Sinéad Barker

Barker Communication Matters 3.4 Challenge

Fundraising for Communication Matters / ISAAC (UK)
raised of £300 target
We campaign for those who have no speech to improve communication and understanding


Thanks for taking the time to visit our JustGiving page. So what's the story here?

We are working to raise funds for the the 3.4 Challenge established by Communication Matters, a communications charity that helps those with communications disabilities and their families. They are particularly helpful for AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) users, like Tomás. Less than 1% of the UK population need to use such supports, so finding help is hard - services are over-stretched and under-funded, and because service users are so spread out nobody is interested in increasing local provision. That means the work CM do is essential to families like ours who need AAC; they are one of the only places we can turn to when we need help.  More info:

We first joined CM when Tomás was 2. When he was 3 his first speech therapist suggested that the combination of non-verbal autism, a severe learning disability, and spectacularly bad speech, language and communication needs meant we would probably be looking at the top end of primary school before any functional communication was established. Well we beat that, and CM has a big part to play in that success.

But developing communication was only half the battle.

If you know Tomás then you know he loves to dance, move and generally be active. But none of the dance schools we approached (and we hit double figures in the end) would accept him - because of his communication challenges. Nothing else, purely because he struggles to speak. Luckily we finally met Scoil Rince an Chroí ('Dance from the Heart' for those wondering what the school name means. And boy do they live that motto!) They didn't hesitate to give us a chance, and for the last year Tomás has gone from strength to strength in Irish dancing.

So when CM decided they were running a 3.4 Challenge to make up some of the shortfall they are facing after recent events then we had to back them, and there was only one way forward. Dance!

Tomás will be attempting to do 34 basic steps (1,2, 3s) in a row, which is no small challenge for anyone let alone a 7 year old. And me? I will be attempting.....(can't believe I'm even typing this) 3.4 HOURS of back-to-back Irish dance. 

Now this is one of the bigger challenges we have tried so if you would like to support us we would really appreciate it! CM is a small charity, it has been hit hard recently and everyone pitching in to these challenges is doing so to save the charity. Literally. Speech is one of those things that everyone takes for granted - until it isn't there. Whether the cause be autism, stroke, disability, whatever it is CM supports everyone who is impacted by communication challenges. They really are a lifeline for families like ours, and I'm hoping you can help us be a lifeline for them until things get back to normal and they are back up and running fully.

WHEN: 16:30 onwards, 14th September 2020

WHERE: Scoil Rince an Chroí Studio, Crossgar or

The other bit you need to know: Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

About the charity

Communication Matters aims to increase public awareness & knowledge of the needs of people with communication disabilities who benefit from other ways of speaking (e.g. symbols/technology systems). It provides convenient information & organises an annual conference, roadshows & study days UK-wide.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £105.00 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations

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