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The Irish Hospice Foundation & Lloyds Pharmacy have Christmas all wrapped up

Posted on: November 20th, 2017
  • Lloyds Pharmacy, Ireland’s largest pharmacy group, announces charity drive and Christmas gift-wrapping service to raise funds for its charity partner, The Irish Hospice Foundation.
  • Lloyds Pharmacy and Irish Hospice Foundation partnership is now in its fourth year.
  • To date, the partnership has raised over €95,000.00
  • Lloyds Pharmacy makes Christmas shopping easier with their hampers made to order service and an extensive range of Christmas gifts for the whole family.

Lloyds Pharmacy, Ireland’s largest pharmacy group, today launched an in-store charity drive and Christmas gift-wrapping service to raise much needed funds for The Irish Hospice Foundation.

The initiative will see LloydsPharmacy colleagues offering a gift-wrapping and hamper creation service to customers across all 94 stores, with collection buckets for The Irish Hospice Foundation also on site. The Christmas gift wrapping service will run from week commencing 20th November, throughout the Christmas period. Lloyds Pharmacy offers an extensive range of Christmas gifts and bespoke hampers made to order for him, for her, and the whole family.

Now in its fourth year, the Lloyds Pharmacy partnership with The Irish Hospice Foundation has raised a total of €95,000.00.

Dervila McGarry, Head of Marketing at Lloyds Pharmacy, said: “We are delighted to be raising funds and awareness for The Irish Hospice Foundation. It’s a very worthy cause, particularly at this time of year. The work of the Foundation helps families on a national and local scale through difficult times, and we’re proud to be supporting them.

“The funds raised to date by the commitment and support of our colleagues in the local communities of our 94 stores has made a real difference to lives around Ireland.”

Helen McVeigh, Director of Fundraising at The Irish Hospice Foundation said: “We are delighted with our partnership with Lloyds Pharmacy and the opportunity to share our vision which is for no one to face death or bereavement without the care and support they need,” concluded Ms McVeigh.  

Cherish your loved one’s memory and support our Never Forgotten Appeal

Posted on: November 20th, 2017

Let’s make this a Christmas to Remember

Christmas is a special time in Ireland. One where families make a special effort to 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, the times you shared come flooding back.

We invite you to share your precious memories in our beautiful Book of Remembrance and support a worthy cause this Christmas.

  • Leave a message for your loved one.
  • Know that you have helped someone in their most crucial time of need.

This year Lynda and Pat Foley are remembering their darling son Liam in this special way.





“Liam had been ill in the womb. We had been advised that all may not be well after birth, but to everyone’s amazement, he was absolutely perfect. Looking back now, this was our miracle. But sadly it was to be the only one. Liam couldn't speak or hear, he couldn't walk and he was fed with the use of a pump. But to us, he was perfect. He had a real smile and a most beautiful laugh. He was great company. It is what we all miss most about him.
We had two and a half good years with Liam but unfortunately everything changed for the worse towards the end of 2012. Liam’s body was beginning to fail him. We got home and set about celebrating Christmas. Sadly it was to be our last one together. In early December that year we travelled to Moyasta in County Clare. We had heard during the week that Santa was going to pay a visit to the train station in this beautiful village. As Liam had a real love of trains, we felt what better way to spend what many of Liam’s doctors felt would be his last Christmas with us.
The five of us made the one-hour journey to the west Clare village. Each one of us was as excited as the next. When we arrived we were greeted by the Whelan family. To them we were just an ordinary family who came to meet their very special visitor. We didn’t want it any other way. Liam always brought the best out in everybody…that day was no different. He just seemed to draw everybody around him. We stepped back and watched as David, Sadhbh and Liam lead us around this magical corner of County Clare.
We all met Santa and enjoyed our time with him. But what was to follow surpassed even that excitement. We opened a door at the end of the room leading us into an open yard. There to greet us was a wonderful old steam train. It was waiting to take us on a beautiful journey of the countryside. It really was a magical day. Liam was the boss. Liam would boss you without you ever feeling you were being bossed. He had that way about him. He fed off the excitement surrounding him.That day it felt like everyone knew our story but deep down we knew nobody did. It was to be our last Christmas together, the five of us.
Liam always had the job of turning on the Christmas lights. He enjoyed watching the tree being decorated and couldn’t wait to be wheeled in and out with his decorations. He even liked to be decorated himself! But the lights were always his favourite.
Sadly, our journey with our truly amazing and beautiful son came to an end one year later on 3rd December 2013. Liam’s final weeks were spent at home in his own room, surrounded by us and his many friends. We could care for Liam in a way that we never thought possible with the help of our outreach nurse, Hilary. Hilary shared Liam’s final hours. Liam had a beautiful death and we owe that to her and The Irish Hospice Foundation. They help both adults and children like Liam die at home in peace and comfort and support their families at a most difficult time."

Make this a Christmas to remember with a tribute to your loved one and your support will help people live well until the end.

Welcoming new Palliative Care Framework

Posted on: November 17th, 2017
The Irish Hospice Foundation has warmly welcomed a new framework which informs the development of Irish adult palliative care services for the next 3 years.

Seamless Care Pathway

The aim is to ensure a seamless care pathway across inpatient, homecare, nursing home, acute hospital and day care services. It recommends that specialist palliative care services should be available to all patients in need, wherever they are, and whatever their disease. Proposes targeted investment to develop service provision over 3 year timeframe and align service levels as recommended in the ‘Report of the National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care’ (2001).
Irish Hospice Foundation CEO Sharon Foley welcomed the new framework and is looking forward to working in unison with all bodies to ensure specialist palliative care services is available to all patients in need, wherever they are, and whatever their disease.

Palliative Care Services Development Framework Launch 730/3

In the picture: John Hennessy, HSE National Director for Primary Care, Minister for Health Simon Harris, Sheilagh Reaper-Reynolds, HSE National Lead for Palliative Care

The HSE has launched ‘Palliative Care Services Three Year Development Framework - 2017 to 2019’. The Framework informs the development of adult palliative care services, both generalist and specialist, in Ireland for the three-year period from 2017 - 2019. Its aim is to ensure a seamless care pathway across inpatient, homecare, nursing home, acute hospital and day care services.

Palliative care is an active and total approach to care from the point of diagnosis through to death and beyond. It embraces the physical, emotional, social and spiritual elements of care and engages with patients and families as equal decision makers in that care. The Framework being launched today aims to enhance palliative care service delivery in both community and acute hospital services, with a major focus being placed at all times on the delivery of quality person-centred, safe care for patients and their families.

Speaking at the launch Minister for Health Simon Harris said, "Palliative care is a key part of our health service and it is essential that when it comes to end of life people are treated with dignity and respect. These values must be enshrined in the quality of care which is provided to patients and their families. We must also work to ensure that palliative care services are accessible across the country and that there is an integrated pathway across in-patient, homecare, nursing home, acute hospital and day care services. As Minister for Health I welcome the publication of this important three year Framework and I am assured that my Department will continue to work closely with the HSE on the implementation of its recommendations and actions."

Welcoming the publication, John Hennessy, HSE National Director for Primary Care said, “The focus of the Framework was to identify the gaps that exist in the current level of service provision and to present a set of recommendations and actions which over the duration of the Framework (and at times beyond) would seek to address these service issues / deficits, subject to available resources. The Framework looks at palliative care service delivery in both community and acute hospital services, with a major focus being placed at all times on the delivery of quality person-centred, safe care for patients and their families.

“A key objective for the Steering Group was to seek to improve access to palliative care services across the country, particularly in those areas which for the last number of years have been identified as inpatient service ’blackspots’.  There are clear recommendations contained in the Framework which, on implementation, will achieve this objective.”

Sheilagh Reaper-Reynolds, HSE National Lead for Palliative Care said, “This framework captures the core issues that face us in improving palliative care services for people living with life limiting illnesses and their families. Focused consultation took place with many key stakeholders, including service user representative bodies and organisations, healthcare staff and management. This feedback enables us to plan together the development of palliative care services in a much more effective way that is going to meet the needs of our changing population”.

The Framework recommends that specialist palliative care services should be available to all patients in need, wherever they are and whatever their disease. It highlights that there are still areas of the country without an inpatient unit, most notably in the Midlands, the South East, and the North East. Other areas do not have the recommended bed complement and/or the recommended staffing levels. In addressing these shortcomings, the Framework sets out recommendations to ensure that by 2021, there will be equitable access to specialist inpatient palliative care services throughout the country.

It notes that full access to palliative care services for patients with non-malignant disease is now the norm in the sector, with service providers accepting referrals based on need rather than condition. While the work of making palliative care available to patients with non-cancer conditions must continue, attention should now also extend to the needs of vulnerable populations such as people with disabilities, migrants, and prisoners.

The Framework states that by investing in properly resourced community services to care for patients with both malignant and non-malignant diseases, particularly in the last three months of life, this leads to reduced inappropriate hospital admissions, more appropriate care pathways and improved experience for patients and their families.

The Framework complements and builds on the government’s palliative care services policy document ‘Report of the National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care’, published in 2001. It proposes targeted investment to develop palliative care service provision over its timeframe and align service levels with those recommended in the 2001 Report.

Download the report.

Children – The Forgotten Mourner – Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week Starts Today

Posted on: November 13th, 2017
Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week (BCAW) commences today Monday to highlight the needs of bereaved children and how to support them through difficult periods of loss. Organised by The Irish Childhood Bereavement Network (ICBN), the week coincides with Universal Children’s Day and helps those supporting bereaved children including parents, carers, teachers, sports groups, faith communities or friends in their local communities.

'Children Grieve Too' is Key Theme

“‘Children Grieve Too’ is the key message for next week. We’re highlighting that we all have a part to play in supporting children through the journey of grief,” said Brid Carroll, Chair, ICBN.
“Unlike adults, children dip in and out of grief which is often termed ‘puddle grief’. It can be intermittent and intense but also can pass quickly, distracted by friends and activities. Children also tend to protect parents from their pain and upset. This often leaves their grief unrecognised.
Grief in childhood and teens makes the young person feel different from their peers. Children try to control their grief holding it in and pretending nothing has happened. This can be isolating. Each child in a family grieves differently due to their personality, gender and the relationship they had with the person who has died,” said Ms Carroll. In Ireland 80 people die daily. These are the parents, grandparents, cousins and siblings of our 1.2million children. Children grieve too with 2.2% of nine year olds having lost a parent, 6% a close friend and 28% a grandparent.

For 40 years I had pent-up anger about not being allowed to say goodbye to my father

Britain’s first Children’s Commissioner Professor Sir Al Aynsley Green is speaking in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin on Tuesday as part of BCAW about meeting the needs of children where someone close to them dies in an adult acute hospital.
Sir Al commented: “For 40 years I had pent-up anger about not being allowed to say goodbye to my father before he died when I was 10 years old; nor see his body before the funeral. We know there is a huge toll of unresolved grief in adults bereaved as a child of someone they love.
There needs to be more focus on how death is handled across society especially in supporting grieving children and we need to ‘Think Adult, Think Child’. In other words, making sure those caring for a dying adult ask what does the death mean for the children in the family. There is hard evidence of what’s most important for bereaved children; death needs to be seen as part of life, children’s fears and anxieties need to be addressed and children need to be listened to carefully to encourage them to talk about what they feel.

'Think Adult, Think Child'

“I will be speaking in Beaumont Hospital on Tuesday about ‘Think Adult, Think Child’ for health care professionals and meeting the needs of children where someone close to them dies in an adult acute hospital.” Events are taking place nationwide throughout the week. The ICBN is hosted by the Irish Hospice Foundation and funded together with Tusla. See www.childhoodbereavement.ie for more info.  

Ireland’s First Standards for Childhood Bereavement Care Launched

Posted on: November 12th, 2017
6 November, Dublin – Ireland’s first ever standards for childhood bereavement care were launched by Dr Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children in The Irish Hospice Foundation office on Nassau Street, Dublin.

A Vision for Bereavement Support for Children

‘Standards for Supporting Bereaved Children and Young People - A Framework for Development’ was developed by the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network (ICBN) following public and professional consultation. The standards illustrate a multi-layered vision for bereavement support to emphasise the highest level of care that our bereaved children and young people deserve.
'This support is key to helping children suffering from bereavement early and effectively'
Dr Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children said: "I am delighted to launch Ireland’s first ever standards for childhood bereavement care. I very much support the development of these standards which will help support our children and young people as they try to deal with the trauma that is bereavement. I am very pleased to see that counselling services in the community have been highlighted as essential in the standards. This support is key to helping children suffering from bereavement early and effectively. I look forward to the implementation of these standards in the best interest of children and young people all over Ireland."

Helping a Child in your Family, Classroom or Community

The ICBN say the standards will be used as a benchmark for planning, provision and quality review. Speaking today, Anne Marie Jones, Chair of the ICBN Standards Group said: “This resource will be helpful to adults who wonder what they can do for a child in their family, a child in their classroom, a child in their GAA club or the bereaved children in their political constituency. It is a vision for how we as a society can recognise and support bereavement children.
'To ensure that our bereaved children grow into strong and mentally healthy young people'
We invite a strong national recognition of the critical importance of this vision, to ensure that our bereaved children grow into strong and mentally healthy young people who have learned the skills that they need and been provided the timely support that they may need, to journey through their bereavement.”   This framework is directed at all adults, professionals, volunteer organisations and policy makers who are concerned about bereaved children and young people. ICBN will review these standards and associated criteria every three years in the expectation that additional emphases, criteria and examples of achievement can be added.

Bereaved Children's Awareness Week, 13th - 18th November

Today’s launch also kick-starts Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week (13-18th November) which promotes greater awareness and understanding of children’s grief. Early and consistent healthy support within families and communities can lead to better outcomes for a bereaved child. Download the Standards for Supporting Bereaved Children and Young People - A Framework for Development here    

Annual November Public Information Evening on Bereavement 2017

Posted on: November 9th, 2017
Our annual November public information evening on bereavement was held on 2nd November.  This annual event aims to provide information about grief and the range of supports available to bereaved people.  The evening opened with an introduction followed by a number of talks and video presentations.  Guest speaker Laura Kennedy (Columnist with The Irish Times, author of the personal reflection column ‘Leavetaking’) spoke on the theme ‘Living with Loss’.  At the event a number of voluntary bereavement support services and professional therapeutic services were represented (listed below).  The audience had an opportunity to visit these stands and be informed of what services they provide.  Admission is free to this annual November event which is open to all members of the public, in particular to those that have been bereaved.
  If you would like to be notified of this event in the future please contact Iris Murray Tel 01 679 3188 email [email protected]
A Little Lifetime Foundation, Anam Cara Parental & Sibling Bereavement Support, Barnardos Children’s Bereavement Service, Beginning Experience, Bethany Bereavement Support Group, Citizens Information Service, Féileacáin (Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Association of Ireland), FirstLight, Irish Childhood Bereavement Network, Irish Hospice Foundation, Living Links, Miscarriage Association of Ireland, PCI Counselling Service, Pieta House Bereavement Services, Purple House Cancer Support, Rainbows Ireland, SAH (Support After Homicide), Turas Le Cheile Bereavement Support Service, Turning Point, Village Counselling Service

RIP Wendy Coughlan, a wonderful and inspiring ambassador for our Think Ahead Programme

Posted on: November 2nd, 2017
We were deeply saddened to learn today of the death of the wonderful Wendy Coughlan. Wendy and her daughter Helen have been enthusiastic, generous and tireless ambassadors for the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Think Ahead programme since we first met them in February 2015. Wendy’s face and voice will be familiar to many audiences around the country who have been at a Think Ahead presentation.

To her husband Pat and her family – particularly our friend Helen – we send our love and deepest sympathy and our thanks for sharing Wendy with us. We are privileged to have known her. She will continue to inspire us and others. May she rest in peace.

Leave your gift for the future, leave a legacy

Posted on: October 29th, 2017

This My Legacy Week, The Irish Hospice Foundation ask you to continue to support us by leaving a legacy gift in your will, after you have taken care of your family and loved ones.  Large or small, it is a special and personal way to make an impact on causes you cherish most for the future.

We are part of My Legacy, an umbrella group of over 50 Irish charities who work together to highlight how important it is for everybody to have a will and to ask people to remember a charity they care about, once all other important personal decisions have been made.   Many Irish people put off making a will even though it is not a daunting experience and can give you peace of mind. A solicitor has a checklist of all the things to be decided upon and once that is done, you can add whatever legacy gift you feel is right and possible.  Most of us have been touched by the amazing work charities do in our lives and communities. Three simple steps is all it takes to remember those you care about in your will.

You can learn more about leaving a legacy gift to charity and find a local solicitor to help you make your will at www.mylegacy.ie


Have you sent your completed CHY3 Cert back to us? Clock is ticking…

Posted on: October 18th, 2017

A while ago we sent our generous supporters  a reminder letter about the charity tax back scheme and a CHY3 cert enclosed. If you received it, please don’t wait, return it today!

We will be submitting our claim to the Revenue Commissioners in the coming weeks so it’s vital your form comes in before that. It only takes a minute. We’ve made it as easy as possible. In just three quick steps you can release the full potential of your generous gift to us, so please complete, sign and return the form we sent you. It’s as simple as that. And it still won’t cost you a single cent more!

Thank you for your prompt response!

For more information on our Tax Back Campaign please click HERE

Welcoming Charity VAT Compensation Scheme in Budget 2018

Posted on: October 10th, 2017

The Irish Hospice Foundation has warmly welcomed the news in Budget 2018 that a Charity VAT Compensation Scheme will be introduced. This follows strong campaigning by the Irish Hospice Foundation to help ease the burden on hospices nationwide.

The Charities VAT Compensation Scheme announced today will take effect from 1 January 2018 but will be paid one year in arrears i.e. in 2019 charities will be able to reclaim some element of the VAT costs arising in 2018. Charities will be entitled to a refund of a proportion of their VAT costs based on the level of non-public funding they receive. The scheme, including the amount provided in the fund, will be subject to review after three years. Claims under the scheme cannot be made until 2019 as it will take some time for the Revenue to establish IT and administrative systems.

Below is the essence of our campaigning and an article we wrote previous to the Budget:

Reducing the Burden on Charities

Payment of VAT is a serious burden for hospices nationally, especially those where a capital build is planned, explains The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF). Capital builds are underway or planned in Dublin – North and South, Limerick, Galway, Mayo/Roscommon, Wicklow and Waterford, with long term plans for the Midlands, Drogheda and Cavan. It is current government policy that the capital costs of hospice units are funded from charitable sources – and to date voluntary hospice groups have funded the building of these vital facilities.
IHF CEO Sharon Foley said: "The requirement to pay VAT on build and fit-out expenditures adds a huge burden to hospices and increases their fundraising challenges – already strained in the current climate. As an example, if a capital build costs €11m – 13% of this represents VAT – a staggering €126,500 for each hospice.  In addition the fit-out of each unit might cost €2m, so VAT will represent an additional €37,000 for the hospice. These costs should not be necessary for hospices and other such charities reliant on charitable fundraising from the public.
The IHF feels the effects of the imposition of VAT on charities. In many cases the VAT payments far exceed any Exchequer support given through the Government Charitable Donation Scheme and resulting in an annual net loss." The IHF is a member of Charities Institute Ireland (Cii) which has been campaigning for measures to reduce the burden of VAT on charities and has participated, with Finance and Revenue officials, on a Working Group set up by then Finance Minister Noonan in 2015 to look into the issue. "The Working Group Report confirmed that there are no legal obstacles to the introduction of a VAT Compensation Scheme in Ireland. In his Budget 2017 speech, Minister Noonan said that he had asked his officials to engage again with Cii with a view to reviewing the options. Earlier this year Cii provided his officials with a comprehensive updated report on the impact of VAT on charities in Ireland."

Political Support

From cross party discussions in recent weeks, Cii believes that there is significant political support across the Oireachtas for a VAT Compensation Scheme as envisaged by the Working Group.
"We hope that Budget 2018 will finally recognise the inequity, in a modern and progressive society, of levying a tax (VAT) on regulated and focused organisations dedicated to meeting the needs of our most vulnerable.
As we now approach Budget 2018, we are asking Government to bring this issue to a positive resolution and support the Irish Hospice Foundation and the voluntary hospice movement in removing the burden of VAT on charities," concluded Ms Foley.