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“Sunflower Heroes” honoured for outstanding contribution to hospice care

Launching 'Sunflower Days' 2016

  • RTE’s Mary Kennedy launches Hospice Sunflower Days 2016 (to take place on June 10th and 11th 2016)
  • Hospice movement appeals to the public to donate and volunteer 
  • Twenty one “Sunflower Heroes” and one canine hero to be honoured
Twenty one dedicated local volunteers were honoured at a special ceremony in The Mansion House in Dublin today (Wednesday, May 4th) for their outstanding contribution to hospice care in Ireland. RTE’s Mary Kennedy made a special presentation to local “Sunflower Heroes” who give tirelessly of their time to bring vital hospice services to communities all over the country.

Funds raised locally, stay locally

Ms Kennedy also announced details of national Hospice Sunflower Days, which celebrates its 26th anniversary this year and takes place on Friday, June 10th and Saturday, June 11th.  This is one of the biggest annual fundraisers for the hospice movement in Ireland and it is hoped that €1 million will be raised. The event is coordinated on behalf of the hospice movement by The Irish Hospice Foundation and all of the funds raised locally, stay locally.

Support your local hospice

People are being encouraged to support their local hospice service on June 10th and 11th by purchasing various pieces of Sunflower merchandise - including sunflower pins for €2 each from collectors on the streets of cities, towns and villages across Ireland.

This year's “Sunflower Heroes”

Among the 'Sunflower Heroes' honoured this year are;
  • Three pals, Kay O’Donoghue, Maura Ryan and Noilin Ryan have raised in excess of half a million euros for North Tipperary Hospice over the past fifteen years. Kay from Nenagh, Co Tipperary persuaded her friends to get behind the Hospice. They initially organised a barbecue to raise funds but now hold an annual dinner and auction for the Hospice.
  • Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services, Dublin has nominated husband and wife team Sean and Mary Doyle. The couple who have been married for sixty years have been supporting the hospice for the past 16 years. They have raised almost €20,000 in Blackrock alone for the hospice through the annual Sunflower Days campaign. Mary who is 79 years old and is a trained voluntary social worker said: “We only live once so it’s important to do as much as you can in that time.” As well as his dedication to the hospice, Sean who will be 93 on his next birthday still gets time to play 10 holes of golf on a regular basis.
  • Mabel E Harris is so dedicated to The Friends of St Brigid’s Hospice that she has given up a room in her own home to fundraising. Mabel from Clane, Co Kildare has been involved in the hospice for more than 25 years and has served for ten years on its executive committee. She was a founding member of the Hospice’s support group. She hosts coffee mornings and gets fully behind the organisation of Sunflower Days. Supplies for fundraising for the hospice including sunflowers, posters and t-shirts are stored in a spare room in her home.
  • Rían – a golden retriever is a specially trained palliative care dog – he arrived at Our Lady’s Hospice in November 2014 at 10 weeks old. He works four days a week, interacting with patients at two wards in the hospice, St Catherine’s and St Gabriels. He visits the day hospice every morning.

Enabling more people to die at home

A recent national survey commissioned by The Irish Hospice Foundation revealed that 75% of Irish people want to die at home – however only 25% will get to do so partly due to lack of services.
Launching Hospice Sunflower Days Mary Kennedy said: “More than 6,000 people use hospice services every year in Ireland. The care and support afforded to families in need, at a very difficult time, is so important and I am encouraging members of the public to show their support for Sunflower Days once again this year. By simply buying a sunflower from one of our volunteers you are helping to bring comfort and dignity to people at the end-of-life.” She added: “It’s inspiring to meet the “Sunflower Heroes” and the dedicated volunteers from across the country who do so much to secure hospice services locally. Without them there are many patients and their families whose end of life would be so much harder. They are all heroes in the true sense and need to be acknowledged. I am honoured to be here with them today.” Pat Quinlan, Chief Executive Officer of Milford Care Centre and Chair of the Voluntary Hospices Group, 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. Across the country, the number of people seeking hospice care services continues to increase and we need to be in a position to be able to respond to meeting their needs. Therefore, Hospices across the country are more reliant now than ever on the generosity and goodwill or our wonderful supporters and volunteers. “We appeal to people to support their local service so patients and families can get help at a time of greatest need.  Sunflower Days is a vital source of funding for local hospice services so please donate on June 10th & 11th and if you have a few hours to spare please consider volunteering.”

Volunteer for Sunflower Days or find out more

For more information and to find out about how to volunteer with your local hospice service for Hospice Sunflower Days visit the official Sunflower Days website Tags: , , , ,
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