Who are the Shamrock Squad?
The Shamrock Squad is a community of additional needs families on a mission to make the outdoors accessible for all! Sometimes it’s just a nature trail, but other times the squad ventures on hikes. They host open walks with different support representatives joining them on the day.
We recently hosted our first workshop with the Shamrock Squad, and were delighted to watch the children enjoy the day out so much!
Who founded it?
It is a social enterprise founded by Alina Barone from Limerick, a mother of three, and Roscommon-based Vika Gailite, mum of two. They noticed that there was a lack supports and information available for helping children with additional needs and their families to access the outdoors.They provide find maps, information about their experiences of the routes, a sensory overload chart, difficulty badges as well as nature treasure hunt printouts. Video guides of the specific locations, dangers and detailed path are also available on their YouTube channel.
EU Green week walk at Lough Boora Discovery Park in Offaly
This walk was a partner event for the EU Commission Green Week, with a focus on litter picking and sustainability. We provided a workshop with a social story about environmental awareness and games designed to explain sustainability and recycling in a way which is accessible and easy for children with additional needs to understand. Our social story used lots of visuals was really helpful for helping the children to understand the importance of helping our planet and what they can do to help!
Other groups who shared their conservation knowledge during the walk included:
Picker Pals World - providing the motivation and tools for children, teachers and families to create a better environment for our shared future.
Leave No Trace Ireland - provides research, education and outreach so every person who ventures outside can protect and enjoy the outdoors responsibly.
It was also attended by support representatives from:
Family Carers and Young Carers Ireland - their mission is to highlight the contribution of family carers to Irish society and to improve the lives of family carers throughout the country.
Hidden Disabilities Sunflower - supporting people living with non-visible disabilities in their communities by raising awareness, training businesses and sharing stories to help create a more inclusive, understanding society.