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Team Morgan take on ‘toughest foot race on earth’ for charity

Posted on: September 2nd, 2020

Hugh Morgan Paddy Hamilton Marathon des Sables 2021


CEO of Morgan Fuels, Hugh Morgan, is well known for running marathons around the world. In 2021 he is taking on his biggest challenge to date, known as the toughest foot race on earth. This challenge is to raise money for two charities – ourselves, Irish Hospice Foundation and NI Hospice.

In April 2021, Hugh along with friend and well-known marathon runner Paddy Hamilton will be taking part in the legendary Marathon Des Sables, a six day ultra-marathon. They will run 156 miles in the Sahara desert at a time of year when the temperature can exceed 50 degrees Celsius, all the while carrying their own food and water in a 15kg back pack and sleeping in a tent when they can, over the six day challenge.

Team Morgan has taken on this gruelling challenge to raise a target of £100,000 for the NI Hospice and Irish Hospice Foundation, two charities that support those facing dying, death and bereavement throughout the island of Ireland.

Helen McVeigh, Director of Fundraising with Irish Hospice Foundation said:

“We are delighted to be chosen as one of beneficiaries for the amazing challenge that Hugh and Paddy will take on next year. We wish them the very best of luck with their training and fundraising. The money raised will make a real difference in supporting people facing death and bereavement in Ireland. Almost 90% of Irish Hospice Foundation funding comes directly from the public which means we couldn’t do what we do without the kind support of people like Hugh and Paddy”.

Despite the difficult training regime and preparations needed ahead of the ultra marathon, Team Morgan are focused on the end results to help raise the vital funds for charities such as the Northern Ireland Hospice. Their Chief Executive, Heather Weir has said:

“Hugh and Paddy’s marathon is an amazing fundraising effort. I am always amazed at the human spirit and our ability to push ourselves to the limit. Every day at Hospice we also see this strength of spirit in our patients and families. We are delighted that Hugh, Paddy and Morgan Fuels are highlighting the compassionate work of Hospice and supporting our much-needed fundraising efforts”.

CEO of Morgan Fuels, Hugh Morgan has said:

“The challenge that Paddy and I are facing in the training and preparation for this run across the Sahara Desert is only a fraction of the challenge that the nurses and doctors face each morning as they try to care for their patients who are facing the ultimate challenge as they fight for their life. I encourage everybody to get involved in this fundraising event so we can raise as much as possible for both charities.”

Our overall goal is to help those supporting people in need. With the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, charities have suffered huge impacts, with fundraising events around the globe cancelled. This is our way of helping two worthy charities as they work through challenges to continue supporting those in need.

Team Morgan is all set and ready to go! If you want to show your support for Hugh and Paddy, you can do so on their iDonate page

IHF Statement on COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel Report

Posted on: July 21st, 2020

Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) welcomes the publication today (Wednesday 19 August 2020) of the COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel Report. IHF made a submission as part of the consultation process for the Report and were delighted to present as part of the ‘Advocacy and End-of-Life thematic engagement’ to the Expert Panel.

We particularly welcome the Expert Panel’s recommendation for the initiation of a joint HSE-IHF collaborative national programme on palliative, end-of-life and bereavement care for the nursing home sector that engages all stakeholders and improves quality of care across the sector. 

This initiative could be established along the same lines as our joint HSE-IHF Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme, launched nationally in 2017. IHF is very willing to contribute our experience and expertise in the development and provision of such a programme.

IHF currently supports and provides a multidisciplinary programme into nursing homes and residential care settings. The aim of this programme, called Compassionate End of Life (CEOL), is to promote a quality improvement approach to dying, death and bereavement and includes staff workshops and ongoing training via accredited CEOL training networks with specific training inputs on palliative care. IHF has been running this programme in nursing homes for seven years, with participation from approximately 160 nursing homes.

This has been an incredibly distressing time for residents, families and staff. The impact of visiting restrictions and infection control measures, as an outcome of COVID-19, on families and staff also need to be considered. For those who were unable to be with a loved one as they died, this could have created a lasting memory of distress, both for families and staff and may be impacting on their grief. 

We all must learn from the challenges and experiences of end-of-life care during the COVID-19 crisis. This is an experience that must not be repeated and be actively planned for as part of any preparation for further waves of COVID-19 infection as well as for the further development of the nursing home sector. IHF welcomes this timely and important Report and we look forward to working with the Department of Health and other key stakeholders in progressing the recommendations within the Report 

Read the full COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel Report here.

Irish Hospice Foundation has also developed a series of resources for healthcare workers, focused on delivering care during COVID-19 as part of our Care & Inform series

Buy tickets online for our Summer Raffle 2020

Posted on: July 20th, 2020

You can now buy tickets online for IHF Summer Raffle 2020

‘Songs for Leo’ in aid of Rosabel’s Rooms

Posted on: July 20th, 2020

sharon shannon a thing called love songs for leo
Sharon Shannon has announced the release of ‘A Thing Called Love: Songs for Leo’, a beautiful collection of music to mark the passing of her partner Leo Healy in 2008. ‘Songs for Leo’ was recorded in 2008 when Leo died suddenly of a heart attack aged 46. During the weeks following, Sharon invited friends and musical colleagues into the studio to record an album of songs that were special to her. ‘Songs for Leo’ was intended as a source of comfort for herself and the Healy family and was never released commercially. Just one hundred copies were printed at the time and given to friends and family.

In light of Covid-19, Sharon decided that the album should be heard by everyone, especially those affected by coronavirus. Songs For Leo is available to buy in our shop. It is also available on all usual digital outlets. All proceeds will go to Rosabel’s Rooms, a charity close to Sharon’s heart and of which she has recently become ambassador.

Rosabel’s Rooms, in partnership with Irish Hospice Foundation, was established in memory of Rosabel Monroe, who died suddenly and unexpectedly aged 16 months in April 2017. Rosabel was the daughter of close friends of Sharon’s, Suzanne McClean and Gary Monroe. The charity aims to provide direct financial and therapeutic support to bereaved parents and families around Ireland.

Both Sharon and Suzanne spoke about the album on the Ray Darcy show recently. Listen back here

An ongoing project, Songs for Rosabel, a compilation of Irish artists, will be released on Rosabel’s fifth birthday next January.

IHF calls for national day of mourning and remembrance after Covid-19

Posted on: July 20th, 2020

Today, Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has called on the new government to put in place a process for remembrance and reflection in post-COVID-19 Ireland. The Foundation has submitted a paper outlining a series of proposals for Ireland to remember and reflect on the pandemic.

Proposals from Irish Hospice Foundation include:  

  • A national series of mourning and remembrance events for all who have died since the pandemic started in order to express our collective connection with the bereaved and to honour, comfort and support
  • Reigniting a national conversation on dying, death and bereavement in Ireland, led by Government, to be followed by an official process to make recommendations and put them into effect

Chief Executive of Irish Hospice Foundation, Sharon Foley said:

“Although we are not through the pandemic, we must begin to plan for a process of active collective remembrance, reflection and recovery as part of the recuperation in post-COVID-19 Ireland. The ongoing response to the crisis continues to challenge us all in how we confront and deal with dying, death and bereavement. Our collective experience over the past number of months has shown us that we can’t afford to turn away from our collective mortality and we need to come together and learn how to face it, head on.” 

“We are calling for a national day or week of remembrance events for all who have died since the pandemic started in order to express our collective connection with the bereaved and to honour, comfort and support. This should be accompanied by a deeper engagement with Irish society on the reflections from COVID-19 and how we address dying, death and bereavement. We have already shared our recommendations with Government and call on our new government to lead this work in partnership with critical agencies.” 

For nearly 35 years, IHF has advocated for a more strategic approach to dying, death and bereavement and led various initiatives to get people talking about mortality. In conjunction with the HSE, IHF launched Ireland’s first national Bereavement Support Line in June to offer support and assistance to all those bereaved, especially during the pandemic.

IHF has also received funding from Creative Ireland to deliver the Government’s new Creativity in Older Age Programme announced this week. Over the next 18 months, IHF will produce a series of projects designed to give meaning to the difficulties experienced through dying, death and bereavement including the curation of a poetry collection, By Your Side.

A summary of Irish Hospice Foundation Remembrance & Reflection Proposal is available here

The full Remembrance & Reflection Discussion Document submitted to Government is available here

New programme announced: Creativity in Older Age

Posted on: July 19th, 2020

creativity in older age programme

We are delighted to announce we are one of the organisations who will deliver the Government’s new Creativity In Older Age Programme.

The Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin has announced a €500,000 investment in the Creative Ireland Programme’s new ‘Creativity in Older Age’ programme, to be delivered by the Creative Ireland Programme through its strategic national partners and the local authorities. It has been designed to counteract the social side effects of the pandemic, will begin immediately and will be rolled out over the next 18 months.

Commenting on the need for creative activity for older people, Minister Catherine Martin T.D. said:

“The effect of the pandemic on our older citizens has been devastating. Through necessity they have had to isolate themselves away from family and friends and in doing so have lost the social links that generate contentment, confidence and mental wellbeing. My department knows the arts and creative programmes can help to rebuild the social connections that have been lost.”

Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) will deliver a programme of projects designed to give meaning to the difficulties experienced by dying, death and bereavement. These will include the curation of a poetry collection By Your Side that will assist with articulating feelings around dying, death and loss.

Other projects include a series of creative residencies concentrating on dance, music and performance in six care settings around the country delivered by Age and Opportunity, a research project with The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) to measure the effects of participation in social and creative activities on the health and wellbeing of adults aged 50+ and Renew, a multi-arts programme specifically for older people cocooning which will be part of the Well Festival of Arts and Wellbeing developed by Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT).

In addition to the national programme, Creative Ireland will also deliver 25 creative projects for older people with our local authority partners around the country.

Highlights include projections of slow motion video portraits of older people in Carlow, a Community Notebook project in Kildare, Modern Day Mummers in Leitrim, an intergenerational film project in Louth with young people and their older neighbours recounting their experiences of lockdown, the publishing and recording of a 77 year old’s diary in Meath and mobile opera concerts in Waterford.

Commenting on the participation of local authorities in Creative Ireland’s Positive Ageing and Creative Well Being Programme, Minister Catherine Martin T.D. said:

“The enthusiasm and energy behind the projects that will be delivered by the local authorities is extraordinary. They are truly imaginative and are innately responsive to the needs of their community. I am delighted to be able to support such thoughtful and engaging projects for our older citizens.”

For more information on the Creative Ireland Programme Creativity in Older Age programme, please go to creativeireland.gov.ie

Visit our information hub on end-of-life and bereavement care during COVID19 now

Posted on: July 12th, 2020

We at the Irish Hospice Foundation want to keep you, the Irish public, as informed and supported as possible in matters relating to end-of-life and bereavement care in these exceptional times.

The need to provide reliable and up-to-date information for you, the public, and healthcare professionals is vital. With our many years of experience, we are responding with our depth of expertise, to respond to your needs at this critical time.

As Ireland’s only national charity dedicated to death, dying and bereavement, we have developed our Care & Inform information hub to respond to the COVID-19 emergency in an informative and compassionate way.

You can visit our Care & Inform hub here

Updated Monday 13 July 2020

Nurses for Night Care Emergency Appeal

Posted on: July 8th, 2020

You’ve heard the heartbreaking stories of how the Coronavirus has separated families in those precious final moments over the past number of months.

Since the crisis began, families all over Ireland have been cocooning seriously ill loved ones at home in their dying days.

People like Gráinne. All she wanted was to hold her mother’s hand as she left this world. Like so many others she was afraid that cruel coronavirus could rob them of their precious final moments together.

Thanks to Nurses for Night Care she was able to surround her mother with a circle of love at home.

In these exceptional times, demand for the service continues to soar.

Nurses for Night Care enables people with diseases like dementia, motor neurone disease, advanced respiratory disease, heart failure and end stage kidney disease to receive expert care and support at night in their own homes in their final days. It also provides reassurance and respite for families and loved ones caring for someone at home.

This free service is funded by Irish Hospice Foundation with thanks largely to the generosity of the Irish public.

Calls for help from our Nurses for Night Care are higher than ever before. That’s where we need your help…

Please give to our Nurses for Night Care Emergency Appeal below and send help to a struggling family in need tonight.

  • Enter the answer to the simple maths challenge in the text box below

New Bereavement Support Line launches today

Posted on: June 9th, 2020

Many people have experienced and will experience the death of someone they love during the COVID-19 pandemic. It may have been a COVID-related death or a death from other causes. People may also be finding a previous bereavement more difficult at this time.

While we may be seeing reductions in the number of deaths connected to COVID-19, we know that people’s pain and grief does not diminish as quickly. 

In the face of such loss and trauma, the Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line, in partnership with the HSE, has been launched to provide connection, comfort and support, in these exceptional times.

What is the IHF Bereavement Support line?

It is a national freephone service 1800 80 70 77 which will be available from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.
Read more about the Bereavement Support Line

New Éire Lottery launches benefitting IHF and other Irish charities

Posted on: June 7th, 2020

Launching today, The Éire Lottery is a new registered charity initiative that will bring a much needed financial boost to charities who have found their revenue streams devastated by as much as 35% over the past 4 months. We are delighted to be part of this initiave along with Threshold Ireland, The Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation and The Marie Keating Foundation. Each of these charities have continued to deliver vital front-line services to those most in need over the past four months, despite experiencing an enormous loss of income.

How it works

Register online at www.EireLottery.ie with your Eircode. Buy a ticket for only €3 to support Irish charities and be in with a chance to win up to €25,000 every month.

With the operational costs sponsored, all of the funds raised by Éire Lottery (after prizes) will be distributed directly to charities. 

There is a unique bonus for First Prize winners – Éire Lottery asks you to pick your own favourite charity and will give another €1,000 directly to that charity – it’s called the Winner’s Choice Charity.

Welcoming this new initiative, here is what we and the other charities have to say:

“This year our biggest fundraising events have been cancelled or face huge uncertainty: Éire Lottery is helping IHF to fundraise in these very tough times, to make a difference for adults, children, and families facing end of life and bereavement.”

Helen McVeigh, Head of Fundraising, Irish Hospice Foundation

“We are facing a projected shortfall this year of €500,000 due to COVID-19 but we must continue to provide our vital home nursing care for the 340 young children with complex medical conditions under our wing, including end of life support. We are lucky to be a charity partner with Éire Lottery and the monies raised will make a big difference to the families we support. Thank you.”

Carmel Doyle, CEO, Jack & Jill

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were forced to cancel all of our fundraising events, which has had a devastating effect on our income. We look forward to working with everyone in the Éire Lottery, and with their help we can continue to provide our vital cancer support services and promote the importance of early detection and prevention of cancer.”

Linda Keating, Director of Fundraising, Marie Keating Foundation

“So far this year, and as a result of the Covid-19 crisis we have already supported over 5,700 families at risk of losing their home.  This is an increase of 30% on 2019. And home has never been so vital as we emerge from the Covid-19 Crisis in Ireland. In this unique emergency, we are delighted and honoured to join Éire Lottery.”

John-Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive, Threshold.


So sign up, spread the word and play with purpose at EireLottery.ie!