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Recycle Mobility Ready for Take Off

Recycle Mobility Ready for Take Off

Friday 1st September 2023 was a very special day for parents with children with disabilities who travel though Ireland West Airport in Co Mayo. This award-winning airport joins 200 other airports around the world that recognises the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower allows passengers with visible non-visible disabilities who choose to display the Sunflower lanyard or badge that is available at their Airport Customer Assistance Desk inside the Airport Terminal, a little extra time whilst navigating the airport, check in or security screening, or when boarding the aircraft.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyards and badges, aims to make their airport experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible for those with hidden disabilities. All airport staff have received training to recognise the Sunflower and provide support and assistance to those wearing

Variety Ireland who are the chosen charity partner of Hidden Disabilities in Ireland, were present on the day to present 2 mobility trikes to special children Jade from Co Roscommon and Kyle from Co Mayo.

Like our partners at Hidden Disabilities in Ireland, Variety Ireland recognises and helps to address the needs of all children from across the disability spectrum.

Present on the day to officially launch the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower at Ireland West Airport and hand over special mobility trikes to Jade and Kyle was Minister of State for Transport, Jack Chambers who was accompanied by his Ministerial colleague, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Dara Calleary.

Talking at the launch, Jack Chambers TD Minister of State for Transport said, “I am really pleased to be invited to the launch of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower at Ireland West Airport. It is important that people living with non-visible disabilities are provided with support and assistance when travelling, and it is great to see Joe Gilmore and his team at Ireland West Airport joining the globally recognised Sunflower network. The airport will provide complimentary Sunflower Lanyards to their passengers and staff with hidden disabilities to use when travelling and at home here in Ireland. It’s particularly relevant today having Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ireland here at the launch.

It’s equally as special day where I’m delighted to present special mobility trikes to both Jade from Co Roscommon and Kyle from Co Mayo. These trikes are part of Variety Ireland’s “Recycle Mobility Programme” which is supported and co funded by my government colleague Minister Anne Rabbitte and The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. These special trikes help children with mobility issues to be much more independent and open opportunities to travel. Given they are fully collapsible it allows them to fit into the boot of most vehicles and the aircraft hold very easily. They also ensure with children with mobility issues can join in outdoor cycling activities together with their family and friends which helps improve their mental and physical well-being.

Addressing the audience of guests was CEO of Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ireland Derek O’Neill who said, “As a national charity that recognises and helps children across the disability spectrum, Variety Ireland are delighted to be here at Ireland West Airport today to present a special trike to Jade & Kyle. With the magnificent on-going support of Minister Anne Rabbitte, together we are championing the cause that children regardless of their ability can have access and be included in cycling activities with their friends and family. The fact that Ireland West Airport joins 200 other airports around the words to recognise the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower demonstrates their own commitment to recognising and helping children with disabilities traveling through this fantastic airport.”

Variety Ireland would also like to acknowledge and thank all the wonderful staff at Ireland West Airport, especially Managing Director , Joe Gilmore, Head of Customer and Airline Service, Sarah Rowley and Head of Aviation Business Development, Marketing & Communications, Donal Healy for looing after us and the children on the day.