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Newcastle Lions Club promote issue of Tourette's Syndrome

Recently, Newcastle Lions promoted World Disability Day. This day is an opportunity for each of us to stop and think about our family members; neighbours, or friends who could be blind or have a physical or a mental disability. It also presents us with the opportunity to raise awareness of conditions that we may have been previously unaware of. Neurodiverse Needs is such a condition.

For the parents of children who have Neurodiverse Needs, such as Tourette’s Syndrome, they face the challenge of helping their child, and trying to cope with social misunderstandings around the condition. Another word for this issue is Tics. Tics are sudden non-rhythmic repetitive movements or vocalizations. Tics are not purposeful and are generally experienced as involuntary.

The issue of Tics and Tourette's Syndrome was investigated previously in a programme on Channel 4 by Scarlett Moffat and was also highlighted by BBC on their morning news programme when they interviewed a ten-year-old child, Lucy Marie Phillips from Wales. Lucy produced a book I can't make it stop, my diary on living with Tourette's Syndrome. In looking for a way to highlight World Disability Day and raise awareness of Tourette’s Syndrome, Newcastle Lions Club will distribute free copies of this book to local schools.

The book was reviewed by local teachers who felt it was suitable and an appropriate way to raise awareness among children. The Lion’s Cub approached Super Valu Newcastle regarding funding and asked would the Musgrave Group sponsor the purchase of fifty copies of the book.

Through the help and support of Super Valu's manager Gareth Grew, the club were successful, and invitations are being sent to the SEN teachers at all local schools to come to the Newcastle Library on Saturday 3rd December. An invitation was also extended to the Northern Ireland support group, Tourette's Support NI (TSNI), to come to Newcastle and talk to the SEN teachers who will receive a copy of the book for their school library. In talking to the support group, one of their goals is to raise awareness in both primary and post primary schools of how children and teachers react to a child who experiences Tics in the classroom. Through the support group's Facebook page, Tourette's Support NI, their message can be summed up in one sentence from the Facebook, reassure them that it's ok.

Lions John Mc Donagh, Jeanine Knight, with Marion Crawford Super Valu, Lion President Liz Murphy receiving a cheque for £400.00 from Super Valu's manager Gareth Grew and Lion Dan O'Reilly

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