Festival of Inclusion Events
Dundrum Town Centre are proud to play host the week-long annual Festival of Inclusion, created by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, taking place this year between the 4th and 12th of October.
The festival is a series of events across a number of locations in the local area which aim to celebrate and enjoy the work carried out by the many volunteer and professional groups who continue to create positive outcomes, all the while enhancing the lives of families, friends and neighbours. This year’s theme was “Celebrating Generations” with Dundrum Town Centre giving host to a number of events across the centre.
‘I Could Be’ Exhibition definitely proved to be one of the most popular elements of the festival across the centre. This Exhibition, in support of Down Syndrome Ireland, is about supporting a brighter future for people with Down Syndrome. The campaign aims to promote the message that while people with Down Syndrome need additional supports, they have innate potential, skills, talents and unique perspectives to bring to society and to a chosen profession. The campaign features life-size cardboard cut-outs of 16 children with Down Syndrome aged between 6 and 16. These have been placed at optimal points across the centre, allowing shoppers to read the campaign message on the back of each cut-out while also viewing the image of the child at the front. It was amazing to see the reactions of shoppers and even the kids themselves when they came to visit the centre!
Dundrum Town Centre also held a Sensory Hour/Autism Hour across the centre over the weekend and mid-week. The centre agreed to turn off any music and flashing images and asked that all retailers do the same. There was also a quiet room available complete with cushions, toys and soft lighting.
Keeping with the theme of this year’s festival “Celebrating Generations”, a Family Music Session for babies, toddlers, parents and grandparents was held on Sunday 6th October, where we accommodated a sing along session with our local musicians of Music Generation dlr and Churchtown School of Music. It was amazing to see percussion instruments, movement and song to explore the sounds of Autumn with the youngest members of our community!
Finally, our Mill Theatre was home to two Make a Book Workshop events with Illustrator Eva Kelly. The first workshop was aimed at those 55+, with the second accommodating People with Special Needs. Both events were free of charge, with the idea of participants being able to create a sense of place through drawings of locations and people in Dundrum.
Dundrum Town Centre is delighted to have been given the opportunity to take part in this year’s Festival of Inclusion and hope to work closely with the community in organising next year’s events!