Event Photography – The Empower Project

28th November 2022
Event Photography

The Empower Project recently held a conference in the Tullyglass Hotel, Ballymena to celebrate their amazing journey over the last 7 years and I was invited to cover the event as part of my event photography service. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Josie and the rest of the Empower Project team on a few occasions in 2022, so it was lovely to hear stories from some of the parents and discover their personal experiences.

The Empower Project

The Empower Project is managed by DADS, a community/voluntary organisation that has helped and supported families, and their children on the spectrum, for over 20 years. It is a Big Lottery funded initiative through the Reaching Out Supporting Families Programme. The focus of the project is to support children under 12 with Autism, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, ADHD, Tourette’s Syndrome, their parents and the wider family circle. It aims to enhance confidence and help parents learn together to develop skills to better support their children.

“I have 3 children with ASD. The Empower Project has allowed new kids to try out new things., venture to new places, improve social skills and have fun in a non-judgmental caring environment. For us, The Empower Project has been invaluable.”

Empower Project Conference – Event Photography

The Conference event was held to recognise how far the Empower Project has come and also to map out the road they are about to take in the future. NI parents who have been supported by the programme were invited to attend. Empower arranged various workshops and activities over the years, provided assistance and training to support parents. They helped raise awareness and provide education to parents.

Professionals and Local Businesses were also in attendance. The Empower team offered online training, webinars, tutorials for professionals working with children on the spectrum or with learning difficulties. The Project also invited local companies who are passionate about supporting children, young people and adults with ASD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD and Tourettes. By attending the Conference, businesses were able to come along and learn more, be inspired and show their support for local families.

The Empower Project Conference
Frances Burton, Deputy Chair of Mid Ulster Council, Josie McGuckin, Manager of Empower Project and Cora Corry, Chair of Mid Ulster Council

Guest Speakers

Keynote Speaker on the night was Jude Morrow, an autistic best-selling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist from Derry / L’Derry. Jude is a regular guest speaker at events, helping to showcase through his talks that autistic children can grow up to live happy and successful lives.

The Empower Project Conference
Jude Morrow – Keynote Speaker

Our Parent Speakers on the night were Shauna Scullion, Elaine Diamond, Alison Vicente and Brian McCallion and Tourette’s Support N.I child representative Deaghlan McCallion. Each had the opportunity sharing their personal journey with our attendees and explain how The Empower Project had supported them.

Shauna Scullion of Sunflower Support NI was the first parent speaker. She has been part of Empower Project from the beginning and has had the opportunity to experience the different activities and support provided.

Shauna Scullion – Sunflower Support NI
Elaine Diamond – Parent Speaker
Alison Vincente – Parent Speaker
The Empower Project
Deaghlan McCallion – Child Representative Speaker

I have to say it was both inspiring and moving listening to everyone’s stories. One thing is for certain – The Empower Project has made a huge impact on many people’s lives so far in Northern Ireland. I look forward to seeing what they have planned for 2023 and the road ahead.

If you are interested in charity event photography, feel free to contact me via the website or give me a call on 07525 900885. I’m happy to discuss how I can help you out.