The money was raised through the Foundation Ball held annually at London Hilton on Park Lane and the Hospice was chosen as one of the recipients of funds from the night by the Ball sponsor, McAleer & Rushe.
DM Thomas Foundation for Young People’s Ball was held in November 2015 and raised £360,000 for the work of the Foundation and its charity partners, including the Hospice. The Foundation’s grant will be used by Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice to upgrade facilities. The work is a continuation of a refurbishment project which started in 2015, when as the previous year’s sponsor of the Foundation Ball, McAleer & Rushe chose to donate £44,900 towards revamping an initial four bedrooms. This additional cheque will fund the second stage of the makeover and will complete the project.
Dame Maureen Thomas, founding trustee, Simon Sheehan the Director of the charity, Seamus McAleer, Chairman of McAleer & Rushe and Mark Walker the Area General Manager of Hilton Northern Ireland, met with the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice staff to present them with a cheque.
Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice is the only service of its type within Northern Ireland caring for children and young people with very complex needs. There are over 1,300 life-limited children and young people and their families living in Northern Ireland who need specialist care. The hospice will remodel six of their children’s bedrooms with new flooring, furniture, lighting, sinks and windows.
McAleer & Rushe chairman Seamus McAleer said:
“McAleer & Rushe is very proud to continue its support for the work of the DM Thomas Foundation for Young People and the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice. Both organisations do such tremendous work with young people, improving the quality of their lives. As a Northern Irish company, particularly supportive of cancer care charities, we have long admired the level of care offered by the children’s hospice for the Province’s life-limited children and their families. Today it has been a privilege, and very inspiring, to see how funds have been used to enhance its facilities and to witness the care offered by the Hospice”.
Heather Weir, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice said:
“Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice opened 15 years ago and over that time has welcomed and cared for thousands of children and their families. Some of the equipment and facilities in the building are now coming to the end of their lifespan and are greatly in need of refurbishment. We’re delighted that the Foundation and its sponsor, McAleer & Rushe, have so generously chosen us to receive this contribution of £60,000 towards the refurbishment of six children’s bedrooms in the Children’s Hospice. The bedrooms are having a complete revamp, with new work surfaces, wardrobes, floors, windows and soft furnishings. They will be freshly painted and will feel like new for all the children and families that will use them in the future. The aim always is to make the Children’s Hospice feel like a home from home as much as possible. The support of the Foundation makes a huge difference to all the children we care for going forward and on their behalf I would like to thank it for its very generous gift.”
DM Thomas Foundation for Young People was founded in 2000 and is dedicated to supporting young people in need by combating exclusion and providing skills, aspirations and opportunities. Donations are funded almost entirely through the generous efforts and contributions of its supporters, including from regular charity balls. Since its establishment the Foundation has donated almost £16 million to transform young lives.
Simon Sheehan, Director of the Foundation said
“Thanks to our partnership with McAleer & Rushe and Hilton Belfast we are delighted to be able to continue our support of Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice and to complete the refurbishment project which began last year. It is fantastic to be a part of a long term programme of this kind, and to see the money raised from our Foundation Ball put to good use. The work NICH do supporting life-limited young people and their families is invaluable, and is central to the ethos of the Foundation.”