Hospice funds aim to grow by €1m

A BLOOMING success is on the cards for the Irish Hospice Foundation, with their Sunflower Days expected to raise more than €1 million next month.

RTÉ’s Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, launching the two-day fundraising event in Dublin yesterday, urged people to come out and support their local hospice.

All money raised locally from the sale of sunflower pins and sunflower seeds for €2 each, stays locally. The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) co-ordinates the event for the hospice movement.

The use of the funds depends on the needs of each area — in some areas it is used to fund home care services and in others, it will be invested in the hospice.

IHF chief executive Eugene Murray said the hospice movement’s home care service allows people at the end of their lives to be cared for at home and die in their own beds. There are 22 home care teams around the country employing 150 specialist palliative care nurses. Mr Murray said there was a dependence on the voluntary sector, supported by the public, to contribute 33% of home care costs.

In Galway, 100% of the home care service is covered through fundraising.

Mr Murray urged people to volunteer to raise funds for their local hospice on Sunflower Days — June 13 and June 14.

Mr Murray said hospice care was about helping patients to live fully to the end. Patients were cared for by staff who were experts in pain relief and in meeting people’s psychological, emotional and spiritual needs.

“The objective is to neither hasten nor postpone death but to ensure people end their days in comfort and dignity,” he said.


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