I CAN 125 Event Edward Timpson MP And Meath School Choir

Dare to dream…

A blog by Laura Woodward, Mum to Eleanor, who attends I CAN’s Meath School.

Eleanor is in the Meath School Choir and they came to I CAN’s 125th Anniversary event at Speaker’s House on 26th November 2013 to help celebrate 125 years of supporting vulnerable children.

Five years ago Eleanor was speaking in single words, would not make eye contact and hated being in groups of people. Any occasion – whether it be with family or friends – was very uncomfortable for her and difficult for us as a family. She would cling to me like her life depended on it at times, cry and avoid having to make direct contact with anyone. I generally talked for her.

Last week, I CAN celebrated their 125th anniversary with an official reception at Speakers House in The Houses of Parliament. Eleanor along with 2 other children from Meath school attended so that they could sing Happy Birthday to I CAN in front of 100+ guests. Apparently one of the officials asked the children if they were “scared to be performing?” They responded ” No, we do this all the time, we are used to it!” This confidence from children who have severe speech, language and communications disorders, overwhelms me with pride.

We are sadly in our last year at Meath School. Eleanor entered as a shy, scared little girl who could barely get her needs across. She is set to leave full of confidence, self esteem and an amazingly happy girl, that we are so very proud of. Five years ago we would not have dared to dream that she would be able to sing at Westminster – last week she did just that.