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First Minister adds support to Northern Ireland’s only Conductive Education School

Signing Tiangle of Hope photograph

Peter Robinson First Minister gives his support to children with cerebral palsy attending the Buddy Bear Trust Conductive education school in Dungannon.

The First Minister participated in an information video being made by the Trust with the help of professional film maker Barbara McCann to give voice to the children and parents silenced and disempowered by the crippling effects of cerebral palsy.

First Minister Peter Robinson with Brendan McConville


“We are delighted that Mr Robinson as First Minister added his message of support to the campaign to make conductive education available as an additional resource for children in Northern Ireland who are affected by cerebral palsy and other motor disorders. The parents and the Trust simply wish to have the same opportunities as are available to children in other areas of the UK to receive conductive education. The Buddy Bear School is the only conductive education school in Northern Ireland and is continually under threat of closure, whereas in England not only is the provision of conductive education more widely accepted and available, they have also established a learning centre in Birmingham where conductors can gain degree accreditation to meet the growing demand.”


Mr Robinson’s message will be added to the long list of supporters who have added their messages commending the great work the Buddy Bear Trust School has been doing for almost 25 years with the most severely disadvantaged children in our society.


The video, when finished, will be used to promote the work of the school informing parents of the successful outcomes of children attending, and more importantly help with much needed fundraising in both the local and business communities, as the schools status as an registered charity means we have to rely heavily on charitable donations in order to maintain our services. Copies of the video will be presented to Mr Robinson and Mr McGuiness OFMDFM for distribution to Assembly members and to Mr Owen Paterson Secretary of State. It is also intended that copies will be made available to some of our influential American friends including Jean Kennedy Smith former US Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, who held a garden party for the children of the Buddy Bear School during her time in office.

First Minister Peter Robinson meets Buddy Bear Trust School


Mr McConville, a keen artist who paintings have been sold as part of fundraising activities for the Buddy Bear School presented Mr Robinson with an oil painting “The Fishermen” and one of our new Buddy Bear Trust pledge badges as a thank you for his support. Mr Robinson very graciously agreed to wear it onto his next public television appearance on BBCNi’s Hearts and Minds programme.


Mr Robinson also signed ‘The Triangle of Hope’ photograph which, for 25 years has been used to highlight the work the Trust carries out across all sectors of the community and has been signed by Dr Paisley, John Taylor and John Hulme, Pope John Paul 11, and most recently by David Cameron. 

Buddy Bear at home in First Minister office

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