‘Adam’s Camp can change people’s lives’

Rose, pictured in her dad Anthony's arms, with brother Rowan, sister Grace and mum Grainne. INNT 48-808CON
Rose, pictured in her dad Anthony's arms, with brother Rowan, sister Grace and mum Grainne. INNT 48-808CON

The mother of a young girl with autism hopes funding can be secured for a pioneering programme to help other children meet their potential.

Grainne Ashe was at the forefront of a campaign to bring an intensive therapy developed in the USA to help young people with autism spectrum disorder to Northern Ireland.

Grainne founded Adam’s Camp NI after taking her daughter, Rose Ashe-McGurk (8), to the United States in July 2015 to receive specialist treatment at the Nantucket Adam’s Camp.

Rose, who travelled with her parents, Grainne Ashe and Anthony McGurk, her sister Grace and brother Rowan, benefitted greatly from the therapies available to her in the US.

In July of this year, the first Adam’s Camp Northern Ireland was held in Ballycastle, with 10 children and their families receiving a number of therapies over a week-long period.

Grainne from the Glengormley area said: “Following on from the success of the 2016 Adam’s Camp Northern Ireland, we hope to extend the programme to accommodate 20 families over a two-week period in 2017.

“This summer was overwhelming, with all of the children experiencing positive changes in their lives. We had a number of therapists from America over to work on the programme and hope to have a team from the United States over again for the 2017 camp.”

Grainne added: “There is a charge of £2,000 for a family with one child who will be receiving the therapies. This charge covers therapy, accommodation, the siblings camp and food.

“We will need £35,000 to be able to operate the 2017 camp. Without funding we can’t move forward. We have great plans, but need the funding in order to make them a reality.”

Registration for Adam’s Camp NI 2017 will open in November. Families from across the globe will be able to apply. The 2017 camp will be a brand new programme, offering the Pathfinder programme for children aged between four and eight, the Trailblazer programme for children aged between eight and 12 and the Discovery Programme for young people aged between 12 and 15.

For more information, or to contact the team about potential sponsorship, check out the Adam’s Camp Northern Ireland Facebook page.