Liam honoured with Autism Hero
AN Inishowen man who
has made "a real difference" in improving the lives
of the local autism community has been honoured with
an Autism Heroes Award.
Liam Gill received the honour in Mullingar earlier
this week at Irish Autism headquarters for his
"tireless" efforts including fundraising, advocacy
and youth work.
The award relates directly to his involvement with
Inishowen Children’s Autism Related Education (iCARE),
a support group to more than 100 families who have
children with autism. He has had numerous voluntary
positions within the charity since 2005.
Donations from the public during Liam’s time at
iCARE have surpassed an amazing €170,000.
Meanwhile, in 2012, he set up a successful youth
club for young people with autism called the Sonas
Youth Club of Inishowen.
The club offers services outside of school term
time, including activities, excursions and a social
outlet to foster and nurture important friendships
that participants would not otherwise make.
Liam graduated from the University of Ulster last
summer with a first class honours degree in Youth
and Community work to coincide with his current work
at iCARE centre manager.
Club member Dylan Clarke said: "(Liam) has helped us
become confident young citizens who can make a
positive impact on the world. I speak for all my
fellow club members past and present when I say he
is a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, someone to
turn to, a teacher, a motivator, a friend and the
best volunteer ever!”
Liam Gill honoured with Autism Hero
Award at Irish Autism headquarters in Mullingar.
Liam said he was
"honoured" with the national award and he thanked
his wife Arlene, daughter Caoimhe, sons Ryan and
Lachlan and "all the hard working team at iCARE and
Sonas Youth Club" whom he described as "the real
heroes". "The work that iCARE does is fantastic for
the families, however it should not be up to parents
to provide respite, education, support, youth work –
a specialised service for children. In my opinion,
it’s the State who have let down the families of
children with autism and the children," he added.
He said he would like to see iCARE have a building,
in future, instead of prefabs and said he would like
over 18s to have "the same opportunities as their
peers, through courses, further education and life