Supporting local hospices
Hospices across the country are appealing to the public to give their support to Hospice Sunflower Days tomorrow and Saturday (June 10th and 11th) so patients and families can get help at a time of greatest need.
Pat Quinlan Chair of the Voluntary Hospices Group, said the need for financial support from the public to help fund quality end-of-life services is greater than ever. He said:
More than 100,000 Sunflower pins and other merchandise are on sale in a bid to raise €1 million to help hospice and palliative care services continue their work over the next 12 months. It marks the 26th year of Hospice Sunflower Days. Over those 26 years the number of people seeking hospice care services has continued to increase and we need to be in a position to be able to respond to meeting their needs. Six thousand people use hospice services every year in Ireland. But no hospice is fully funded by the State. By buying a Sunflower pin for €2 from a volunteer collectors on the streets of cities, towns and villages across Ireland you can make a difference. All money raised locally stays to support hospice services in the area.
Mr Quinlan said “hospices across the country are reliant on the generosity and goodwill or our wonderful supporters and volunteers.”
Sunflower Days champion, RTE Nationwide presenter Mary Kennedy revealed her personal gratitude and appreciation of the “hospice ethos” as she made an appeal for people to support Sunflower Days.
“My mother Pauline died of cancer in 2001 at the age of 83. Mam never actually made it to the hospice but she was cared for in Tallaght Hospital by people who were just so kind, so loving and so respectful that it felt like the whole ethos of hospice was there. “They found time to paint Mams nails, apply her make up every day. They even asked for her hair colour to be brought into them and they touched up her roots. I found that very gratifying I have to say.”
She said she visited Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross, Dublin last year as part of her work for Nationwide.
“From the time we went through the gates it was a lovely environment, it was very peaceful, very tranquil and it was a lot of fun and a lot of laughs with the people that we met on that day. It made me think once again that yes, I am glad to be involved in this whole hospice movement and to be supportive in the tiny way that I can.”
Mary Kennedy recently launched Sunflower Days. She said: “There are many patients and their families whose end of life would be so much harder without Sunflower Days and the volunteers who get involved.”
Pat Quinlan Chair of the Voluntary Hospices Group said: “It is through the compassionate communities that hospice services can continue to deliver high quality care to individuals and families. Hospice services are all reliant on their communities and public goodwill to help maintain or expand their services’ he said.
Hospice care aims to improve the lives of people who have a life limiting condition by helping them to live their lives as fully as possible right up to the moment until they die. It seeks to relieve the physical symptoms of illness while also addressing the patient’s emotional and spiritual needs. Hospice care also provides support to families and those who are important to the patient, and extends its reach into bereavement. Hospice care can be provided in various care settings, such as a hospice, a person’s homes, a hospital or a nursing home.
For more information and to volunteer with your local hospice service for Hospice Sunflower Days visit www.sunflowerdays.ie
Note: The Voluntary Hospices Group is a membership group, representative of all the major voluntary specialist palliative care service providers in Ireland.
Ardee Hospice Homecare; The Clare Hospice at Cahercalla; Carlow/Kilkenny Homecare Team; Drogheda Hospice Homecare; Galway Hospice Foundation; Kerry Hospice Foundation; Kildare & West Wicklow Hospice; Kildare & West Wicklow Hospice, Laois Hospice; Longford Hospice Homecare; Marymount Hospice, Cork; Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation, Milford Hospice, Limerick; North Louth Hospice Homecare; North Westmeath Hospice Homecare; North West Hospice; Offaly Hospice Foundation; Our Lady’s Hospice- Harold’s Cross and Blackrock, South Westmeath Hospice Homecare; South Wicklow Hospice Homecare; St. Francis Hospice Raheny & Blanchardstown, Tipperary North Hospice Homecare- Nenagh, North Tipperary – Roscrea Hospice; Tipperary North Hospice Homecare – Thurles; Tipperary South Hospice Homecare – Cashel; Waterford Hospice Homecare; New Ross Hospice Homecare Services; Wicklow Hospice Foundation and Youghal Community Hospital-Hospice are among the group’s members taking part in Sunflower Days.
None of the funds raised by Sunflower Days go to The Irish Hospice Foundation. The IHF co-ordinates the fundraising drive but all money raised locally stays locally.
Contact your local Hospice Group for more information:
Ann Julian, Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services – Harold’s Cross & Blackrock Tel: 01 4911072
Dee Kinane, St. Francis Hospice – Raheny & Blanchardstown Tel: 01 832 7535