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The kettle is on for Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of the hospice movement

Author: Mary Ellen Breen
17 September 2015
  • The late Rosaleen Duke with her daughters Brenda, Anne, Una and Margaret.

Thousands of people across the country will today, Thursday 17th September, enjoy a #coffee4hospice as part of Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning which aims to raise vital funds for hospice services across the country.

Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning, has become an institution since it first started brewing 22 years ago. Over 16 million cups of Bewley’s coffee have been enjoyed and an estimated €32 million raised for hospice care nationwide in this period.

People in workplaces, homes and local organisations across Ireland are being asked to hold a coffee morning and collect €2 for each cup of Bewley’s fresh coffee consumed. All money raised locally at #coffee4hospice events stays locally and goes directly back to fund local Hospice care services.

TRUE MEANING OF HOSPICE CARE

Noel Tuite from Limerick will be boiling up the kettle in aid of his local hospice as he gets set to host his 6th annual coffee morning in memory of his late wife Christine. Christine was 65 when she died of cancer in 2010 under the care of Milford Care Centre.

“I can’t find words to express how outstanding the staff at Milford Care Centre were as they cared for Christine. The support they gave to Christine, and us as a family, was just outstanding. Anything that I can do to support the work of the hospice I will do, and it’s lovely to sit around the table in our family home, play a part in Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning and remember all the good times we had with Christine.”

Anne Duke will be joining in the spirit of Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning at Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, Harold’s Cross, in memory of her mother Rosaleen who died in February of this year.

It was after Rosaleen was diagnosed with dementia that her daughter Anne gave up her job to care for her. With the help of her siblings, Ann looked after Rosaleen for six years before a number of falls and a bout of pneumonia which meant her mother needed more specialised care.  It was a difficult time for the family but they believe it was the right thing to do.  The kindness and attention of the volunteers in the hospice helped Rosaleen to acclimatise and she was soon living life to the full and enjoying a new social scene playing bingo, joining in sing song, going for coffee in the restaurant and chatting with staff and volunteers. The site in Harold’s Cross book-ended Rosaleen’s life – she was born just a stone’s throw away, went to primary school within the grounds and returned for her final two years.

Anne said of the hospice, “It’s a happy place. A positive place. And that’s great because she was always a positive person. When she got ill, that really knocked her back. So in a way the hospice gave mam her life back. She was so happy here and really felt cared for. I think it should be called ‘hospice for the living’.

“It’s such an amazing place. You walk in and somebody will ask ‘How are you? How are you feeling?’ It’s so person-centred here. We’re very grateful that mammy was here. We’re extremely lucky. There was such fear of the hospice before but that’s all changed. It’s so calm and reassuring. She was as happy as she could be and said everybody was so kind to her. The volunteers are extraordinary. They make the place what it is. If people only knew the difference this place makes to everyone’s wellbeing, they’d support it with anything they could afford.”

Pat Quinlan, Chief Executive of Milford Care Centre in Limerick and Chair of the Voluntary Hospices Group, commented: “Ireland’s local hospice services are facing a serious funding crisis as demands for palliative care increase due to our growing aging population. Every hospice service around the country is reporting major funding challenges with services stretched to the limit and hospice services more reliant than ever on the generosity of the public in order to continue with their work.”

There is still time to get involved and host a coffee morning, log on to www.ibcm.ie to find out more and to get your free pack of Bewley's coffee.

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