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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

Masks that Matter by Aideen Bodkin

Posted on: July 8th, 2020

Facesmasks that matter Aideen Bodkin design

Masks that Matter sell sustainable cotton face masks to be used as an added layer of protection in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic. Irish fashion designer Aideen Bodkin founded Masks that Matter in March after selling out of a limited edition collection of Liberty Print face masks, with all proceeds from the first edition being donated to Irish Hospice Foundation.

The Masks that Matter’s campaign aims to increase awareness of the need to keep people protected when out in public, while also highlighting the shortfall in charity donations in recent months.

Aideen wanted to produce a range of sustainable masks that were accessible and affordable to all, while also supporting Irish charities. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the masks will be shared among 3 Irish charities – Irish Hospice Foundation, The Marie Keating Foundation and Trócaire.

Masks that Matter are made of 100% reusable and breathable cotton and are offered in a choice of 6 different colour options.

The masks are not medical grade PPE and everyone is asked to fully adhere to social distancing guidelines and hand hygiene when wearing the masks. Due to the shortage of PPE worldwide it is important that all medical grade PPE are reserved and used by front line workers and not the general public.

Masks that Matter are available to buy on Aideen’s web site All masks are sold as part of a twin pack and retail at €12 – each pack includes one print and one plain mask.

Visit aideenbodkin.com

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 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!