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"A Life Time of Difference" Campaign Launched City Hall



Launch of campaign to develop services of Buddy Bear Trust School for

Children with cerebral palsy

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The Lord Mayor of Belfast Mrs Naomi Long, MLA, MP and  the US Deputy Consul Kevin Roland and Francis Martin President of the Chamber of Commerce launched the "Lifetime of Difference " campaign to raise awareness to the needs of children suffering from Cerebral Palsy.

Mr Brendan McConville, Chairman and Mr Christopher Robert from Diesen France watch as the new webiste designed by Pinkinc Webis launched. Christopher who sis a student in an IT University in France designed and maintained the original website which was launched by Mr Dean Pittman US Consul when he visited the Buddy Bear Trust School in 2006.

The event was hosted by the Lord Mayor of Belfast in the City Hall on the 27th of May 2010.



Mr Gary McCausland, Property Developer and TV Celebrity informed the guests of the work of the Buddy Bear Trust in helping children with Cerebral Palsy receiving Conductive Education. Mr McCausland urged the business community to get practical help to the Buddy Bear Trust to enable it to continue to give help to children and hope to their parents.

The "Life Time of Difference" Campaign is focused on raising awareness to the needs of children with Cerebral Palsy and to the benefits of using Conductive Education to give practical help to children and young people. Early intervention, expert advice and support can have life changing consequences for children with Cerebral Palsy.

Mr Christopher Robert from Diesen in France took time out of his studies to attend the event , which included the re-launch of the newly Pink Inc. designed web site. Christopher designed the original web site four years earlier and assisted Daniel Murphy, a former Buddy Bear student and Dean Pittman, US Consul to launch the web site.


Mr Kevin Roland, US Deputy Consul congratulates Christopher Robert from Diesen/France for his efforts over the years in designing and maintaining the Buddy Bear web site.


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Northern Ireland’s only conductive education charity, Dungannon based Buddy Bear Trust, today launched its new ‘Lifetime of Difference Project’ in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour  at Belfast City Hall.  The project aims to at least double the number of NI’s children suffering from cerebral palsy who can be helped by the Buddy Bear Trust School by raising £100,000 in the next year. The company has already been pledged some £20,000 per annum from Ulster Garden Villages, as well as £25,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation and £5,000 from Lloyds.


Currently, only 12 children can be helped at the school based in Dungannon.  It is hoped that in the future services can be provided to double this number and also to provide outreach facilities to some children who cannot travel to the school.



Demi Lee simply wishes the same as everyone else- greater independence

Speaking at the launch, Brendan McConville, Chairman of the Buddy Bear Trust said: “Without conductive education, many cerebral palsy children spend their lives being looked after with little or no real independence. The provision of specialist conductive education services means that each child suffering from this crippling disease can achieve his or her optimum amount of independence throughout their life. There are sixty five children born in Northern Ireland every year with this debilitating condition; at the moment a lack of funding means we can only provide education services for twelve.


“Today’s event sees the start of a dedicated fundraising effort over the next year to allow us to expand these services. It is wonderful that a number of Northern Ireland businesses and organisations have come together to help us fulfil our new objectives. Ulster Garden Villages, the Garfield Weston Foundation and Lloyds Bank have all committed significant levels of funding. I would also like to thank BDO Managing Partner Francis Martin and the NI Chamber of Commerce for their support,” he added.


Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Naomi Long MP MLA said: “I am delighted to be able to facilitate the launch of the Lifetime of Difference Project in my last week as the Lord Mayor of Belfast. At times like this funding for such initiatives becomes ever more challenging and it is encouraging to see the private sector stepping up to the mark to assist the Buddy Bear Trust. The work of the charity is a great example of people taking responsibility to try to help those less fortunate.”



Mr Frank McCartan, BDO Mr Gary McCausland, MD Richland Group with Miss Joanne Casey, IT specialist and Mr Christopher Robert

Mr McCartan is chair of the Buddy Bear Trust Association 

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Friends from BDO,  Tascomi, Tughans, Tesco  and Karen Matlock Trust


Today’s event follows the formation of a Buddy Bear support group, the Buddy Bear Trust Association, which includes a number of Northern Ireland businesses. As well as providing financial support, the Association also aims to promote the work of the school and provide logistical support. The Association’s members include BDO, Tughans Solicitors, Tiffen Developments, Richland Group, NI Chamber of Commerce, Tascomi, Lloyds TSB, Ulster Garden Villages Ltd, Garfield Weston Foundation, P.McCann & Sons and Mallaghan Engineering.


 Supporters of Buddy Bear Trust School

Buddy Bear Trust was formed 20 years ago when it set up a school in Dungannon, for the provision of Conductive Education to children suffering from cerebral palsy and other motor disorders.  It is a small independent NI registered charity.   The school is recognised as a private independent school by the education authorities.


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 Sean McElkinney President  and Aaron from Stanmillis  University College students Union share the event with Mrs Geraldine Donaghy (Blackrock) and Mr Oliver McCann and Mr Kevin Roland, Deputy US Consul



The school is led by Miss Ildiko Veres, a Peto Instiute trained and qualified teacher /conductor.

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Terence Charles and Daniel Murphy campaign for the children as they know the benefits of the Buddy Bear Trust School