunity of enjoying activities outside of the home, it’s brilliant. I would also like to thank fabulous Ed Sheeran and everyone who works with him for letting us to use his great song the “Galway Girl” this is all about helping kids”
Saoírse continued “When we were putting my campaign together Variety reached out to Ed to see if it was possible for us to use his single “Galway Girl” given I am a “Galway Girl. Straight away we got a yes from Ed how cool was that! I love Ed Sheeran as he rocks. He has a big heart and also seems to care about the environment. This why I recorded a personal “Thank you” video to Ed which is included in my awareness video at Variety Ireland.”
Speaking at the launch, Minister Rabbitte commented, “It’s fantastic to be able to support an initiative like Variety’s National Recycle Mobility Programme, which will undoubtedly have a positive impact on children across the country. Not only do these mobility trikes help support children with disabilities from a physical activity perspective, but this is a more inclusive programme which bolsters equality while also being good for the environment. As a Galwegian myself, it’s also great to see Saoírse , a young Galway girl, leading the charge on progressing this for children. Her advocacy is admirable and an example for young people to follow.”
“Helping wonderful children like Brooke, who is here with us today, is important to me. The fact that each trike can be upcycled and passed onto another child once they have outgrown not only makes it a great programme that is environmentally friendly but makes it fully sustainable and cost effective to my department.”
Also commenting at the launch of Variety Ireland’s Recycle Mobility Programme, Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan said: “I am delighted to support Saoirse and Variety Ireland’s Recycle Mobility Programme. These specially adapted tricycles don’t just offer physical benefits, they will also support the mental health of children with mobility issues by helping them to develop increased self-esteem and independence. By passing the tricycles on when they are outgrown, we are committing both to recycling, and to making sure another generation of children enjoy all the benefits of active travel.”
The Recycle Mobility Programme is just one of the many environmental initiatives Variety Ireland implement, that not only helps children with disabilities, but do it in such a way, that each of their programmes are environmentally friendly.
Head of Programmes for Variety Ireland, Kevin O’Brien commented “This is a very special day for the Variety Ireland team. Not only are we unveiling our wonderful child ambassador Saoírse to the public, but also launching her “Recycle Mobility Programme” which as Saoirse said is going to benefit so many children with mobility issues across the island of Ireland.”
“Using money raised through our own fundraising initiatives, coupled with funding provided through joint co-operation between Variety Ireland, Minister Rabbitte’s Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Minister Ryan’s Department of Transport means that families can now apply to Variety Ireland directly for funding for a special trike that will allow their child to experience the freedom of cycling outdoors with their friends and families. This not only helps a child with their own physical exercise requirements, but equally important contributes hugely to their own mental well-being. As a charity that promotes inclusion and equality towards children, our environmental programmes like this ensures that when a child has outgrown their trike that after a few tweaks, is then passed onto another child who can experience the same enjoyment. As well as being cost effective in increasing the life span of each trike, it’s also good for the children, their family as well as the environment we live as it prevents old trikes from reaching harmful landfills.”