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History of Hospice RTE’s Mary Kennedy launches digital archive capturing 30 years of Irish Hospice Foundation

Posted on: February 20th, 2017

RTE’s Mary Kennedy launches digital archive capturing 30 years of Irish Hospice Foundation

Mother Teresa, Bono, Maeve Binchy, Gabriel Byrne, Seamus Heaney, Pat Kenny, Miriam O’Callaghan, Marian Finucane feature in our online archive –  archives.hospicefoundation.ie

The archive was launched in tandem with our impact report ‘Our Impact 1986-2016’ outlining 30 years of achievements.

(LtoR) IHF Board Chair Jean McKiernan, Denis Doherty board member & broadcaster Mary Kennedy Holly Cooper digital archive assistant IHF guiding Janice Redmond, Gerardine Montgomery and Patrick Ussher Jnr through archive

HUNDREDS of previously unpublished documents including letters from Mother Teresa about a hospice for AIDS patients are included in an online archive documenting 30 years of the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF), .

People can access the free online resource and browse through collections which feature some of the best known names from the world of music, poetry, literature, broadcasting and politics who have supported the IHF over three decades. There are 2,000 items in the online archive created to mark the 30th anniversary of the IHF.

Mary Kennedy launched the archive in the Royal Irish Academy, saying: “This archive spans three decades of the IHF since it’s foundation in 1986 and features some very familiar names that have supported the hospice movement. It maps the history of the hospice including ground breaking IHF programmes like Hospice Friendly Hospitals and Nurses for Night Care, innovative fundraising projects like the Whoseday Book and their pioneering research.

It brings items that were hidden to light in an easy accessible format. If you’ve been involved with the IHF you may well find your image or name mentioned in the archive. The archive will evolve and update so if you have items of interest then contact the IHF to have them included.”

The free online resource contains over 75 Collections, 1070 images, 223 text files, 66 videos and 20 audio recordings at present.

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Items at archives.hospicefoundation.ie include:

  • TK Whitaker’s speech and photos from IHF launch in 1986
  • Original photograph of Seamus Heaney’s hands by photographer Perry Ogden with notes for cover of the Whoseday Book – a Unique Diary for the Millennium. The book in aid of the IHF had 366 contributors including poets, filmmakers and song writers.
  • Correspondence between Dr Mary Redmond & Mother Teresa
  • Correspondence relating to the preparation of the Whoseday book including draft sketches and letters for the final publication valued at £550,000 in 2000. The collection was bought by Bank of Ireland and was donated to the National Library.
  • A unique design agency sketch giving layout of the Peter and the Wolf book which was illustrated by Bono in aid of the IHF.
  • The original letter from Dr Mary Redmond to Sr Frances Rose O’Flynn of Our Lady’s Hospice Harold’s Cross in 1985 recounting how the death of her father highlighted the importance of hospice care for terminally ill patients and their families.
  • A meeting memorandum between Dr Redmond and Dame Cicely Saunders – founder of the modern hospice movement – in February 9th

Laura Rooney Ferris, IHF Information and Library Manager and archive creator said: “Often after a death, the first thing we do is open family albums or boxes in the attic to bring back memories of a lost loved one. At the IHF we’ve spent three decades supporting people at end of life so the occasion of our 30th anniversary was a time to pause and gather on our own memories.

In creating this digital archive we are publically sharing our family album. We are incredibly grateful to Mary Redmond’s family for this large collection of her personal papers and documents, and also to former board and staff members and people involved throughout the 30 years who kindly contributed. We’re calling on members of the public to share their photographs, memorabilia and items related to the IHF projects for addition.”

Denis Doherty, IHF’s longest serving board member said: “A look back at the RTE documentary ‘Today Tonight – A Hospice for the Dying’ in the archive shows the remarkable vision Dr Mary Redmond had in setting up the IHF. The programme, aired 30 years ago, shows death for ‘many people’ in Ireland at that time ended in severe pain and isolation. Few doctors and nurses were trained to care for the special needs of the dying, the bereaved and those in pain. There were only three named hospices; one in Cork, Dublin and Limerick. The idea of dying without pain seemed a curiosity – an alien concept.

“The work of the IHF and its supporters has changed that. The hospice movement with its concentration on quality of life, excellent symptom control and care of both the dying and their loved ones has grown from a ‘small movement’ to a national movement.”

Denis Doherty IHF board member & Justice Catherine Mc Guinness

Mr Doherty said the IHF will continue to strive for the right of every individual in Ireland to live as well as possible up to the moment of their death. “It will continue to embrace Dr Redmond’s vision that no one will face death or bereavement without the care and support they need.”

The archive was launched in tandem with the IHF’s impact report ‘Our Impact 1986-2016’ outlining 30 years of achievements.

Jean McKiernan, IHF Chairperson said: “The archive and impact report show great strides in the expansion of hospice and palliative care services. The IHF is making a difference at end-of-life in homes and across healthcare settings 24/7. None of this work has been achieved alone we work in partnership with individuals, communities and organisations across Ireland.”

For example:

  • More than 150 hospitals and nursing homes have signed up to IHF programmes to improve end-of-life care. About three thousand healthcare professionals take part in IHF education and training programmes every year.
  • The IHF’s Nurses for Night Care Service is helping 500 families annually, giving people the option to be cared for in their own homes during their final days.
  • It has invested €4.5 million in palliative care services for children since 2005.

-ENDS –


Notes:

The archive can be found at http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie

The impact report is at: http://hospicefoundation.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/IHF-Impact-Report.pdf

 

TK Whitaker’s speech and photos from the IHF launch in 1986 http://bit.ly/2jvmB5B

Original letter written by Dr Mary Redmond to Sr Frances Rose O’Flynn of Our Lady’s Hospice Harold’s Cross on May 6th 1985 http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/document/19

Correspondence between Dr Mary Redmond & Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/document/61  http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/document/1750

Memorandum of 1986 meeting between Dr Mary Redmond and Dame Cicely Saunders. Topics discussed included Our Lady’s Hospice, advances and challenges in pain management for dying patients, fundraising and research.   http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/document/21

Original concept sketch art for Peter and the Wolf by Zero-G studios October 2002 illustrated by Bono. http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/document/972

Whoseday Book Collection includes valuation of the Whoseday archive £550,000 http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/document/1078   & Handwritten Postcard from Christy Moore accepting invite to the book signing http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/document/128

Perry Ogden’s sketches over his images of Seamus Heaney’s hands for Whoseday book cover art work (original in National Library) http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/document/1523

RTE news report on the mass Whoseday book signing in the RDS on Sept 26th 1999 http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/document/1853

Dr Mary Redmond highlights lack of adequate care for terminally children in December 1986 meeting. Concern prompted ‘Cherish a Child’ fund and agreement on the need for research on the needs of terminally ill children.    http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/files/original/6fc3e176afa6f7e8b587cdaac261feba.pdf

Sr Bernadette Mc Mahon, one of the founders of St Francis Hospice, reflects on the work to establish St Francis Hospice and her memories of Mary Redmond in audio interview http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/document/1867

Details of IHF early days with Dr. Mary Redmond and founding of St Francis Hospice in audio interview with George Byrne, former IHF Finance Manager. http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/document/1705

Correspondence with Medical Schools on Bereavement, Death and Dying in curricula 1988. http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/collections/show/65

Images from IHF launch in Our Lady’s Hospice on April 21 1986 http://archives.hospicefoundation.ie/document/16

(LtoR) IHF Board Chair Jean McKiernan, Denis Doherty board member, Laura Rooney Ferris, Information Manager & Mary Kennedy (7) (LtoR) Karen Charnley head of AIIHPC, Dr Mary Devins, Orla Keegan Head of Education IHF & Breffni Mc Guinness training manager IHF

Cycle for Care – A Family Affair

Posted on: January 19th, 2017

Paul Kimmage and Daughter Evelyn pedal in aid of The IHF

Sports journalist and former professional cyclist Paul Kimmage this week called on cycling enthusiasts nationwide to join him and his daughter Evelyn on a 600km challenge in aid of The Irish Hospice Foundation this June.

The duo, along with many others, will be leading the way in the picturesque Porto to Lisbon event and pedalling for the IHF’s Nurses for Night Care service.

Full details can be found HERE or by calling 01 6793188.

Repro Free: Monday 16th January 2017. Former cycling pro Paul Kimmage and his daughter Evelyn today called on cycling enthusiasts to join them and cycle for care on a 600km challenge in aid of The Irish Hospice Foundation this June. The duo, pictured in UCD today will be leading the way in the picturesque Porto to Lisbon event and pedalling for the IHF’s Nurses for Night Care service. Picture Jason Clarke.

The Sunday Independent journalist said: “I’ve cycled for this worthy cause for the past two years. On those journeys I’ve heard inspirational stories from fellow cyclists about Nurses for Night Care service. Nurses work throughout the night enabling people to spend their final days at home with families by their side. This year my daughter Evelyn is joining me making it an even more special experience as family is everything.”

“End of life affects every village and street. We all wish for a peaceful and comfortable experience for our dearest during their final chapter and this IHF service makes that possible. I’m encouraging cyclists of all abilities to join me and Evelyn and pedal the picturesque Portuguese coastline. It’s a hugely rewarding experience,” said Paul.

The Kingspan-sponsored cycle, which has raised €1.5m for the IHF since it started in 2009, takes place from June 25th to July 1st along the charming coastline of Portugal. Helen McVeigh, IHF Events Manager, said 2,475 families have been cared for by the Nurses for Night Care service with 7,200 nights of care provided since it was established.

“Pedal power can make a real difference so please join us and help support families and caregivers nationwide. Paul continues to be an amazing ambassador for this cycle and we’re delighted to have such a high profile sportsman leading the challenge and raising funds for this vital nursing service.

Huge thanks to our sponsors Kingspan for their continued support and to all cyclists who’ve raised funds in the past.”

This is a fantastic way to challenge yourself and see the beautiful coastline and countryside of Portugal. Starting in Porto and staying in historic towns along the way to Lisbon, you will be supported throughout your journey by our team.  Flights, accommodation and full board are included and full details can be found HERE or by calling 01 6793188.

Repro Free: Monday 16th January 2017. Former cycling pro Paul Kimmage and his daughter Evelyn today called on cycling enthusiasts to join them and cycle for care on a 600km challenge in aid of The Irish Hospice Foundation this June. The duo, pictured in UCD today with Tommy Horkan age 9 and Laura Manning age 8 from Stillorgan, will be leading the way in the picturesque Porto to Lisbon event and pedalling for the IHF’s Nurses for Night Care service. Picture Jason Clarke.

Caption: Former cycling pro Paul Kimmage and his daughter Evelyn today called on cycling enthusiasts to join them and cycle for care on a 600km challenge in aid of The Irish Hospice Foundation this June. The duo, pictured in UCD with Tommy Horkan age 9 and Laura Manning age 8 from Stillorgan, will be leading the way in the picturesque Porto to Lisbon event and pedalling for the IHF’s Nurses for Night Care service.

Repro Free: Monday 16th January 2017. Former cycling pro Paul Kimmage and his daughter Evelyn today called on cycling enthusiasts to join them and cycle for care on a 600km challenge in aid of The Irish Hospice Foundation this June. The duo, pictured in UCD today with Tommy Horkan age 9 and Laura Manning age 8 from Stillorgan, will be leading the way in the picturesque Porto to Lisbon event and pedalling for the IHF’s Nurses for Night Care service. Picture Jason Clarke.

Listen to Paul and Evelyn’s radio ad urging cyclists to join them on the Porto to Lisbon cycle challenge

IHF Pays Tribute to T.K.Whitaker and his Admiration for Hospice Care

Posted on: January 10th, 2017

Former public servant and economist TK Whitaker who died last night was a great hospice ambassador and a man who contributed so much to The Irish Hospice Foundation.

The economist was Chairman of the Fellows of the Foundation and speaking at the launch of The Irish Hospice Foundation in April 1986 he said:

“I am particularly pleased to have an opportunity of making a few remarks at today’s launch of the Hospice Foundation because I have had for many years unbounded admiration for the work here and elsewhere under the auspices of the Irish Sisters of Charity.”

“More than 1500 people die of cancer every year in the area of the Eastern Health Board and of those only about one in four can be cared for in the hospice. In the hospice they can die free of pain, whereas one in three to one in five of those who do not receive such specialised care may suffer severe and unrelieved pain,” stated Mr Whitaker in his below speech from 30 years ago.

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The Irish Hospice Foundation wishes to thank Mr Whitaker for all his kind help throughout his 100 years and for highlighting the need for hospice care so “the last weeks of the terminally ill can be made so happy and cheerful.”

Pictured is IHF Founder Dr Mary Redmond, Sr. Francis Rose O’Flynn and T.K. Whitaker

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Irish Hospice Foundation Welcomes Latest Commitment for Hospice Units in Midlands and North East “Blackspots”

Posted on: January 4th, 2017

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has welcomed the Department of Health’s latest commitment to developing much-needed hospice units in the Midlands and North East as outlined in the Department’s recent Statement of Strategy 2016 – 2019.

Angela Edghill, Advocacy and Public Engagement Manager at the IHF said: “Not having a full service means patients with complex palliative symptoms who cannot be managed in homecare have to be transferred to an acute hospital, often through a busy Emergency Department. This means many more people die in acute hospitals.

“Double the percentage of people with cancer who die in the Midlands area die in an acute hospital; compared to other areas where there is a full Level III service.”

The Health Department’s Statement of Strategy commits to encouraging the development of a hospice in the Midlands which incorporates Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath and the North- East which incorporates Louth, Cavan, Monaghan and Meath

Ms Edghill said: “The IHF believes that everyone is entitled to prompt access to good quality palliative and end-of-life care when they need it, regardless of where they live. People in the Midlands and North East counties are being denied the full range of services available in other areas. The Department of Health has committed to funding the operation of new hospices that are built through local community funding. This affords another opportunity to support and strengthen the existing palliative care services while developing a full multi-disciplinary homecare and inpatient palliative care service.

Ms Edghill continued: “The IHF’s vision is that no-one should face death or bereavement without the care and support they need. We are heartened that the Department’s goals encompass this vision and we will continue to pursue this agenda for the best care at end of life for all. We all need to join in common purpose and work together for advancements in the Midlands and other areas to ease the pain and distress for patients and their loved ones.”

The Department’s strategy also commits to ‘work with non governmental organisations to improve information and awareness of end of life services, particularly those which provide people with palliative care in the location they choose.’

“More than 74% of people in Ireland say that they want to be cared for at home at end of life. Only 24% of people get to fulfil that wish. Our programmes are directed at supporting improvements which could enable more people to die well in the location of their choice,” concluded Ms Edghill.

 

ENDS

Get on your bike

Posted on: December 22nd, 2016

cycle-news

Ever wanted to visit Portugal and really see the sights?  Why not join us on our annual Cycle Challenge.

We will be cycling over 600km from Porto to Lisbon on a stunning route.

Dust off your bike, grab your helmet and start training!  You can register and download our brochure here!

Save the date:  25th June – 1st July 2017

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Take up a new challenge for 2017

Posted on: December 22nd, 2016

walking-photo      sea-landscape

Join us as we embark on our first ever Camino walk to raise funds for The Irish Hospice Foundation.

Our brochure will be ready soon but you can register your interest here to take part in this fantastic challenge.

Save the date:  24th September – 1st October 2017

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Thanks for helping us work towards the best care at end of life for all

Posted on: December 21st, 2016

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Our offices will close at 12.30pm on Friday December 23rd and

open again at 9 am January 3rd

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at the Irish Hospice Foundation.

Damien’s Canal Run

Posted on: December 15th, 2016

Many thanks to Damien who presented funds to us following his “Canal Run” earlier in the year.   Damien challenged himself to run the full length of the Grand  Canal to raise funds and awareness for us and we are happy to say he completed the full xxx miles over two days.    We would like to thank Damien and his family and friends who turned out to support him along the route.   To date a total of €3,825 has been raised which will help our ongoing work and programmes.   If  you are tempted to run, walk or jog for The Irish Hospice Foundation in 2017 please get in touch with us at fundraising@hospicefoundation.ie and we can organise sponsor cards, online fundraising page to help you along the way.

Damien running damien-running

Remember your loved one this Christmas

Posted on: December 5th, 2016

No one should be forgotten, especially at Christmas. Christmas is a special time when families come together and enjoy each other’s company. But for those who are feeling the loss of a loved one, it can also be a sad and lonely time.

When a loved one dies, memories come flooding back. We think about the love and laughter that person brought during their time with us. It can be difficult to celebrate without them.

Last year, in response to our Never Forgotten Appeal, we were touched by so many poignant messages in remembrance of those who have died, and generous donations in support of our work. Every day we turn a page of our Book of Remembrance 2016, which sits proudly in our serene Therese Brady library. You are welcome to visit and view these heartfelt tributes.

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This year as Glenda is remembering her husband Peter, we invite you to remember that someone close to you in our 2017 Book of Remembrance by making a donation. Your kindness will allow more people to live well with dignity and comfort until the end, in a setting of their choice surrounded by loved ones.

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St James’s Hospital opens new Family Room in Hospital Mortuary

Posted on: December 1st, 2016

A dedicated private space for families

Staff in St James’s Hospital officially yesterday (November 30th) opened the newly established family facilities in the hospital mortuary.

The refurbishment was funded by a €12,800 grant from the Design and Dignity Grant Scheme of the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) and Health Service Executive (HSE). The scheme aims to transform the way hospital spaces are designed for people at end of life. Funding to complete the upgrade of the mortuary facilities was also provided by St James’s Hospital.

Approximately 950 deceased patients pass through the mortuary annually. Staff identified the need to create a dedicated space for families coming into the mortuary, a space of comfort and privacy in the times of major distress for bereaved families. The facilities are comprised of a family room that can be used by families and friends who visit the mortuary to view the body of the deceased, meet with the bereavement social worker or chaplain or attend a removal ceremony. The adjacent kitchen facilitates the provision of refreshments by staff to the bereaved.

 

sjh-family-room-0005Mr Lorcan Birthistle, Chief Executive, St James’s Hospital said, “In our mortuary we are very aware of the importance of a quiet, comfortable space for families to draw breathe after the death of a loved one. This will further improve our hospitals culture regarding end of life care for patients.”

Sharon Foley CEO of the IHF commented: “Every year 28,000 people in Ireland die and 43% die in acute hospitals. The Design & Dignity scheme aims to bring design excellence to hospitals where so many people spend their last days. This new facility in St James’s Hospital is a sanctuary for families at a very distressing time and will allow them the proper space and privacy they need. I’d like to commend the staff for their vision and commitment to making end of life care a priority.

 

The family facilities have been operational since the summer and already many families and individuals have directly benefited from this new sanctuary in St James’s mortuary. One family member shared their recent experience: “It was such a relief to have the mortuary facilities available to us at this very difficult time. It enabled our family to meet with friends, chat over a cup of tea and to spend very precious time with our loved one. The caring and dedicated staff, particularly Ed, showed empathy, dignity and respect and this was really appreciated.”  

To date 20 projects have been funded across the country under the Design & Dignity scheme at a cost of €2m.

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