Matthews progress continues…

Just a note to say thank you to all involved in the Mighty Matthew Cycle this year. It’s heartening to see everyone once again putting in  huge efforts in terms of time and energy to be prepared for the challenge. Lesa and myself are always amazed at the commitment and generosity that surrounds this cycle.

To update you all a little on Matthew’s progress we thought we’d put up a few photo’s of Matt to show how well he’s doing and how the funds raised have made such a difference to his life, and ours, as a result of the happiness and good times he’s clearly experiencing.

Since leaving school last year and joining the Abhainn Day Service in Baldoyle, Matt  with the help of the carers paid by the Trust, has become involved in many new activities and renewed his interest in others that were lost to him.

Matt can now count swimming, horse-riding, and bowling as weekly activities. He occasionally has a cycle and has even been out on the Liffey trying his hand at rowing!

Pauline, Antoinette and Sinead have taken Matt out after Abhainn three or four times a week for the last year or so. This has brought Matt on so much. Matt mostly goes for long walks in the parks or on the beaches. If the weather doesn’t suit for outdoor activity, he goes to the cinema or maybe bowling or simply a long drive, all of which he loves doing.


Sinead, Antoinette and Al have all been helping with Matt for his bedtime routine. This has helped to re- energise the family and allowed us give a bit more time to ourselves and the children and helped greatly for our daughter Alanah through her leaving certificate year.

So, thank you all for participating in the cycle and stay safe.
Kevin, Lesa, Alanah, Billy, Luke and Matthew.

Matthew’s progress through 2017…

An update on Matthew’s progress and a BIG thank you to all for supporting the Mighty Matthew Trust Cycle 2017.

In 2017 Matthew left school and moved into an adult day care service. The transition from school to the new service was very difficult for Matt and it took him time  to adjust to the adult day care service.

Since joining the Abhainn service (Baldoyle) in October Matthew has been making huge strides in participating in and enjoying the normal daily activities that life has to offer. It’s not often you get to use the word exponential in a sentence but it’s true to say that Matthew’s world has widened exponentially from a very narrow base to begin with.

And so this is where the cyclists, support crew, drivers, outriders, medics, sponsors and all who contributed to the Trust, have made it happen, because without the funds raised we would not have been able to employ the services of Sinead, Al, Antoinette and Pauline, each one bringing Matt on to such an extent that he is now greatly equipped to take on the next part of his life.

As a family we have also benefitted greatly. Having the pressure taken off Lesa and myself around the caring of Matt has allowed us the nescessary time for the rest of our family. We have been very lucky that Sinead has actually moved within the St. Michaels Service and joined the Abhainn  service. Sinead is working directly with Matthew and has spearheaded the care and approach taken within the Abhainn service for him. Her experience with Matt for the year and four months before, aided by the Trust fund, has been absolutely incredible.

Other than the first few weeks of finding his feet, having been in a classroom setting in Kilbarrack for fourteen years, Matt has been brought to a level that was hard to see in his future. Taking into account the fact that Matt needed a room for himself away from his pals in the service, he has moved on in leaps and bounds. What started out as highly managed walks has moved on to the Phoenix Park to cycle, Donabate to do Horse riding, cinema trips, bowling, park walks, trips to the shops and even one to Grafton street around Christmas time, all with assistance of course, but free from a lot of the anxieties that hampered his progress in the past. We will be posting a few videos of Matt out and about to throw a bit of light on the results of all the hard work done by the likes of Al, Sinead, Antoinette and Pauline.

Regarding the cycle itself, we are again left in awe of all the people who gave of their time to make it happen, not least Liam and Paul, who have championed the Mighty Matthew Trust  cause for four years now.

Sponsors Hessions, Tyler Owen Architects, The Edge, European Recycling Platform,  Pigeon House, Aryzta, McHugh Kinsella, Eagle Air Conditioning, Marlowe Cleaners, The Pebble Beach, The Glass Centre, Mitsubishi Electric, Move Home Estate Agents, Molson Coors and Little Sport have been huge supporters of the Cycle and we thank you so much for your backing the Mighty Matthew Trust Cycle. Words can’t sum up what an example of goodness you are and have been.

The send off from Paul and staff at the Pigeon House Clontarf was incredible again this year only bettered by some decent weather this time and a cameo appearance from Matt himself with Sinead and Al in attendance. With some encouraging words from Damian O’Farrell to help us on our way, l can say myself, there’s no better feeling as we began the trip. Tinged of course by the fact that Damian had himself planned to do the cycle but came a cropper and injured his arm badly while out on a practice cycle.

Thankfully the cycle went very well again. The girls were absolutely brilliant again this year with nothing left for the cyclists to do but land, eat and get back on the bikes.
The countryside views were a joy again with the best saved for second last as we arrived into Mullaghmor with Ben Bulbin featuring in the background. The last leg over the hill was either the icing or the straw, depending on how you were feeling at that moment.

The last and most heartening cheers and whistles were great to hear. Many thanks to Paul for organising again, the Canadian Molsen Beer welcome we’ve become used to, and of course the fine Cuisine de France food laid on by Dermot Murphy. The Lily Murphy Prosecco Reception was a total surprise and was greatly appreciated by some very thirsty girls.

So many memories for Lesa and myself to take away from this event.
Many thanks to all who took part, with special thanks to Damien, James and Sinead for coming across the water. And where would we be and who would have known where we were or what we were doing without Leanne Hickey’s social media skills.
Thanks must again go to the Dunboyne Motor Club for keeping us moving and safe alongside our van drivers  Damien, Kevin, Joe and sub driver Colly with Robbie and Matthew leading the way with Noel again manning the rear sweeping up any problems that came his way, only to be undone by his own  motor. Thankfully the jeep righted itself eventually on the way back to Dublin . Thanks also to the Road Captains Matt and Paul and their unofficial assistant Eamonn for keeping tabs on us all.
Great efforts by all. So many it’s hard to thank you all. We were delighted to have Dave Ranson and Paul and Ian Deverry with us as we remembered the great times we shared with Orla on the previous cycles.

Lesa, myself and our family are grateful and will never take for granted all your efforts to raise funds for our son Matthew.
To end on a light note l’ll misquote a Taylor Swift lyric of all things.
“Look what you made Matt do”
Thanks again.
Kevin, Lesa, Alanah, Luke, Billy and Matthew.

Dublin City Marathon 2017

We’ve done the Harbour 2 Harbour walk to support Aware, the Virgin 10k night run, the Clontarf half marathon as well as numerous other runs around Dublin. Now John Rush, Darragh Shields and John Deasy have decided to take on our biggest challenge yet in the Dublin City Marathon on 29Oct17.

We’ve been putting in the miles over the past few months so please come out and see us in our support of the Mighty Matthew Trust.

An insight into life at home for Matthew and his family…

The team from Together Video and Clontarf.ie have produced a super video that offers us a little insight into life at home for Kevin, Lesa, Matthew and the family.

We want to take this time to acknowledge everyone’s efforts and dedication to the Matthew Hayes Trust which as you can see is continuing to make a huge difference to their lives and help to provide the necessary care and support for Matthew.

Carmel helping Matt to relax…

I’ve long had an interest in the use of therapies such as Massage & Reflexology on people with special needs.  Over the last year I have had the privelege of treating Matthew. Initially I hoped to use reflexology but the first lesson I learned from Matthew was that He was the Boss.  He was very quick to indicate to me he didn’t like Reflexology but loved Massage.

 While it can take some time to settle Matthew onto the massage table and get him comfortable, its not long once treatment starts that he settles down & relaxes. Matthew reveals to me what he wants whether it is his back, hands or feet and sometimes he likes all three!!!! 

Carmel treating Matt

Matthew is hyper active throughout the day, constantly on the go and would rarely sit down or relax. The positive effects of the massage is that Matthew becomes very relaxed & much calmer very quickly.  Relaxation can combat fatigue & anxiety, lower blood pressure & heart rate and boost circulation which are all hugely beneficial for Matthew.  Also Matthews muscles can be very tight & as I massage them I can feel his tension breakdown.

Matthew & I are building a lovely relationship & I look forward to continuing my work with  him.

Safely getting Matt in and out of the School Mini-Bus & Car…

As the training for this year’s cycle to Sligo intensifies, Lesa and I want to provide some updates over the coming weeks to let you know where the money you raised previously has been spent. Without your amazing support, our life would be totally different and we find it very hard to express our deep appreciation for the efforts of all involved.

As you may know, Matthew has a unique set of requirements and day to day living can be very difficult for him and therefore us, as a family. An ongoing challenge that we faced was getting Matthew safely to and from the school bus & carer’s car that picked him up and dropped him back to our home.  This was a particularly stressful time from Matthew and he often got extremely anxious during the transition.  This resulted in many incidents where he ran out onto the road and it often took Lesa or I over an hour trying to calm Matt down and coax him into the safety of our home.  In these situations, Matthew has no appreciation of road safety but thankfully he was not hurt or seriously injured.

Sinead, one of Matt’s carers, getting Matt safely and calmly into the car to go out for an activity

Thanks to the Trust, we were able to arrange to get a secure gate and hedging fitted in our front garden to prevent Matt from running out and onto the road. The change has been dramatic and has made a significant difference for Matt.  Now anybody, including his carers, can simply drive into the driveway and close the gate behind them, safe in the knowledge that Matthew can transition without anxieties, dangers and worries.  He is now much calmer at these times and it has made the process far less stressful for everybody.

We will provide some more updates over the coming weeks as to where your hard earned money is being spent. In the meantime, enjoy the training and thank you again for your kind support.

Kevin and Lesa

Thanks for the Support in 2016…

Thanks for all the support throughout 2016. The money raised has helped Matthew and our family with a number of initiatives to care for and support Matt.

Sinead, Al, and Pauline are three people who work in the area of care suited to Matt and started coming to the house to help with Matts routine for bedtime.  This  is a very tiring routine and can take a number of hours given Matts anxieties around the whole transitioning from one room to another. Most importantly Matt himself benefits from having new faces around and he looks forward to seeing them. The carers are also qualified to help take Matt out of the house and have brought him on afternoon trips to the beach and to the Phoenix Park. This is great for Matt and provides him with fresh experiences and a break from the normal house surroundings.

Matt & Al in the Phoenix Park

Ongoing we have Carmel giving Matt great foot and body massages which he has taken to like the proverbial duck to water. Carmel was a great help in finding a very good value fold-up massage table & it’s been great to come home and see Matt so very relaxed and indeed sometimes prompting Carmel as to where exactly he needs pressure. Many thanks to Carmel for her great patience and know how in dealing with Matt.

After much research, Lesa found options for private respite and through Nua Health Care Matt has had a few weekends away in their Portlaoise  respite house. These couple of weekends with Nua Health Care provide Matt with specialised care and allow Matt to get some new experiences in a safe environment.

All of these measures are thanks to the Trust which is only there thanks to brilliant fundraising of those involved in the Mighty Matthew Cycle and the kind donations and other fundraising initiatives taken by friends and friends of friends.

Thanks for all your support and l hope this is a little insight into the good from all your hard work.

What a weekend!

We made it!
We made it!

60 Cyclists, 10 Support Crew, 3 Outriders, Lead Navigation Jeep, 2 Support Vans & a rear Puncture Repair Jeep….we all made it safely from Clontarf to Lahinch covering over 330km in extremely challenging conditions.

Thanks to everyone who cycled, supported, sponsored and donated to the Matthew Hayes Trust to help make the event a great success and raise much needed funds to help support Matthew and his family.

For all the details on the cycle click here to visit the 2016 Coast to Coast Cycle Page