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We were delight to be part of The Cork Association for Autism annual Crobally Open Gardens on Sunday June 8th at Crobally House, Mogeely. Visitors got the opportunity to see the CAA’s service centre, walk around the beautiful gardens, visit the various craft stands and sample the delicious baked goodies on offer.

The Cork Association for Autism provides support services to approximately 200 adults on the autistic spectrum. These services include Residential Support, Respite care, Home Support, Day Service and an Asperger Syndrome Support Service.

CAA Respite Services are offered from Crobally House. This large five bed-roomed property is placed amongst extensive, beautiful landscaped gardens. This service offers invaluable supports to individuals and families requiring a much needed break.

The emphasis within the respite service is on recreational activities and the development of daily living skills. Those that use this service enjoy swimming, visits to the cinema and theatre, picnics and walks as well as a range of other activities.

Catherine Dineen from Coachford, the organiser of this event has a son Joey who has attended the day service and respite service provided by the CAA since 2008. Catherine says that ‘Crobally is like a second home to Joey and he loves working in the garden as he enjoys being outdoors. We are so delighted that Joey gets all the support and encouragement he requires from The Cork Association for Autism.’  Dolores who attended from Financial Wellbeing on the day said that “Catherine’s smile was infectious and Joey’s energy and enthusiasm was like a breath of fresh air” Dolores also added that is was great to see so many diligent parents there to help Crobally along with other volunteers. But of course for her the young adults who attend Crobally, “stole the show.”

The CAA recently launched their ‘Building for the Future’ project which involves a 1 million euro fundraising campaign to raise funds for essential building and repair work at the CAA’s service centres. Marion Courtney Fundraising Manager at the Cork Association for Autism explains that ‘The CAA has plans to build a new day service building at Crobally so this event gave people the opportunity to see the site for this building.  We desperately need support from the public and from corporates to allow this dream to become a reality and enable us to provide our service to people on our growing waiting lists’.

To find out more about the CAA click