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Archive for June, 2015

New titles added to our end-of-life care training

Posted on: June 30th, 2015
We have added two new titles to our end-of-life care training for professionals.
  • Supporting Families empowers family members and carers of patients at end-of-life

More details and booking information >>>

  • Communicating with People with Dementia

This training course is designed for healthcare professionals working with people with dementia enabling them to communicate more effectively.

More details and booking information >>>  


They did it! Our amazing cyclists completed Genoa to Rome Cycle Challenge!

Posted on: June 29th, 2015
Our 53 wonderful cyclists did it! They pedalled over 600km from Genoa to Rome in aid of our Nurses for Night Care Service.  
Cycle 2015 Finish Line
  Between challenging hills, sun drenched days, tiredness and lots of laughter this wonderful group not only achieved a remarkable personal challenge, but they have supported families all over Ireland who will use the free nursing service, to die in comfort at home. Thank you all, and to our sponsors Kingspan for their backing once again. A big well done! More photos and a detailed report to follow. You can also visit our Facebook page for daily reports from the trip.

Paul Kimmage leads out cyclists on 600km cycle in aid of Nurses for Night Care service

Posted on: June 19th, 2015
Sports journalist and former professional cyclist Paul Kimmage will be saying ‘Ciao!’ to Italy this Sunday, June 21st, as he gets in the saddle to support the Irish Hospice Foundation’s (IHF) 10th Cycle Challenge. Kimmage will be pulling on his jersey and retracing some of the miles he covered as a professional in the iconic Giro d’Italia, on the Genoa to Rome charity cycle. Paul is joining 52 cyclists from around the country on the Kingspan sponsored cycle, which has raised €1.3m for the IHF since it started in 2009. The group fly out from Dublin Airport on Sunday morning and begin the cycle challenge on Monday, June 22nd. Cyclists this year hail from Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Galway, Kildare, Clare, Meath, Westmeath Roscommon, Mayo, Kilkenny and Down and range in age from 30 to 72-years-old. Amongst the group are a father and son-in-law, siblings, cousins and groups of friends who have been training and fundraising hard in advance of the 600km challenge. The oldest cyclist is John O’Gorman from Tramore, Co. Waterford, who is taking part for the fifth time. The first leg of the cycle starts on Monday as cyclists hit the road and pedal their way from La Spezia to Pisa. Over the course of five days they will make their way through the stunning Italian scenery taking in famous Tuscany landscapes, medieval villages and breath-taking coastal views, before finally finishing up in Rome on Friday, June 26th. En route cyclists will have the chance to tackle the climb at Mount Serra – which was twice featured in the Giro, and a legendary training climb for many pro riders. The Sunday Independent journalist Paul Kimmage said: “I’m looking forward to getting on my bike for the 2015 Kingspan IHF Genoa to Rome Cycle Challenge and tackling the route with the other cyclists in aid of the vital work of The Irish Hospice Foundation. “There is not a family in Ireland that is not touched by death and most have had experience of the care and dedication of staff working with the hospice services.” This year the money raised from the cycle will support the IHF’s Nurses for Night Care Service, which provided 1,538 nights of free nursing care at home to people with a non-malignant terminal illness in 2014. Demand for the service is increasing and in 2015 the IHF hopes to provide 1,800 nights of care. Sharon Foley, CEO of the IHF, commented: ‘We are absolutely thrilled that Paul Kimmage is supporting our cycle this year. He is a sportsman who holds the admiration of the Irish people for the true grit he has displayed on and off the cycling track. “The cycle is a crucial fundraiser and with demand growing we estimate that it will cost €600,000 to run our Nurses for Night Care service in 2015. This service is vital for patients and families and allows them to fulfil their wish of dying at home with dignity.” She continued, “Paul and our 52 other cyclists are making a real difference to end of life care in Ireland. I’d like to say thank you to our sponsors Kingspan for their continued support and to all the cyclists who have fundraised so hard for us. Some of the cyclists are returning for the cycle again this year and we thank them for their continued support for the IHF.”

The Baxter International Foundation awards The IHF $87K grant

Posted on: June 16th, 2015

Baxter Cheque presentation
The Baxter International Foundation has awarded The IHF a grant to the value of $87,027 for our Nurses for Night Care Service. These funds will be used in the Dublin area in 2015 & 2016 and will enable us to keep with growing demand for this programme. Pictured are IHF CEO, Sharon Foley with colleague Anna Dearden who were presented the cheque by Alan Markey, MD Baxter Ireland with his colleague, Carey Byrne. We are very grateful to all at Baxter in Dublin who have assisted us in our application and of course, to the Baxter International Foundation who have given this generous funding.  

Retired Supreme Court Judge Catherine McGuinness calls for a national conversation on end of life as “Death cafe” to feature at major end of life conference in Dublin Castle

Posted on: June 14th, 2015
Retired Supreme Court Judge Catherine McGuinness has called for a national conversation on death and dying in Ireland. Announcing details of a major conference, Forum 2015, in Dublin Castle on September 10th with the theme “Dying to talk? - Conversations about End of Life” Mrs. Justice McGuinness said death is a fact of life and as a country we need to talk about our wishes and our fears to allow us make most of our lives. To book a place at the conference click here “Young people don’t think about death. Middle age ignores it. There are things to look forward to - starting a family, buying a house, retirement. The reality is we never know what is around the corner. As sure as we have been born, we will die, and we have to stop turning a blind eye to this fact of life.” Judge McGuinness is Chair of The National Council of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland, an initiative of The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF), which hosts a conference every two years.  The National Council was formed five years ago with a remit to highlight end-of-life issues that matter most to people. Research shows that annually 29,000 people die in Ireland each year.  “Death will come to all of us at some stage and there is hardly a family in Ireland that will be untouched by death this year. We need to start talking more openly about it and to listen to people’s wishes and views.” She pointed to a recent Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) national survey which revealed that 75 per cent of people wish to die in their own homes surrounded by their loved ones. “The reality is that only 25 per cent of people will get to do so, due partly to huge to gaps in services. A national conversation needs to be supported by good policy to make sure people can access good services.” This year’s conference will feature a “Death Cafe” where people can discuss all aspects of dying and breathe life into the conversation as they drink tea and eat cake. (Death Café was founded by Jon Underwood based on the work of Bernard Crettaz.) The key note speaker is Dr Katherine Sleeman, a lecturer in palliative care medicine at Kings College in London who will talk about having a good death. Dr Sleeman said recently: “Death isn’t failure – but avoiding the conversation is. We are all going to die. And while medical science gets better and better, many aspects of death and dying have reciprocally become worse and worse. Dying has become a casualty of medicine’s triumphs: medicalised, sterilised, institutionalised and interventionalised. She added: “A good death is possible, and there is more than one way to die well. But there are minimum requirements. These are that we recognise the fact that our patient is likely to die, that we communicate this with them openly and honestly, and that we sensitively explore their priorities, their hopes, and their fears. If we want to die well as a society we need to stop whispering about death and start talking about it.” Journalist Mick Heaney, son the late Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney, will deliver the Mary Holland Commemorative Lecture, and popular broadcaster Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell will address the afternoon session of Forum. RTE’s Claire Byrne will Chair the morning session. There will be workshops at Forum 2015 on the following themes:
  • Conversations at End of Life: Maintaining hope to the end
  • Good Grief: How to facilitate a therapeutic conversation
  • My conversations: Thinking and planning ahead
  • Everything you need to know when making funeral arrangements
Forum 2015 is open to interested members of the public as well as healthcare professionals. For more information click here or call 01 6793188.

Ulster Bank staff dedicate one week to make lasting impact on 14 Irish charities including The Irish Hospice Foundation

Posted on: June 12th, 2015
It is called One Week in June but Ulster Bank staff are planning to make a more lasting impact for fourteen charities across the island of Ireland, including the Irish Hospice Foundation, by raising €300,000. Running from the 8th to the 14th June the focus of the 2015 One Week in June campaign will be to encourage all Ulster Bank staff to walk, run or cycle 5 kilometres.  During this week staff will engage in healthy activities across the island where over thirty 5k events are listed for participation from Bere Island, Belfast, Ballyhale and everywhere in between. A special One Week in June 5k Challenge App has been developed where staff can input their stats, their activity and progress toward this year’s fundraising target of €300,000 and a kilometre target of 10,000 can be tracked. A novel aspect of the campaign this year, Ulster Bank staff are being encouraged to ‘Run with a Customer’ at three informal ‘meet and run’ events planned as part of the healthy activities on Saturday, 13th June. The charities that will benefit from this unique event are Barnardos, the Simon Community, the Irish Cancer Society, Depaul Ireland, Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice, Barretstown, The Irish Hospice Foundation, Marie Curie, Depaul Northern Ireland, CLIC Sargent, Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children, Northern Ireland Hospice,  Barnardos Northern Ireland, Simon Community Northern Ireland. One Week in June is part of an ongoing Ulster Bank social commitment  across the island. Throughout the year people across the Bank give time, money and focus to local communities, in 2014 over €890,000 was invested through a variety of initiatives to support local causes and charities.

Summer Raffle 2015 Prize Winners announced!

Posted on: June 11th, 2015


A huge THANK YOU to everyone for supporting our Summer Raffle 2015 which was a huge success. All funds raised go towards our Nurses for Night Care Service which allows people to die in peace and in comfort of their own surroundings, in the heart of their family.

The prize winners are:

  • 1st prize (€2,500); Ms Ita Freeman, Co. Mayo
  • 2nd prize (€1,000); Ms Kay Hastings, Co. Mayo
  • 3rd prize (€500); Mr Denis Mulvey, Dublin
Seller’s prize: Denis Mortell, Dublin Congrats to all!

Pockets of sun forecast across the country this weekend for National Sunflower Days

Posted on: June 4th, 2015


RTE broadcaster Mary Kennedy is appealing to the public to turn out in force tomorrow (June 5) and Saturday (June 6) and support National Sunflower Days, one of the biggest annual fundraisers for the hospice movement in Ireland.

Local hospice groups all over the country hope to raise more than €1 million for hospice services through Sunflower Days, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The event is coordinated on behalf of the hospice movement by the Irish Hospice Foundation and all of the funds raised locally, stay locally.

People are being encouraged to support their local hospice service on June 5th and 6th 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. A recent national survey commissioned by the Irish Hospice Foundation revealed that 75% of Irish people want to die at home – however only 25 per cent will get to do so partly due to lack of services. Launching Hospice Sunflower Days recently, Mary Kennedy commented: “There is probably not a family in Ireland that has not been touched by the amazing work carried out by hospice services across the country. 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 pin you are helping to bring comfort and dignity to people at the end-of-life.” She added: “It is so inspiring to meet the “Sunflower Heroes” and the dedicated volunteers from all over 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, commented:  “Across the country, the number of people seeking hospice care services continues to increase at a time when funding resources, both public and voluntary, have become more scarce. We are more reliant than ever on the generosity and goodwill of our 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 onJune 5th & 6th and if you have a few hours to spare please consider volunteering.” Hospice or palliative care involves the total care of patients and their families at the stage in a serious illness, where the focus has switched from treatment aimed at cure to ensuring quality of life.  About 29,000 people die annually in Ireland and over 6,000 people use hospice services every year.