Christmas FM is delighted to announce Barretstown, the organisation that serves children and families affected by serious illnesses, as the official charity partner for the Christmas radio station for 2019.
The radio station is aiming to raise over €250,000 which will go directly towards Barretstown’s mission of rebuilding the lives of seriously ill children and their families, through life-changing Therapeutic Programmes in a safe, fun and supported environment.The services provided to all of the children and families who attend Barretstown are entirely free of charge, so donations and fundraising efforts are vital for the charity to help more seriously ill children to experience the magic of Barretstown each year.
Christmas FM will be celebrating its 12th year on air this year and, since it began broadcasting, has raised almost €2 million for a range of charities. The costs of running Christmas FM are covered by various sponsors, ensuring that all on-air fundraising and donations will go directly to Barretstown.
Seen by many as the official soundtrack to the festive season, Christmas FM plays round-the-clock Christmas tunes, spreading an abundance of festive cheer and seasonal goodwill every single day in the run up to Christmas.
Broadcasting almost nationwide, Christmas FM is listened to by almost one in three adults. It is entirely funded through sponsorship and run each year by more than 100 volunteers on-air, devoting hundreds of hours of their time. The station is also available online.
Garvan Rigby, co-founder of Christmas FM, says: “Barretstown is a very special organisation and we are delighted to be partnering with them for Christmas FM this year. The radio station creates a feel-good festive factor that is unrivalled anywhere else, and we look forward to sharing that with everyone at Barretstown – campers, parents, staff and volunteers – as well as our listeners. As sponsorship pays the running costs of the radio station, this means that all monies raised on air through donations can go directly to Barretstown and we look forward to raising as much as possible this year for such a worthy cause”
Barretstown was founded by Hollywood actor and philanthropist Paul Newman in 1994 and is modelled on his renowned Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut, USA. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Barretstown has served over 50,000 campers since it opened its doors to the Irish public.
Through its free, specially-designed camps and programmes, Barretstown brings back the fun of childhood – its services help children affected by serious illness to ‘press play’ on childhood again. To mark its 25th anniversary, the organisation unveiled a nationwide Press Play campaign, with the aim of achieving its vision that by 2024, every child with a serious illness in Ireland will have the opportunity to avail of one of Barretstown’s therapeutic programmes.
Commenting on the charity partnership with Christmas FM, Dee Ahearn, CEO of Barretstown, said: “We are so thrilled to be chosen as Christmas FM’s charity partner for 2019 and it really will be the perfect end to what has been a hugely exciting year for us as we celebrate our 25th anniversary. Every year we need to raise €5.8 million to run our therapeutic programmes to serve children who suffer from serious illness, and their families.
"The services provided to all of the children and families who come to Barretstown are entirely free of charge, so fundraising efforts are vital for us to help more seriously ill children to experience the magic of Barretstown each year. It’s initiatives like Christmas FM that help us to do that and I would like thank the Christmas FM team on behalf of the Barretstown campers, volunteers and wider Barretstown community for their support and generosity.”