Autism recognition for Roe Park Resort

The Kirby family: mum Fiona, dad Kevin, and kids Joe, Tony and baby Eoghan, who stayed in the new autism-friendly room at the Roe Park Resort.
The Kirby family: mum Fiona, dad Kevin, and kids Joe, Tony and baby Eoghan, who stayed in the new autism-friendly room at the Roe Park Resort.

The Roe Park Resort in Limavady has become the first hotel in Northern Ireland be endorsed as an autism friendly hotel.

The hotel has receivedthe recognition from Assistance Dogs NI, who provide Assistance Dogs for children with autism and wheelchair users.

The Kirby family: mum Fiona, dad Kevin, and kids Joe, Tony and baby Eoghan, who stayed in the new autism-friendly room at the Roe Park Resort.

The Kirby family: mum Fiona, dad Kevin, and kids Joe, Tony and baby Eoghan, who stayed in the new autism-friendly room at the Roe Park Resort.

The achievement follows the resort’s recent opening of an autism-friendly room for guests with additional needs to stay in.

Furthermore, staff in the resort have undergone training to help interact with guests with autism and other additional needs as part of an on-going partnership with Assistance Dogs NI.

Sinead McNicholl, Sales & Marketing Manager Manager at the Roe Park Resort, said: “Through our work with Assistance Dogs NI we became aware of the needs of those with autism, and in 2018 we set ourselves the mission of becoming Northern Ireland’s first autism-friendly hotel.”

She said that following a consultation with Assistance Dogs NI, a hotel room was designed to include special lighting, a sensory area plus dine-in room facilities among other changes.

“We’re delighted to have received the accreditation and look forward to welcoming more families and individuals with autism to the resort,” Sinead said.

She added: “This room also caters for Assistance Dogs.”

Fiona Burns-Kirby, who tried out the new room with her family, said: “My son Joe has autism and we find it difficult to go away together as a family.

“It’s been over two years since we’ve had a break away together, so we were both excited and nervous. I’m pleased to say it turned out to be a success.

“We could not have been more impressed by the spec for the autism-friendly suite. The hotel has made every possible accommodation to help facilitate a stay and we would encourage other families and individuals to try the room for themselves.”