New Court School, Bray
New Court School caters for students with intellectual disability. As patrons of the school, the Trust has supported New Court School for many years.

The Trust has provided support to refurbish the computer room and the library, as well as redecoration projects.

Anna Newell Theatre Adventures

Anna Newell Theatre Adventures has been working with babies and children with profound and multiple learning difficulties for 10 years.

Anna and her team have been performing ‘Sing me to the Sea’ with caregivers in pools around the country for children with complex needs. It creates a magical serene environment, encouraging concentration, copying, following, watching, having fun and interaction with caregivers and actors.

If children don’t have verbal communication, actors explore other ways of connecting with their world, taking them and the caregivers on a journey.

The theatre company was featured in the RTÉ news on 21 August 2020. You can read the report and the the programme on the RTÉ website.

The Trust is pleased to be able to support this programme for children and family members in conjunction with the Mermaid Theatre.

During summer 2020 the programme was held all over Co. Wicklow in children’s gardens with their families.

Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland

Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) was set up in 2010 as a response to the need for a primary service training
Autism Assistance dogs to help the children with autism and families across Ireland who need the support of a trained dog.

Assistance dogs are trained to:

  • Ease difficult transitions to places that would normally be anxiety provoking, such as the supermarket,
    school, any place outside the child’s home
  • Hold position in dangerous situations so that the child cannot bolt.
  • Provide comfort to children who need tactile support in stressful situations

The Trust was happy to support three families in County Wicklow by giving a grant to AADI towards their dogs.

And excerpt from one mother’s testimonial says: “An Autism Assistance Dog is very calming for the child with autism, helps with their anxiety, acceptance and being able to get out and about. They give a family independence and new hope.”

Another mother’s testimonial says: “Bonbon or Bonnie as we call her joined our family in January 2024. Bonnie was matched to our son Conn aged 10. Conn is full of energy and love. He is a wonderful boy. Life with Conn before Bonbon was challenging for us as a family of 5. We never got to experience outings together as Conn loves to be first and ahead so we would always be split into Mam and Conn and Dad and Conns siblings Caoimhe and Eoghan. Having Conn attached to Bonnie on outings now means we can all stay together and have quality time as a family. Bonnie has brought calmness to the house and has been amazing for all the family. Myself and Conn have walked to school. Bonnie has accompanied us to the library and on lunch outings. The safety of having Conn attached to Bonnie means we can relax a little when out, knowing he can’t run off or endanger himself or others. This is already life changing for our family and we are so grateful to AADI for this opportunity.”


Climb-Ability was a tailored training program in climbing for people with intellectual or mild physical disabilities. The program was run by Jasper Chisnall of Master Adventure.

On Saturday the 11th of January 2020 Master Adventure launched its first Climb-Ability Course which ran each Saturday for 6 weeks until the 15th of February. By the end every climber repeatedly and confidently reached the top.

We received this great story from the course:

“One participant in the beginning was enjoying climbing, but he didn’t want to go to all the way to the top. We discovered that it was because he was frightened to go too high.
A few games and tasks were introduced to encourage him further, which helped.
Then by week three he turned to his mum and said “Mum I am scared”, she replied “There’s no need to be scared”.
It was his reply that was amazingly profound…. he said back to her loudly “NOOOO, its ok to be scared….. because if I am scared I can be brave”.
From that point onwards everything changed for him, it started an idea. He would say things like “I must face my fear” or “I must use my bravery”.
He also said after one particularly difficult climb “if it’s too hard, I can still try”.
He has bravely climbed to the top of many routes each week since and has become bolder and more confident each day.”

Below are some pictures from the course.

Climb-Ability was working with Lakers, St John of God, KARE Services and Newcourt School.

You can find out more about Climb-Ability in this PDF Climb-Ability – Sunbeam House Trust

Climb-Ability was featured in the Summer 2020 edition of the Irish Mountain Log magazine. You can read the article in this PDF Climb-Ability Article Irish Mountain Log

Down Syndrome Centre

The Down Syndrome Centre opened in 2014 with the aim of addressing the increased cuts and lack of accessibility to relevant services for children with Down syndrome. Their mission is to provide services and facilities to enable children with Down syndrome to have the same opportunities in life as their peers, to feel included in society and to enable them to reach their full potential. Their vision is also to create a family focussed centre for parents of the children using the Service. The centre is a place for parents to meet, get information and advice, make friends and build support networks and communities. They now support over 200 families per week by providing a wide range of early intervention services.

The Trust supports ‘Chatterbox’, their Speech & Language programme. You can get an overview of work delivered in 2019 in this PDF Chatter Box 2019 update – Down Syndrome Centre.

Down Syndrome Centres are also now up and running in the Midlands, Cork and North East.

Festine Lente
The Trust are delighted to provide funding for a series of equestrian based sessions in Festine lente during the last four summers, including 2023, for young people with disabilities and their siblings.

The programmes are tailored to individual needs and will involve a combination of equine assisted learning, ground based activities and riding where this is safe and appropriate and social distancing can be assured – and include family activities and stable management activities such as grooming, plaiting manes, etc. and going to the fields with children to spend time with the horses will also be included.

Families will be able to have a picnic in the garden at the end of the sessions – the gardens are beautiful and a nice and safe place, with a garden centre, shop and a terrapin pool.

This scheme will benefit approx 60 people with a disability and their sibling/s / parents.

In summer 2021 the Trust supported the Mobile Equine Outreach Programme which brings ponies out to people who may – for varying circumstances – be unable to access equine based programmes on site at Festina Lente.

End of 2021 the Trust was pleased to further support Festine Lente with a grant for a programme which allows 15 primary school children with a range of social and emotional difficulties to attend each week over a total of 12 weeks.

In summer 2022 the Trust supported Festine Lente in establishing additional Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) for children in fifth and sixth class (DEIS schools) up until the end of the year.


Grave Restoration

The Trust funded the restoration of Lucinda Sullivan’s Graveyard in Mount Jerome Cemetery Harold Cross which is also the resting place of her mother and sister.

This project also included a number of graves in Deansgrange and St Paul’s Bray Cemetery bought by the Trust many years ago remembering the deceased children that were once cared for.

Lakers Social & Recreational Club, Bray

The Lakers Social & Recreational Club is a community-based sports, social and recreation organisation for children and adults with an intellectual disability. The club provides a wide range of sporting and educational services to members across Leinster from its centre in Bray, Co. Wicklow.

The Trust is pleased to have been able to assist the Lakers in purchasing a replacement bus, a Ford Custom/Kombi.
In June 2018 the members of the Trust John, George and Delwen were pleased to attend a ceremony to handover this new minibus to Lakers at their premises in Seapoint Road in Bray. The minibus was partfunded by Sunbeam House Trust.

From right to left:
John Giles and George Knaggs (Sunbeam Trust,) Fergus Findlay (Chairman Lakers), Anthony Finnegan (Manager Lakers)







The Trust was pleased to support a new project in 2019.

Marino Centre, Enable Ireland, Bray

Enable Ireland Bray provides services to children and adults with disabilities and their families. Covering childhood to adulthood their expert teams work with the individual and their family on a plan for each life stage.

Enable Ireland Wicklow Service has its main base at the Marino Centre on Church Road in Bray and have provided services from this location for over 50 years. They also have a centre in Arklow and a respite service in Silverpines House, Bray. The team provides a variety of therapy, education, social and family supports.

The Trust was pleased to be able to support a specific need and a new project. The Trust assisted with purchasing important equipment for the centre for the children in September 2019.

The addition of the Happy Rehab Machine to the Physiotherapy department is a fun way to encourage children to exercise and learn new skills. They are able to control the activities on the screen by the movement of their legs and thus play a video game while they exercise. They are gaining muscle strength and control and at the same time enjoying themselves.

The trust have been pleased to be in a position to assist Marino Centre to purchase additional toys and arts and crafts materials for families to use whilst at home during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Sunbeam House Trust have been please to further support Enable Ireland, Marino Centre, end of 2022 with a grant. The grant was to support parents, participating in the parent training programme, to receive the relevant book without having to pay for it. These books help the parents also after the training as a reference.

The trust are pleased to support Enable Ireland Bray in being able to open the therapy pool for longer hours for families so that more families and children are able to avail of the resources. A new Pool Attendant, Megan, has provided more than 85 hydrotherapy sessions to over 22 children since she started. All of the children have a diagnosis of autism and previously did not have access to the hydrotherapy pool due to lack of capacity. We wish all the best to the dedicated staff who worked hard to make this happen.

With the support of the Trust, Enable Ireland, Marino Centre, could also purchase a plinth which is height adjustable. That allows a young person to get on and off easily. If they are mobile to do so either from standing or from their wheelchair. It also enables the physiotherapist or OT to work at a height that works best from them, thereby enabling them to take good care of their backs. 

Marino School, Bray

Marino School is a Community Special School in Church Road, Bray.

The Trust was happy to give a grant to the school to fund the building of a new sensory garden for pupils and staff to enjoy.

The provision of a sensory garden space in Marino is hugely beneficial for all students, as this garden will allow students to enjoy a calm, relaxing outdoor space and also, from a practical perspective, will enable students to grow, cook and hopefully, eat some of the garden produce.

The sensory garden was officially opened by Diarmuid Gavin on 3rd April 2019.

Also in the picture: Rosalie Chooi and Delwen Giles (both Sunbeam House Trust) and Oonagh Kenny (Principal of Marino School) – from left to right.

The trust were pleased to be in a position to assist Marino school to purchase additional toys, equipment and arts and crafts materials for families to use with children whilst at home during the Covid-19 lockdown and over the summer.

In early 2021 the Trust supported the school in providing their students with materials like in summer 2020 while the school had to be closed due to lockdown.

The trust was pleased end of 2022 to further support Marino School with a grant. The grant enabled the school to buy a specialised height-adjustable group table for students with complex needs. The table included a range of inserts for work activities, sensory play and general interchangeable educational activities.

Music Together, Greystones

Music Together has delivered music workshops and performances in Wicklow and South Co Dublin since 2006. It serves adults with disabilities who have a keen interest in music as performers. It includes a wide range of abilities, musical, physical and intellectual. They currently have a group of 5 individuals, some of whom have performed with them since the beginning and who look forward to the event each year. It is almost their only opportunity to perform in public alongside professional musicians.

Their workshops include physical and voice warn-ups, Brazilian percussion, song-writing, instrumental training, adaptive technology for music, and dance.

Since 2006 Music Together has staged at least two performances each year with groups of up to 15 disabled musicians. By focusing on a smaller group they have been able to develop individual skills and give each musician an opportunity to shine.

The Trust was pleased to support the staging of a music project for 5 disabled musicians in Greystones from 23-25 June 2023. This includes workshops followed by a performance in the Whale Theatre on Sunday 25 June. For further information please see our News & Events page.

National School Bray – Autism Support Classes

The Trust are pleased to be able to support the 12 children in 2 classes in the school in the purchase of specific equipment which will significantly improve the learning needs and sensory needs of the children in the coming school year.

The sensory equipment will be used daily to provide a varied sensory diet to the children. Their individual needs will be met by using the equipment multiple times per day. This will enable the children to engage with their individual work in a calm & positive manner. The ICT equipment will allow teachers & SNAs to use valuable literacy & numeracy tools to further the children’s learning in a fun & playful manner.

In 2023 the Trust was pleased to further support the school with a grant to purchase a number of equipment to support the pupil’s learning and sensory needs.

North Wicklow Down Syndrome Support Group

The North Wicklow Down Syndrome Support Group is a voluntary group solely run by parents.

The Trust was happy to give a grant for developing speech and language services for the children supported by this organisation and also for developing equine therapy supports for the children.

In 2019 the members spent a remarkable day with the amazing horses and handlers from Festina Lente. They were looked after very well by the staff.

Open Door Day Centre, Bray

Open Door is a Day Centre for adults with physical disabilities as a result of illness or accidents. They have a purpose built centre in Vevay Road, Bray, that allows easy access to various activities like learning new skills and offers a social outlet.

The Trust is pleased to contribute again this year.

In November 2021 the Trust was pleased to donate funds for an essential piece of equipment.

In August 2023 the Trust could further support Open Door with a grant to buy MOTOmed physiotherapy bikes.

Ovoca Manor

The Trust was pleased to fund the development of an outdoor pursuit centre at this location which was designed to facilitate people with a disability.

There have been a number of visits from pupils in special schools to the centre which have been enjoyed by all.

Below are recent photos from the Ovoca Manor team. All Abilities training with Paul Kellagher at Ovoca Manor in Wicklow, using the specially adapted equipment funded by Sunbeam Trust in summer 2019.

In 2018 members of the trust were pleased to visit the centre and see first-hand the equipment working and to meet staff and hear plans for increasing visits and retreats for people with special needs to the centre.

In July of 2017 the Ovoca Manor near Avoca, Co. Wicklow, held a very successful staff training session. The training took place over two (2) days and The Manor’s technical advisor was available to supervise the staff interactions and various program adaptations.

The training included:

  • Climbing
  • Abseiling
  • Roped Climbing
  • Crate climbing
  • Biplane

Below are photos of some of the activities.

The Ovoca Manor also hosted 10 people from the Wheelchair Association of Ireland for a few hours of archery. The archery fees for their activities were covered due to the generosity of Sunbeam House Trust, and this particular visit was a pilot to see if the Manor could make archery all-abilities friendly. The concept has been proven successful and enjoyable for the participants.

Parents Plus

The Trust is pleased to begin a new project with Parents Plus.

Parents Plus is an Irish charity that develops evidence-based parenting and mental health programmes. Their mission is to improve the well-being of children and to strengthen families, particularly in disadvantaged communities, by empowering professionals to deliver our evidence-based programmes in their services.

With 25 years of research and 24 published studies conducted in clinical, community and disability settings, their programmes have a strong evidence-base proving their effectiveness for families dealing with a variety of challenges. The programmes have helped over 100,000 families in the past 10 years and are effective universal, early intervention and preventative interventions.

Up until now there have been no specific parenting programmes for parents of adolescents or young adults with an Intellectual Disability in Ireland or internationally, even though stresses and challenges are unimaginable at this time, resulting in increased mental health problems, relationship breakdown and poorer social and economic outcomes for all the family.

Parents Plus has developed the first of its kind in the world – The Special Needs programme (PPSN) – delivered to parents via an evidence based programme over 7-12 weeks, to equip parents to manage the significant hidden challenges of intellectual disability during adolescence and young adulthood and to improve outcomes of all family members. Randomised Controlled Trial Results with Trinity College Dublin Psychology Department are available.

Eleanor Kent, Social Worker, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, who has trained in, and run this programme explains, “The Parents Plus Special Needs Programme is without doubt the solution to the crippling problems that parents of adolescents and young adults with I.D. need. The programme will change the future for children with special needs, their parents, their families, and their communities. It should be compulsory and offered to every family affected by special needs. It really is that important.”

Parents Plus works with agencies and organisations including TUSLA, HSE School Age Disability Team, St. John of Gods, Enable Ireland, Down Syndrome Centre etc.

You can read more about the benefits of this project in this article in the Irish Times.

These is some of the feedback received from parents of children attending the Sunbeam House Trust funded programme:

‘This course is designed for the family, your kids, your relationships, the whole family and not just one person. Anything else we went to before this was just about the child.’

‘PPSN has really helped me deal with lockdown. I am more aware of what is happening, pausing and reflecting on what is going on with my child, recognising that all her routines have been taken away. Without these tools I would be shouting, but I am able to help her effectively with the PPSN tools.’

‘PPSN helped us plan for our child’s future. If I hadn’t done PPSN, I don’t know when or where I would have found out the information we need to plan for our child’s transition to adulthood.’

‘The skills learnt, especially on how to observe, wait and listen and working together to make a personal plan for independent living.’

Peacehaven Trust, Greystones

Sunbeam Trust has supported Peacehaven Trust by assisting clients to go on a holiday, as well as adaptations to client’s homes.

Queen of Peace Adventure Youth Club

The club has recently enrolled a number of school age young people with intellectual disabilities into their club.

The grant received from the Trust will be used to provide additional training (i.e. disability awareness) for the voluntary leaders to understand and support these young people’s needs, and also to provide essential facilities at the club.

The club is the longest serving youth club in Bray, it was formed in 1967. It aims to offer all young people from the Bray and wider community from 10 – 18yrs a range of activities through a planned programme of events for the purpose of aiding and enhancing their personal and social development through their voluntary participation. These activities will be primarily provided by volunteers from the local community. The youth club provides indoor and outdoor activities to its members. Adventure sports such as canoeing, hill walking, swimming, body boarding, surfing and snorkeling take up the majority of the programme. It also provides indoor activities such as quiz nights, discussions, training and life skills. This year the club will offer over 70 organised events from its premises on Bray seafront and the surrounding area.

The inclusion of young people with special needs is a very welcome step in inclusion within the club.



The Trust is pleased to support the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club’s (DMYC) Sailability programme which provides access to sailing for young people with disabilities.

Due to the sponsorship of the Trust, Sailability could appoint a manager of their courses for both children and adults as well as fulfilling the role of a coach for more competitive sailors.

Covid19 caused the planned programme to be abandoned but instead a very successful series of webinars was organised. When the Covid19 restrictions where lifted some Sunday morning sailing, limited to those sailors who could sail single handed, were held.

A further grant in 2021made the continuation of the programme possible and also allowed for essential repairs to the centreboards of the dinghies that are essential to the programmes.

Some members of the Trust were pleased to visit the sailing club in July 2021 on a sunny morning in Dun Laoghaire where the classes are held and to meet the various people who run this venture on a voluntary basis . It was very obvious to all that being part of this project means a great deal to both the participants and their families.

The Trust is pleased to support the project since 2019.

The grant in 2022 is used to support the training of personnel and maintenance of the support vessels. It is hoped that sailability can return to a comfortable level of normality in 2022.

 The Trust was pleased that the programme for Sailability went ahead again in 2023. 


Seapoint Dragons

The Trust is pleased to support the Seapoint Dragons Rugby Club.

The club was established in 2011 to provide children and adults with learning disabilities an opportunity to learn and play tag rugby in a safe, enjoyable and exciting environment and in doing so they look to develop their skills and confidence.

Due to Covid19 the club will, for the first time, have the winter season outside and the support of the Trust helped give shelter and suitable clothing for the athletes.

The Seapoint Dragons returned to their usual training in 2023 and had a very successful season which came to an end in May when the players competed at the IRFU High Performance Facilities at the National Sports Campus.

The team took part in the inaugural international tag rugby tournament at Racing 92 Rugby Club in Paris (see photo below). The Seapoint Dragons were invited to participate by Special Olympics France along with teams from Romania, Italy, Switzerland and of course France. World Rugby attended to record and analyse the event with a view to exploring how the format played by the Dragons team could be promoted among players with an intellectual disability across the rugby playing nations of the world.

Tiō Associates

This is how Tiō Associates describes themselves and our support:

“Tiō is a pioneer network of professionals in social care, each with personal experience of a family member with ID, providing and promoting Christian perspectives on people with intellectual disabilities and their inclusion into local faith communities using theology and the arts. Through the mediums of teaching, training and performance we aim to inspire, equip and accelerate change in churches, faith communities and wider society. Our partnership with the Sunbeam Trust has been invaluable to us as a new venture. Currently, we are designing and delivering teaching and training at various venues for church leaders, parents, staff training and missions.”

For more information on Tiō Associates please read this pdf Tio_Information or check their website:

In November 2018 Tiō Associates published an article with the title “How inclusive is your church?”. You can read the article on the VOX Magazine website.

All Events are aimed at health and social care professionals.

Online Summer School 2021

From 5th to 26th August, every Thursday at 7.30pm Tio will have Online Classes on “Intellectual disability and the Church”. The classes can be booked through this link

Any groups that interested to do one of these courses and would benefit from sponsorship, we ask to please get in touch with the Trust.

Annual conference 2019

The Conference for 2019 took place on 12 October 2019 in YWCA Coolnagreina, Greystones, Co. Wicklow. The conference was entitled “A Good Life, looking at dignity, belonging, spirituality and opportunity”. The Trust are pleased to be supporting this conference.

80 people attended the conference and the feedback was very positive.


Wicklow Triple A Alliance

Wicklow Triple A Alliance offers support to individuals, family and friends affected by Autism, Asperger Syndrome and ADHD.

The Trust was pleased to give a grant recently to support training for family members, including grandparents, of children with autism.

Further support could be provided by the Trust for a series of expert led parent seminars to cover all aspects of caring for a loved one with additional needs in Spring 2022.
Over 90 people were directly supported via these seminars and it is hoped that the knowledge gained will in turn support their wider families.