The Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice recently held a successful information evening at Ardnashee Special School and College.
The roadshow event, which was attended by deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Deputy Mayor of Derry & Strabane District Council, Alderman Thomas Kerrigan, gave local people the chance to meet with Children’s Hospice staff and local families and find out more about children’s hospice services in the area as well as the importance of local support.
Local Children’s Hospice Chairperson Mary O’Neill said: “This is a first step by a small group of people who want to help promote and support this amazing local charity.
“Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice delivers local specialist services to an increasing number of life-limited and life-threatened children and young people in this area. They quietly go about their business but they need our help to continue this hugely important role in the local area.
“Thanks to the generosity of people across Northern Ireland, Community Nursing teams currently care for many local children and families in this area, providing them with the support they need to live a quality life and create precious memories together
“This service is delivered mainly at home with additional respite breaks at Children’s Hospice facilities at Horizon House in Newtownabbey and Horizon West in Fermanagh.
“However, whilst these services are free to every family who need it, they are not free to provide. The organisation needs £3 million per year to run its services and currently, less than 20% of these costs are funded by government. Local community support continues to be absolutely vital in helping us continue to provide this much need support for life-limited children and their families.”
Established in 1996, Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice is the only dedicated palliative care service in the Northern Ireland and the only organisation that can offer high level support to life limited children with complex needs who require 24 hour specialist care.