The Foyle Hospice has just appointed its first ever charity patron.
Derry actress and singer Bronagh Gallagher this week visited the hospice building on the Culmore Road where a new memory tree was launched.
500 copper leaves are available on the tree which can be purchased for £50 each. The leaves are hung on the tree for two years, after which people can take them home or hang them for another two years.
Speaking this week Bronagh Gallagher told the Journal she was honoured to have been asked to become the charity’s patron.
“I have had friends of close relatives who have spent their last very important days here,” she said. “I was very moved by the comfort and the very expert palliative care their relations had received.
“This is the first time I’ve been asked to be an official patron of a charity. It is an incredible facility and important charity in this town and I think often people don’t realise how little government funding the hospice gets.”
Bronagh now lives in Dublin but is home often.
She says that in her role as patron she will be speaking out about the financial pressure the hospice is under while highlighting the great work that is being done there.
“It costs £3m a year to keep the Hospice going,” she said. “Because of the generosity of the many people in the town people think it is buoyant and stable but they do need help.”
She added that she thought the memory tree was a “beautiful idea.”
“It’s important to talk about cancer,” she said.
“It’s difficult to talk abut terminal illness, I don’t know if that is just in Ireland or outside.
“I am honoured to have been given the role with the Foyle Hospice and am committed to it. It is a great opportunity for me to use any notoriety I have to help the Hospice.”
To puchase a leaf contact the Hospice Fundraising Centre on 71359888,