July 19, 2023 Back to all news

We are happy to announce Dublin Airport’s Community Fund support for the 'Play Therapy' project in Ballymun, an initiative that resonates deeply with local friends, neighbours, and families.

At Dublin Airport, we understand the profound significance of projects that positively impact our neighbours, friends, and families. 'Play Therapy,' powered by Youngballymun and supported by our Community Fund since 2021, provides vital art materials, toys, and therapy equipment to children facing chronic, mild, and moderate psychological and emotional challenges, easing distress for both the children and their families.

Youngballymun, established in 2007 as part of the national Area Based Childhood Programme (ABC), is dedicated to promoting secure relationships and fostering positive wellbeing and learning outcomes for children from pre-birth onward. As the first-ever school-based Play Therapy project in Ireland, 'Play Therapy' covers all eleven schools in the area and seeks to improve outcomes for up to 300 children over a two-year period.

Kenny Jacobs, daa CEO, expresses immense pride in the collaboration with Youngballymun and the impact of the 'Play Therapy' project. He said, "At Dublin Airport, we are not just a transport hub; we are an integral part of the vibrant community surrounding us. We take immense pride in supporting initiatives that leave a lasting impact on the lives of our neighbours and their families. 'Play Therapy' is a shining example of how, together, we can create positive change."

Through 'Play Therapy,' seven dedicated therapists work across the eleven primary schools, utilizing tools like the 'Expressions Dolls' to help children express their emotions through observation and description. These dolls, dressed in clothes with symbols representing different moods, facilitate communication and sensitivity development, creating a safe and nurturing environment for the children to explore their feelings.

Niamh, a child psychotherapist specializing in Play Therapy and actively involved in the project, shared her gratitude, saying, "Youngballymun and the Ballymun Principals Network are thrilled with the progress of 'Play Therapy' and the support it provides to children who might not otherwise have access to such transformative therapy. This project can change the trajectory of a child's life, and it's heartwarming to see how many children are benefiting from it. The Dublin Airport Community Fund's support is invaluable in providing the necessary toys and equipment to create a safe space where children feel valued."

Photos of the 'Play Therapy' project in Ballymun
Picture: Youngballymun’s Niamh Mullins, the Ballymun School Network Project Coordinator and Our Lady of Victories BNS Principal Roisin Hickey with Janine Davidson, Dublin Airport’s Community Engagement Executive.


Established in 2017 with an investment of €10 million over 25 years, the Dublin Airport Community Fund is dedicated to fostering positive contributions to the communities surrounding Dublin Airport. Spanning from Santry to Rolestown and Tyrrelstown to Portmarnock, the 13 eligible areas welcome applications for transformative projects.

The fund operates through an independent Grant Making Panel that evaluates and awards funding to deserving initiatives. Moreover, the Community Fund extends its support beyond community projects by sponsoring up to 20 students annually from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, enabling them to pursue higher education at Dublin City University (DCU) through the Access Programme.

To learn more about Dublin Airport's Community Fund and the transformative initiatives it supports, click HERE.