Donegal toy company Lottie Dolls has launched an uplifting project to give great gifts to children with disabilities. 

Company founder Ian Harkin from Ballybofey was in Drumcondra recently to visit the Childvision Centre, Ireland’s only Education Centre for blind and multi-disabled children. 

Mr Harkin discovered how the 150-year-old centre was a remarkable place for the education and therapy needs of children from all over Ireland, ranging in age from birth to 23 years of age.

Among the many, many various therapies conducted at Childvision, one of the most extraordinary is perhaps their equine therapy program.

Horse-riding offers children the opportunity to improve joint mobility, balance and co-ordination. Engagement with the animals can also have profound effects on a child’s confidence and social interaction skills.

A five-year-old girl who, by an amazing coincidence is also named Lottie, was on hand to welcome Ian to the centre.

Lottie, who has a visual impairment, loves visiting the centre and even has a favourite horse.

Lottie and Lottie Dolls MD Ian Harkin

Mr Harkin was so impressed by the great work done by everyone at Childvision and the amazing children who attend it that he announced a ‘Buy One, Gift One’ drive.

The Lottie Dolls collection has a much-loved Welsh Mountain Pony named Sirius. With the ‘Buy One, Gift One’, Ian has decided to donate one Sirius Pony to the Childvision centre for every Lottie Doll or horse bought on

You can add your donation to your purchase by using the code ‘CHILDVISION’ at checkout. The campaign will run from March 14th until the end of the month.

Lottie Dolls has previously championed inclusivity in toys by collaborating with Toy Like Me, a non-profit organisation to develop the world’s first mass-produced doll with a cochlear implant. Mia the Wildlife Photographer was released in July 2017.

Meet Mia – the doll changing children’s attitudes to disability