Autonomie Awarded £5,000 Grant Towards Specialist Toy Library


Autonomie has been awarded £5,000 to help provide a specialised toy library.

Santander Foundation, which offers grants to UK registered charities for projects that help disadvantaged people in local communities has awarded Autonomie with £5,000 funds towards the creation of a specialist toy library for young children with additional needs. 

Autonomie supports children and young people with additional needs across Northern Ireland, providing them and their families with a wide range of services.  The organisation also works closely with schools and has helped over 275 young people with additional needs successfully integrate into mainstream education. A service Autonomie provides for free.

Thanks to the £5,000 donation, Autonomie can now provide families in Northern Ireland short term loan of a carefully selected range of age appropriate educational and sensory toys which are suited to children with additional needs.

Trevor Boyle, Voluntary Co-ordinator at Autonomie said: “Support, like this grant from Santander Foundation, is essential to enable us to continue to help children and provide specialist equipment they need and deserve.

“Specialised toys can be expensive and often are difficult to find. Parents can struggle to provide suitable toys that will aid their child’s development.

"Short term loan of these toys will mean parents won’t have to go to the expense of buying a toy to access whether it will aid their child’s development. Access to a toy library will make a real difference to their lives and those of their families.”

A spokesperson for Santander said: “The Santander Foundation makes hundreds of donations every year to good causes throughout the UK. Our branch is committed to playing a key part in the community and we are delighted to be supporting Autonomie, and hope the donation makes a real difference to local people.”

The organisation is also hoping to raise funds through the People’s Projects, a fundraising initiative between UTV and the Big Lottery Fund. The competition sees Autonomie go head-to-head with 4 other local projects for the opportunity to win up to £50,000 in funding and there are only two days left before voting closes.

If they secure the funding, Autonomie can open LILAC House, (Linked Independent Living and Advice Centre). This centre will offer short term living accommodation to help young people learn skills to become more independent. LILAC House will also become a learning and support hub for families.

Members of the public can vote for LILAC House now up until 12 noon Sunday 13 March at

For further information on the full range of services offered by Autonomie please visit

To contact Autonomie, please telephone: 028 90 387039 or email: