We are delighted to introduce ourselves; we are Linsey McNelis and Ruth McDonagh and we represent Big Toes Little Toes Ireland.
In 2011 we met the fabulous Debi Maskell- Graham at a Play Therapy AGM in Dublin, where she was facilitating a workshop on working therapeutically with infants. We both were instantly entranced by her magic! We approached her and asked if she would consider running Baby Bonding training in Ireland and she came to Dublin the following year. It was a wonderful training and the beginnings of a transformation in our work. We both started to see changes in how we related to those we worked with, Linsey as a play therapist and Ruth, both as a play therapist and as a family support worker with Barnardos.
In 2015 when we heard that Debi was running her Parent Child Attachment Play (PCAP) training in Manchester we booked our tickets! This trip really enhanced our love for this work and PCAP particularly transformed Ruth’s experience of her work in Barnardos, the core concept of Reflective Functioning, helping to strengthen relationships in families.
In 2016 we organised to bring Debi to Ireland to run Baby Bonding and we began to shadow her to become facilitators. We are honoured to have been given the opportunity to share her wonderful work.
We travelled to the UK again in 2017 to train in Heart to Heart, another fantastic programme that we have both had opportunities to use since training.
When Debi came to Ireland in 2018 to run Heart to Heart, as we shadowed, she told us about her plans to retire and how she had a lovely group of people who she was very happy to hand her Attachment programmes over to; Clear Sky Children’s Charity. Of course, Debi had made a wonderful decision. We were delighted to have the opportunity to meet Clear Sky in April 2019 when we travelled to their fabulous ground in Oxfordshire and were welcomed by their amazing team.
We are honoured to be working alongside Clear Sky, helping to share these wonderful programmes here in Ireland. Each year we plan to run Baby Bonding, Parent Child Attachment Play and Heart to Heart training and are delighted to see the interest in the programmes increasing each year. It has been great to see the interest from organisations such as Barnardos, HSE, Tusla, Feileacain, Resolve Counselling Centre, sending staff to the trainings and wonderful to hear about initiatives in these organisations beginning to use the programmes and spread the wonder of Head, Heart and Hands. We have a website at www.bigtoeslitteltoesirl.com, Facebook page Big Toes Little Toes Ireland and are on Instagram at bigtoeslittletoesireland.
We would like to wish Clear Sky a happy 10 year anniversary and look forward to many more years working alongside them.