Donegal student's Leaving Certificate project making a real difference

Emma Gallagher gives a little back to her community


Emma with her 'Ava the Airplane’ project

A student from Coláiste Cholmcille in Ballyshannon has decided that in such a difficult year, it is time to give back to the community.
Emma Gallagher is a Leaving Certificate student in Coláiste Cholmcille and has decided to stray away from the traditional Leaving Cert construction project and make something more unique.
She has designed and made a sensory board that she will donate to The Bluestack Special Needs Foundation in Donegal Town.
The Bluestack Foundation is a community facility located in the Glebe, Donegal Town. This foundation was established to provide direct support for families, carers and people themselves who are living with any form of special needs.
As this foundation is reliant on generous donations and funds raised, they are always looking for volunteers to help with the vast programmes available.
Emma has always had a close connection to The Bluestack Foundation and has come to the conclusion that despite the tough year everyone has had, it was time to spread a bit of positivity.
At the beginning of the year Emma had to determine what to produce for her Leaving Certificate construction project. She saw this as her opportunity to help her community.

Emma Gallagher pictured with Hugh McGlynn year head, Sean Nugent teacher and Cora Fagan principal, Coláiste Cholmcille

She decided to make a sensory board for The Bluestack Foundation in memory of a little girl that Emma was close to who sadly passed away. The foundation was a great part of this little girl’s life. For Emma it only felt right to give something back. This sensory board is over 84 inches in length and 24 inches in width making it a massive challenge for Emma to complete following the complications of this year.
Nonetheless, with dedication and many hours of labour, Emma was able to use her project as an escape from the stresses of the unusual Leaving Certificate and used her project to stay motivated.
However, this sensory board wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the support of her local hardware store, Donegal Town Hardware who generously sponsored the paint required for the completion of this project.
Emma’s school, Coláiste Cholmcille in Ballyshannon provided her with the facilities and materials needed.
Thanks to the support of Donegal Town Hardware, the woodwork department and the staff at Coláiste Cholmcille as well as Emma’s hard work and commitment the sensory board is now complete and ready to be presented to The Bluestack Special Needs Foundation as - “Ava The Airplane”
This small act of generosity is a reminder to us all that if we all pull together in a time when it is vital to stay apart, we can still achieve success greater than any other.

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