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Throughout this pandemic childhood illness hasn't stopped. Unfortunately, Christmas is no different to any other time of year for many families who have seriously ill children in hospital.

In fact, this Christmas there will be 20 families staying at The Ronald McDonald House at CHI Crumlin that desperately wish they were at home. The Ronald McDonald House provides more than just a place to stay for families while their child is seriously ill. The House keeps families together and gives them the chance to make memories that are all the more precious because of their circumstances.

Having hosted more than 4,300 families since opening its doors in 2004, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) provides a home-away-from-home for 20 families, who can rely on a clean and controlled environment to stay, close to their children who are undergoing treatment in Children’s Health Ireland, at Crumlin. This accommodation is especially important for families living outside of Dublin, who would be faced with the financial burden of finding accommodation in the city to stay close to their child.

The staff and volunteers go to incredible lengths to make the whole month of December special for families. So while families are far from home, they are still able to feel the ‘Christmas spirit’ that is so important. A fireplace is even set up in the House so Santa can visit as usual even though these families are not at home.

This year hospitals have had to restrict visits to one parent, and the House provides a haven for families between visits. This service has been vital for families of children with long-term illnesses who cannot rely on the support network of extended family throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Christmas in hospital isn’t something to look forward to. It is stressful and it takes families away from their loved ones and friends. This hardship is only multiplied when you consider the financial burden upon these families at this time of year as well as the uncertainty the pandemic has brought for them. The Ronald McDonald House is striving to give these families a sense of normality this Christmas, and above anything else, to be together.

The current Ronald McDonald House sits onsite at CHI at Crumlin, one of the three main paediatric hospitals in the country.  It houses 20 families a night from across the island of Ireland. The current Ronald McDonald House on average provides over 12,000 meals a year to these families and collectively saves these families approx. €700,000 annually. The Ronald McDonald House has a 95.5% occupancy rate.

This year Ronald McDonald House Charities anticipate €500k shortfall in fundraising due to COVID-19, culminating in December with the cancellation of their annual Christmas Ball. The event that takes place every year usually fundraises €100k+ for the charity. It costs €60 a night to keep a family in The Ronald McDonald House, close to their sick child in hospital. Support is urgently needed to ensure that the charity can continue to provide accommodation to these families in their time of need.

As you can imagine, this year the families benefiting from the House have dealt with the additional anxieties of the pandemic while continuing to manage the impact of life-changing diagnoses. Now that Christmas is around the corner the charity is issuing a final appeal to combat the shortfall in funding this year has brought.

The Ryan family, from Cork, will be one of the families staying at the House this Christmas. The Ryans first stayed together in the Ronald McDonald House when daughter Kate was born with a complex heart condition. Kate’s condition means she needs lifelong treatment. The family stay at the House anytime Kate is admitted to CHI, at Crumlin and look at it as a second home. Kate turned 4 this month (14th of December) meaning the family will be celebrating both Christmas and a birthday this year in the House.

‘Very quickly, our world turned up-side down,’ Kate’s mother, Sandra says, ‘As we were told there was a problem with the baby. And that was horrendous. And then we were told that the problem with the baby meant…she would need numerous surgeries and that meant we would have to stay in Dublin for a prolonged time. So once we got our head around that initial diagnosis, the practicalities of everything hit us.

‘How were we going to do this, how were we going to move to Dublin…what were we going to do?…And the answer down the (RMHC) phone was, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. We will sort you out. When baby is born and everything is settled down, you ring us, and we’ll sort you out.”’

Marian Carroll, Chief Executive Officer (Volunteer), said ’Having a sick child in hospital creates untold physical, mental and emotional challenges and Covid-19 has exacerbated the anxiety and fear felt by our families this year.'

The RMHC mission is to provide a safe and secure home for families while their children receive treatment in hospital and our service is more important today than ever before. Delivering the service this year has been challenging on so many levels.

Since opening in 2004 Christmas has been the highlight of the year and a special time for RMHC families, staff and volunteers. This year it is essential to provide an extra special Christmas in the House at this very difficult time. They need the people of Ireland to help them deliver a wonderful Christmas to all the families that will need to stay with them at The Ronald McDonald House.

To support families of sick children in hospital this Christmas, visit www.rmhc.ie to donate directly or text HOUSE to 50300 to donate €4



Blogger Cliona Kelly and the Rotunda Foundation teamup to raise vital funds for NICU equipment to fight blindness in premature infants

The Rotunda Foundation, who fundraise exclusively for the Rotunda Hospital to support clinical services, patient care and research, has teamed up with blogger and broadcast journalist Cliona Kelly (@peaches_og) to raise vital funds to support the Hospital to enable procurement of a new Digital Retinal Camera for the Rotunda Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Any funds raised will help to support a new service development to fight blindness in premature babies and will supplement existing support received for neonatal services from funding received from funders such as the Department of Health, the HSE and the RCSI Hospital Group.

The Rotunda Foundation and Cliona Kelly are hoping to raise €160,000 towards the cost of the Digital Retinal Camera. As part of the fundraiser, donors are in with a chance to win a Gucci GG Marmont handbag and matching card case wallet worth over €1,550, a Vanity Table donated by Glamdoll and a range of beauty and skincare products. Every person who donates €5 or more will be entered in the competition and the winner will be announced in January 2021. Donations can be made here.

With advances in neonatal care in recent years, survival rates for smaller and more premature infants have increased. However, babies born prematurely are at a higher risk of complications, including Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) an eye disorder which can lead to blindness if not treated promptly.

The Digital Retinal Camera will enable the NICU team in the Rotunda to diagnose ROP on site in advance of a follow up appointment with a consultant ophthalmologist, which will allow for early intervention and treatment for premature babies.

Retinopathy of Prematurity is a potentially blinding eye disorder which primarily affects premature infants weighing less than 1500 grams or 32 weeks gestation.

  • Babies born at less than 27 weeks have a 1 in 10 chance of requiring treatment for sight threatening ROP
  • Babies born between 28 – 32 weeks have a 1 in 25 chance

If the sight-threatening condition is found, it can be treated.

Sheila Costigan, General Manager of the Rotunda Foundation said: “The Rotunda Foundation fundraises to provide additional funding and support for vital medical equipment, patient care initiatives, research and innovation, and improved hospital amenities in the Rotunda Hospital. We are delighted that Cliona Kelly has joined our Christmas fundraiser this year for this important piece of equipment for the Rotunda Hospital NICU.”

This vital cause needs all the support it can get for such an important cause. Cliona Kelly has posted the competition to her Instagram here. She spoke about her previous involvement with fundraisers for Rotunda and how exactly you can help this year.
‘Following on from our hugely successful Christmas Fundraiser Giveaway last year where we raised over €100,000 to purchase a much needed echocardiography machine for the NICU we are back with an even bigger and better giveaway worth of over €3,000! This year we are fundraising for a brand new, state-of-the-art Digital Retinal Camera which costs approx €160,000.’

Up for grabs are:
Gucci GG Marmont Matelassé Bag + Wallet
@glamdoll.ie Burbank Hollywood Glam Station
Charlotte Tilbury Hamper
Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Home Candle

To be in with a chance of winning this incredible prize all you have to do is make a minimum donation of €5 here and you’re in the draw.

Best of luck!



It’s really easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas. There are flashing, glowing and glimmering advertisements everywhere, screaming out at you that this, and this alone, is the perfect gift for him/her/your sister/your dog/your sister’s dog!

In the midst of all this hubbub – and especially with shops reopening for the first time in six weeks – getting swept away by Christmas shopping is understandable. But this year, more than ever, we need to think beyond ourselves.

There are hundreds of charities in Ireland and abroad who haven’t been able to meet their fundraising goals this year. This is due to many things, like less footfall in the streets for collections, not being able to pack at tills, not having permission to run events. And it’s all due to COVID-19. This virus has robbed us of many things this year. But this Christmas, don’t let it rob us of our charitable nature as a nation.

Below are many worthwhile and inventive charity options to donate to and alternative ways to support this year. They have had to get creative, and it’s only right to support them in this time of dire need for so many people.

Eddie Rocket’s and CHF Temple Street

 ‘Onwards and Upwards’ to help Children’s Health Foundation Temple Street this Christmas! 100% of the purchase price from all sales are donated to the Children’s Health Foundation Temple Street, the perfect Christmas present for little book worms.

In a year that has been full of challenges, this Christmas Eddie Rockets want to help and show their appreciation to all the amazing children in Temple Street. The management and staff have teamed up with Temple Street Hospital and author Don Briggs to support his new magical children’s book ‘Onwards and Upwards’ and help raise much needed funds for our very special hospital.

100% of the book purchase price from sales goes directly to the Children’s Health Foundation Temple Street (Eddie Rockets have underwritten all production costs to ensure the entire monies raised go to the charity). The book is available from Temple Street Hospital and Eddie Rocket's websites now for the purchase price of €10 (plus €2.50 post and packaging). It is also be available to buy in all Eddie Rocket’s diners.

Purchase here

Purchase here

An ideal Christmas gift for 3 to 8 year olds, ‘Onwards and Upwards’ tells the story of four friends who get a tip off that there is a rocket ready to take off from a clearing in the woods. There follows an exciting space adventure around the planets, meeting an alien and a safe return back to earth late at night.

‘Onwards and Upwards’ is Don Briggs third poetic picture book for the charity – the previous two have so far raised in excess of €52,000 for CHF Temple Street. All three books are beautifully illustrated by Foxrock based artist, Naomi Peppard. “Onwards and Upwards” is available now for €10 with 100% going to Children’s Health Foundation Temple Street. This is a special limited-edition print run of only 5,000 copies!

IKEA and Barnardo’s

IKEA has launched a soft toy collection designed by children, for children and all in aid of Barnardos this year. The limited edition SAGOSKATT range returns as children across the world submit their designs through IKEA’s international drawing competition to be made into soft toys.

Available until February 2021, all proceeds from the sale of each toy in Ireland will be donated to IKEA’s national charity partner, Barnardos. Last year's SAGOSKATT collection saw nearly €50,000 raised in the UK and Ireland

The full price of each toy goes to Barnardos Ireland, a charity that protects, supports and nurtures Ireland’s most vulnerable children  This year’s range includes Llama, Ladybug Mouse, Globe Man, Eggplant Car, Sweet-shaped toy and Brown Bear, all available from an affordable €5    

IKEA has turned kids’ imaginations into reality as over 71,000 children worldwide, aged under 12, took part in IKEA’s international drawing competition, now in its sixth year. Children submit their best artwork of imaginary characters, to be in with a chance of having their designs realised and sold by IKEA for other children to enjoy.  The six winning children’s sketches were turned over to a team of expert designers to produce the playful, colourful SAGOSKATT range. 

 “IKEA believes that every child has a right to play and to develop in a safe, secure environment, yet millions of children across the world are denied this fundamental right. Through the affordable SAGOSKATT range, IKEA hope to make play more accessible. And with the full price of each toy going to Barnardos Ireland, this is the perfect gift with a conscience this Christmas,” said Nina Hughes, Range and Product Design Manager Children’s IKEA. 

 “The impact of Covid-19 and the economic downturn has hit vulnerable families the hardest, with many of the children and families we work with having limited resources and really struggling,” said Suzanne Connolly, CEO of Barnardos.

“The support of partners like IKEA and the generosity of the Irish public helps us raise vital funds to reach and support Ireland’s most vulnerable children. As Christmas approaches, we’d ask everyone to consider the SAGOSKATT toy collection as a Christmas gift, and help us provide vital services to over 21,000 families and children in Ireland, who need us most now, during these uncertain times,” she added.

For more information on the collection, which will be available to buy from IKEA for a limited time only, visit: IKEA Barnardo's campaign

Emu Ink and Depaul’s Families and Young People

Homeless Stories: What is lockdown like without a home?

A beautiful new book, written and illustrated by children who are experiencing homelessness across Ireland during the current pandemic, was launched by Irish publishing company, Emu Ink.

In ‘Homeless Stories,’ children, aged 5-13, have shared moving accounts of life in emergency accommodation and direct provision during the Covid crisis. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to Depaul’s Families and Young People’s support services.

One such recipient of that support is ten-year-old Kasey, who illustrated the book’s front and back cover, and wrote about her experience of living in emergency accommodation with her mam and little sister during the Covid-19 lockdown. After two-and-a-half years living in a hotel room, they are finally getting ready to move into their own home but are waiting on a move-in date.

Speaking about why she wanted to share her story, Kasey said, “We moved into the hotel when I was seven and we didn’t know how long we would be here. I’ve had three birthdays and two Christmases living in the hotel now, but this Christmas could be our first in a new home.

“I wanted to tell my story because if there’s another family who move into our hotel room when we finally get to move out, I wanted them to know that they’re not alone and even if it feels scary or sad to begin with, it won’t be forever. My family’s story in this book has a happy ending and I hope everyone who shared their story and any other family who share our story, will find a happy ending and a home too.”

Depaul provides vital accommodation and community supports for vulnerable families who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness.

Founder and CEO of Emu Ink, Emer Cleary, first read Kasey’s story when she responded to the publishing company’s call to children to get writing during the Covid-19 lockdown. Emer said: “It felt important to give children like Kasey a voice this year because families like hers have had a very different experience to the rest of us. I’m sure many of us are growing tired of staying at home but for these children, a home to stay in is all they want – a front door, a back garden to play in, a kitchen to bake in like their friends.”

Every child who wrote a story or illustrated a piece for the book will receive a special goody bag from Emu Ink, with treats from Starbucks and The Irish Fairy Door Company, who generously supported the project.

Starbucks has provided treats and vouchers for family days out. In addition to Emu Ink’s investment in the project, Starbucks has also funded the printing of the book to allow all proceeds to go to Depaul.

The Irish Fair Door Company has donated a ‘No More Worries Kit’, to help ease anxieties, and a fairy door to every child, so they might feel less alone in their temporary home and take the fairy with them when they leave.

Homeless Stories is on sale for €12 here.

Simon Community Dublin

Simon’s “12 Challenges of Christmas” is a series of fundraising tasks participants can take on in a safe and socially distant way throughout the month of December and the level of participation is completely discretionary. Try one, two or all twelve to make up for the 50% shortfall this year in fundraising due to COVID-19.

Like most charities, the bulk of the homeless service provider’s fundraising income is generated over the Christmas period, with 50% of this revenue coming from special events which cannot take place due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Community & Events Manager, James Phelan said that as most of the organisation’s Christmas activity is based around singing and music, they are in a particularly difficult situation this Christmas:

“Every year, dozens of choirs and singing groups host ‘Sing for Simon’ carolling fundraisers for us in their local communities…The scientific evidence on singing and coronavirus transmission means we simply cannot host these events safely this year…We have launched the “12 Challenges of Christmas” campaign to try to make up the fundraising shortfall from our dozens of cancelled Christmas events and would really appreciate all the support we can get.”

Simon’s “12 Challenges of Christmas” is a series of fundraising tasks participants can take on in a safe and socially distant way throughout the month of December. Try one, three or even twelve! Do as many as you’d like and host where, how and whenever you like – the choice is completely up to you. From Christmas light competitions, to virtual bucket collections to Santa Dashes, there’s a challenge that everyone can do. For more information on the twelve challenge of Christmas, click here.

If you would like to support people experiencing homelessness this Christmas, please make a donation to www.dubsimon.ie.


NCBI’s (National Council for the Blind of Ireland) are setting up the first-ever charity Pop Up Shop on Grafton Street in Dublin, having secured for free access to 110 Grafton Street for the month of December.

This is a massive opportunity for NCBI as their 115+ shops throughout the country are a vital source of funding to enable them to deliver life-changing services to people who are blind or vision impaired.

With COVID-19 dominating 2020, it has been such a challenging year for everyone. COVID-19 has also robbed the over 55,000 people living sight loss in Ireland, of their sense of touch, which is vital for people who are blind or vision impaired and has led to increased feelings of isolation and vulnerability, this will help make up the revenue lost (in excess of €1m) due to our shops closing during 2020.

Being positioned on Grafton Street ahead of Christmas will allow them to:

1. launch our Re:Newed for NCBI brand specific for Grafton Street

2. showcase the breadth of our high-quality designer stock (donated from Irish designers including Lainey Keogh, celebrities and public)

3. challenge customer perceptions of pre-worn and vintage clothes, in true sustainable spirit.

This will be no ordinary charity shop as Re: Newed for NCBI was inspired by the London version that Harrods' developed, which was curated by Stella McCartney and runs every year for March with NSPCC.

 We know that sustainable fashion is as important to you as it is to us. Especially at this time of year, where there is much waste, raising awareness about the brand-new Grafton Street pop up shop is a huge priority.

Jack & Jill “Six Gifts of Christmas”

Christmas is a time of giving and a time of receiving.

And what better way to get into Santa’s good books than to purchase a gift from the Six Gifts of Christmas for Jack & Jill? Support the wonderful nurses providing home nursing care to 377 children with highly complex medical and life-limiting conditions around Ireland.

Jack & Jill’s frontline home nursing care and end-of-life care is more important than ever, given the lack of respite options in the community for the children it supports. Buying a Jack & Jill Christmas Gift is simple and easy – visit their online store, select the gift you desire and it will be delivered straight to your door! Alternatively, just drop by one of Jack & Jill’s nine charity shops in Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Kilkenny, Wexford and Wicklow.

Some top gift ideas to help Jack & Jill jingle all the way are “What does Santa do, when it’s not Christmas?” children’s book, a Jack & Jill teacher’s certificate, a Jack & Jill Bricks4Care and plenty more, all available to view here.

For Carmel Doyle, CEO, Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation, buying one of Jack & Jill’s Six Gifts of Christmas means that families can continue to receive vital home nursing care not only at Christmas, but into 2021:

“Whether it’s our Santa book, wrapping paper or our Gift of Time card, there are lots of ways to show our Jack & Jill children that you care. Across the country, Jack & Jill mobilises a crew of 700 nurses and carers to support parents who are looking after their children at home right around the clock. Our in-home nursing care support operates seven days a week, including at Christmas and New Year. By supporting our Six Gifts of Christmas, you are supporting our vital work for extra-special children around the country and there really is no place like home for a Jack & Jill child, especially at Christmas-time. That sense of community is what keeps Jack & Jill going.”

Of course, you can also make a donation direct at https://www.jackandjill.ie/how-you-can-help/donate/ and now via Revolut! Jack & Jill is extremely happy to announce its brand-new partnership with Revolut which means people will be able to choose the Revolut app to set up recurring donations, spare change donations, or simply make a one-off donation to the charity of their choice.

Circle K and Children’s Health Foundation

The fundraising drive across Circle K’s company owned store network will see at least €40,000 raised in aid of the children’s healthcare charity this year.

Children’s Health Foundation raises vital funds to support sick children and their families in CHI hospitals and urgent care centres – from funding vital life-saving equipment and providing essential patient and parental supports, to making ground-breaking, paediatric research possible.

Children’s Health Foundation is the new name for CMRF Crumlin and Temple Street Foundation, which came together in January 2019 to become one foundation supporting all CHI sites to ensure every sick child has the very best chance. The National Children’s Hospital Foundation in Tallaght will soon also join Children’s Health Foundation to become a single, unified family supporting all of Ireland’s sick children. 

Circle K, Ireland’s largest forecourt and convenience retailer, has today launched a new charity fundraising initiative called ‘You Give, We Give’ in stores nationwide, excluding Circle K Express sites.  For the month of December, all customers who purchase a Simply Great Coffee in a Circle K store (excluding Circle K Express) will be invited to donate 10c extra to the price. Circle K will match every donation made and at least €40,000 in much needed funds will be raised for Children’s Health Foundation by the end of the month. 

“Covid-19 has had a detrimental impact on the charity sector this year and organisations like the Children’s Health Foundation need our support more than ever, so we are delighted to extend our help to such an important cause. The work of Children’s Health Foundation is vital to funding the services CHI hospitals and care centres provide to young patients and their families.” Said Eadaoin Keane, Senior Marketing Manager at Circle K Ireland.

To find out more about the ‘You Give, We Give’ initiative and how to get involved, click here.

Tesco Ireland and Temple Street light up for Christmas

Children’s Health Foundation Temple Street is calling on people across Ireland to support this Christmas by donating here.

Christmas may be different this year but Santa still took time out of his busy schedule to join little patient Michael, age 7, outside CHI at Temple Street today to officially switch on the CHI at Temple Street Christmas lights and mark the beginning of the festive season. Santa showed great example by wearing his mask and social-distancing at this special switch-on.

The thousands of sparkling lights on the façade of the beloved children’s hospital will help to keep the magic alive at Temple Street, especially for those patients spending time in the hospital this Christmas. Families need a lift now more than ever and the hospital is doing its utmost to create a special atmosphere.

Each year Children’s Health Foundation Temple Street’s charity partner Tesco Ireland and their staff support the Temple Street Light Up event by bringing lots of goodies and cheer to all in the hospital.

Although the COVID-19 crisis does not allow for Santa to visit the wards this year, Tesco are continuing to support patients, families and staff by delivering joy to our hospital. Tesco have kindly donated over 200 goodie bags for patients and hampers for medical teams and wards.

Denise Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the Children’s Health Foundation at Temple Street says; “Each year the lighting up of Temple Street marks the start of the festive season, and whilst it is different this year, we want to continue to bring the spirit of Christmas to all those in the hospital. We would like to say a big thank you to our incredible fundraisers and supporters nationwide who have supported us throughout the year and in particular Tesco Ireland for their continued support, and for helping make Light Up happen tonight.  Thank you all so much.”

To support sick children in CHI at Temple Street this Christmas click here.

Meagher’s Pharmacy and Peter McVerry Trust Wrap Up Homelessness

This Christmas, Irish company Meagher’s Pharmacy is asking its customers to come together and embrace the season of giving by supporting its #WrapUpHomelessness campaign. This campaign enables vulnerable people and families that have fallen into homelessness to step into a brighter future for 2021.

Meagher’s Pharmacy has been in partnership with Peter McVerry Trust for a number of years and has already donated €136,618 through various fundraising initiatives. This money has facilitated the kit-out of 16 beautiful new homes and has supported 20 people transitioning out of homelessness.

And now Meagher’s Pharmacy has increased its efforts to give back and set itself the ambitious target of €50,000 to raise over the festive season. Help Meagher’s Pharmacy help those experiencing homelessness.

Shoppers can support the #WrapUpHomelessness campaign in several ways, both in-store and online. Options include

  • Making an online donation, which can be made here.
  • Opting for an in-store gift wrapping service and making a voluntary donation to the Peter McVerry Trust collection box.
  • Selecting the gift-wrap option on www.meagherspharmacy.ie and donating €2.50 per item wrapped.
  • Purchasing a piece from The Giving Keys range, a collection which is hand stamped, assembled and packaged in Los Angeles by those transitioning out of homelessness. Giving Keys start at €25 and are available both in-store and online here.

Tesco Ireland and Children’s Health Foundation Temple Street

Tesco Ireland is proud to announce that Benji the teddy bear will be available to purchase in Tesco stores nationwide and online for just €5 from Tuesday 1st December in aid of the Children’s Health Foundation Temple Street.

Benji, revealed for the first time by Ryan Tubridy on this year’s much-anticipated Late Late Toy Show, is a gift that gives more this Christmas.

Named by seven-year-old Michael Connors from Wexford, Benji will be available to purchase in Tesco stores across the country from Tuesday 1st December for €5. Earlier this year, Tesco ran a colouring competition for the children visiting Temple Street to enter for a chance to name the Christmas 2020 teddy bear. This year, Michael Connors, aged seven, from Wexford was the winner. Michael visits the children’s hospital once a month, and he chose to name the bear Benji after a puppy he had when he was younger.

Proceeds from every Benji sold will help Tesco and the Children’s Health Foundation Temple Street get one step closer to their €1.2million target. Once reached, that money will go towards the purchase of a new much-needed CT scanner for the children’s hospital.

Rosemary Garth, Communications Director, Tesco Ireland said: “The team at CHI at Temple Street do fantastic work for children 365 days a year. We know how much that CT scanner will help them with their work and we’re asking customers to help us reach our fundraising goal by purchasing Benji in store or online. As we come to the end of what has been an unexpected year of ups and downs, we hope that Benji brings some light and smiles to people across the country.”

At the beginning of the year, Tesco announced that it had raised €5million in five years for CHI at Temple Street. Donations from the five-year partnership allowed the children’s hospital to purchase 270 pieces of vital equipment to support doctors and nurses in helping children from all across Ireland. Since then, Tesco has committed to raising funds to purchase the new CT scanner in 2021.

Each year CHI at Temple Street treats over 145,000 children from across the country and operates the busiest A&E department in Europe. For thousands of children, CHI at Temple Street is the only hospital in Ireland in which they can be treated. Through the charity partner programme, Tesco colleagues and customers can help little people from all over Ireland get better and be real-life heroes to children attending the hospital.

Glenisk and Self-Help Africa

Earlier this year, Ireland’s leading yogurt brand, Glenisk pledged its commitment to a sustainability-focused initiative with Self-Help Africa, committing to plant over one million trees in Ireland and Africa. With the help of donations from the public and contributions from Glenisk, 750,000 trees have been planted so far in Africa and the planting of trees in Ireland will commence this December!

Glenisk is making it even easier for shoppers to do a good deed and to support the environment while they shop – from November 19th to December 9th, €1 from each pot of Glenisk BIO Organic Yogurt sold at SuperValu will go directly to the One Million Trees campaign. As well as helping out this important initiative, this Glenisk yogurt is the perfect addition to your basket this season and with Christmas just around the corner, it is the perfect time to stock up the fridge with dairy deliciousness while doing your bit for charity.

Alternatively, donations of just €5 can be made directly to Self Help Africa which will plant 10 trees in Africa and 1 native tree in Ireland. GPS coordinates will be provided once the trees are in the ground, meaning that you can see directly where your impact will be seen. This is also an ideal alternative stocking filler idea for eco and sustainability-conscious consumers.

Heinz and Barnardos

In news that will have Heinz Beanz, Barnardos and Christmas fanatics across the country jump(er)ing for joy, Heinz has today announced the launch of its first official charity Christmas jumper ahead of National Christmas Jumper Day on the 11th December.

The Heinz ‘Beanz Meanz Crimbo’ jumper will be available exclusively through Heinz’s exclusive online shop in Ireland here for €25.00. But shoppers best get them quick as only 500 are available in sizes medium and large.

All proceeds of the Heinz Christmas Jumpers will go to Heinz’s official charity partner in Ireland, Barnardos, so that they can invest in vital funds to support those most vulnerable in the run up to Christmas. Proceeds will go towards Barnardos essential work, including:

  • €2 could provide a nutritious breakfast for a vulnerable child in one of Barnardos Early Years Centres
  • €10 can provide breakfast for a vulnerable child for a week
  • €5 could provide a hot dinner and access to specialised care in their after-school club.

Emily O’Kane, Marketing Manager Kraft Heinz, said: “This has been a very different and difficult year for many of us and here at Heinz we’re extremely aware of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on Irish people, including children that are already in very vulnerable circumstances.

“The team at Barnardos do fantastic work to reach these children and it’s great to be partnering with them once again this Christmas, not only to help increase their efforts in raising vital funds, but also to bring an extra bit of Beanzy joy to households across the country.”

Every day, Barnardos works in communities across the country to build better futures for vulnerable children and their families. Last year alone they worked with over 21,000 children and their families. Barnardos provides warm nutritious meals in our breakfast and after school clubs, they give children a safe environment to play and learn in and we work with families to rebuild relationships that have been broken.  And importantly, their support programmes are based at the heart of local communities. 

Jervis Shopping Centre and SVP, Jigsaw and ICHH (Inner City Helping Homeless)

It’s that time of the year again and Jervis Shopping Centre, Dublin’s most iconic shopping destination, is pulling out all of the stops for Irish families. Now open from 9am-9pm from December 1st-23rd , the centre has gone above and beyond with increased safety measures this Christmas to make the Jervis Shopping Centre Christmas Shopping Experience safe and comfortable for everyone.

Jervis Shopping Centre shoppers feeling generous this year can donate to Dublin Town’s ‘Tap for Good’ Christmas fundraising appeal which is running throughout Dublin City this Christmas. Stop by Jervis Shopping Centre’s Charity wall installation on the ground floor where shoppers can ‘TAP’ their contactless payment card to make a €3 donation to three local charities – SVP, Jigsaw and ICHH (Inner City Helping Homeless).

Parents can keep the kids entertained with Santa’s socially-distanced Magical Grotto, spectacular decorations, unmissable festive fashions and a host of unique gift ideas for all ages. Some of the Centre’s family favourites include MINISO, Curry’s PC World, JD Sports and Tesco F&F. Mingles and Off Beat Donuts are also on hand to provide delicious treats for youngsters and adults alike.

Aviva and St. Francis Hospice 'Tree of Life'

Irish charities are struggling to cope due to the coronavirus pandemic and we may see up to half of all Irish charities close before the end of the year. Smaller locally based charities like St. Francis Hospice are particularly struggling to survive. Despite this tough landscape there are reasons to be hopeful, Sile Seoige has teamed up with Aviva Insurance Ireland to help raise awareness of the St. Francis Hospice ‘Tree of Life’ ceremony and hopefully encourage the wonderful people of Ireland to donate to the charity this Christmas.

Aviva Ireland, national partner of St Francis Hospice, alongside campaign ambassadors Síle Seoige and James Downey call on the public to donate €6 for St. Francis Hospice ‘Tree of Life’ this Christmas.

Thursday 26th November 2020: This Christmas, Aviva Ireland has teamed up with its charity partner, St. Francis Hospice, to promote the ‘Tree of Life’ ceremony in Raheny and Blanchardstown hospices. The ceremony is to remember the individuals St Francis Hospice has cared for and those who were lost to Covid 19. To mark the partnership, Aviva has erected a 20ft tree in the stadium which will be in place from Wednesday 25th of November as a marker for the hospice this Christmas.

Today, broadcaster and wellness advocate Síle Seoige, alongside former Irish Rugby player James Downey launched this year’s Christmas appeal, calling on the public to support this worthy cause on behalf of both St. Francis Hospice and Aviva by logging onto www.aviva.ie/tree-of-life and sponsoring a light on the tree for just €6

At the launch Síle Seoige, said: “This time of year can be tough for so many who have lost loved ones during the year. The Tree of Life is a beautiful way to remember those who have lost their battle with a terminal illness. I am delighted to be able to play my part in supporting St. Francis Hospice, with thanks to Aviva Ireland. As someone who has had cancer myself, I am so grateful to be healthy and well today and I know all too well the great work charities like St. Francis Hospice do.’’

This year, the Tree of Life ceremony will be a virtual event to remember those who St Francis Hospice has cared for, both past and present. People can view the ceremony on the St. Francis Hospice website and Facebook page from 7.30pm on December 10th and watch as each donation lights up on the tree in memory of a loved one or for somebody experiencing difficulty in their lives.

 Aviva is also donating €10 from every new home insurance policy purchased in December directly to the charity to further contribute to its Christmas appeal.

Fintan Fagan, CEO of St. Francis Hospice said: “It’s been a very difficult year for all charities with many of us unable to run our usual fundraising activities. All of us at St. Francis Hospice are delighted to have a charity partner like Aviva Ireland who is willing to go the extra mile and help us raise awareness for our virtual Tree of Life ceremony this year. The annual ceremony means a lot us here at St. Francis Hospice, it gives a lot of people the opportunity to remember a loved one in a safe environment alongside others who have experienced a similar loss. We hope we can continue to give people the same sense of comfort with our virtual ceremony this year.”

Roe & Co Whiskey and The Useless Project

Roe & Co Irish Whiskey announced plans for the first ever Roe & Creators Virtual Pop Up in collaboration with The Useless Project. The first virtual pop up is set to take place on Saturday 5th December and run for three weekends across the month of December on the Roe & Co Instagram page (@roeandcowhiskey). The virtual pop up will provide shoppers with a unique virtual experience that aims to support local Irish brands and businesses while providing unique gift options, just in time for Christmas!

At a time when supporting local has never been more important, the Roe & Creators Virtual Pop Up, will bring together nine Irish businesses from across Ireland on one unique platform, providing a one-stop-shop for consumers to buy local Irish gifts this festive season. Since day one, Roe & Co Irish Whiskey has celebrated Modern Ireland and this exciting new Creators Pop-Up will help continue the crusade to support emerging creators and champion Irish brands.

Roe & Co are partnering with The Useless Project to bring this new platform to life, giving small local Irish businesses a much-needed space to showcase gifts this Christmas. The Useless Project, who have collaborated with Roe & Co in the past, are a leading voice in the area of sustainable living. Having become known for their virtual flea market in recent months, the unstoppable duo, Geraldine Carlton and Taz Kelleher, are delighted to launch the first Roe & Creators Virtual Pop Up.  

Speaking about the launch, Geraldine Carton from The Useless Project said: “We are so buzzed to be involved in such an exciting project. Right now, it is more important than ever that we support Irish talent and it’s great that Roe & Co are giving us a platform to do exactly that!”

Co-Founder Taz Kelleher goes on to say: “Every time we spend money, we have the power to vote for the kind of future we want to see. By becoming a conscious consumer, we get to decide which businesses thrive, and that’s a really empowering thing.

Roe & Co will be collaborating with local Irish businesses across the three weeks many of which only started their businesses in the last year! The first pop-up will take place on December 5th and will include Kopper Kreations, an industrial home wares brand from Dublin that uses reclaimed and recycled materials to create unique and eye-catching home wares. Sustainability is at the heart of the Kopper Kreation ethos and all products are handmade and finished to enhance the natural qualities of the different raw materials.

Another brand joining us for the virtual pop-up is ELN, a Belfast born up and coming street wear brand that transcends seasons and can be restyled and re-worn again and again. Each piece is sustainably and ethically sourced and is created to last, both in quality and design. Finally, ELN and Kopper Kreation will also be joined by Nutshed. Based in Tipperary, Nutshed use single origin runner peanuts, which have the tastiest characteristics for the perfect roast, to make delicious NutShed products packed full of peanuts and just a pinch of sea salt.

There will be more businesses announced over the coming weeks so make sure to keep an eye on Roe & Co’s social media channels for more information.

Focus Ireland

Focus Ireland, with the help of broadcaster Mairead Ronan, has launched an appeal for donations to help support the 1,117 families that will spend this Christmas in emergency accommodation. Becoming homeless is every family’s worst nightmare, but sadly the numbers of families without a home has been steadily rising over the past number of years. Over 2,500 children in Ireland will spend this Christmas living in emergency accommodation.

As part of its Christmas appeal, Focus Ireland will highlight the issue of the hidden homeless and to help drive awareness and encourage donations, has created an installation on South William Street Dublin. The space is designed as a typical 12×12 foot hotel room and shows what life is like for a family living in emergency accommodation. While the city will be filled with socially distanced shoppers, Christmas lights and festive window displays, this installation is a reminder that for many families Christmas won’t be spent at home, but in a cramped space used as a kitchen, bedroom and living room for all the family.

Focus Ireland believe that everyone has a right to a place they can call home. This Christmas, the charity needs the Irish public’s support to ensure this vision can become a reality. Focus Ireland want to shine a light on the hidden homeless in Ireland, the 1,117 families and approximately 2,642 children that will unfortunately be spending this festive season in emergency accommodation.

This year to date, Focus Ireland has helped over 760 families find a home including 1,633 children. The charity is working hard to support these children and relies heavily on public donations to ensure it can carry out the full extent of its work. While the charity does receive State funding it still has to raise over 40% of its annual budget through fundraising.

John O’Haire, service manager at Focus Ireland said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly affected charity efforts all across Ireland. At Focus Ireland, we have continued our efforts throughout the pandemic to work towards our goal of everyone, particularly children, having a place they can truly call home for Christmas and beyond. We have seen an increase in demand for our services as the harsh realities of the impact of Covid-19 come to light.

Child homelessness in Ireland has increased by 253 % since July 2014 and with the help of the Irish public, we want to change these children’s lives and ensure they have a safe, permanent roof over their heads. We really appreciate the support the public have given to us over the years and hope that this year they can continue to support Focus Ireland.

Broadcaster Mairead Ronan commented, “This installation is a stark reminder of what the reality of homelessness and emergency accommodation is like. It is so important we support organisations like Focus Ireland that support these families and help provide them with a place to call home.”


Boots Ireland are proud to launch this year’s Night Walk in aid of the Irish Cancer Society Night Nurses. The Boots Night Walk will take place on Monday 7th September — you choose the time and place of your 5K and we’ll all walk together from afar!

Previously, annual Night Walks have taken place in various locations across the country, welcoming participants to walk together in order to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society Night Nurses. However, due to COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, this year they’re doing things a bit differently.

The Irish Cancer Society Night Nurses offer a wonderful service, including free end-of-life care to cancer patients across Ireland, allowing them to remain in their own homes, surrounded by family and friends during what can be a very difficult and anxious time in their lives.

Campaign ambassador Sile Seoige, who has fought her own battle with cancer, highlights the impact of cancer on families and the need for support.

“Having been through cancer, I know how challenging it can be for both the patient and their loved ones. Support services like the Irish Cancer Society's Night Nurses are vital. These incredible people bring such kindness to the homes of those who need it most. They sit through the night with the patient and are a reassuring presence for all the family. I am proud to support Boots Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society for this campaign and invite everyone to fundraise and get out and walk on 7th September 2020 in aid of this wonderful service.”

There are 192 Night Nurses in operation around Ireland, providing up to 10 nights of care for cancer patients in their own home, during the last days of their life. The service is provided completely free of charge and has experienced significantly increased demand since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

People can support by participating and fundraising via BootsNightWalk.com or by purchasing an Honour Tag in any Boots store nationwide.



This week, Tesco Ireland is calling on locals to join festive fun in-store nationwide to help raise vital funds for sick children this Christmas tomorrow Friday and Saturday, to join Tesco colleagues for a series of ‘Festive Fun Days’ in aid of charity partner, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital. Seasonal cheer is set to top the shopping list as customers are treated to a selection of festive fun including Christmassy cake sale, fun face painters, and limited edition festive floral bouquets, all in aid of raising much needed funds for sick children this Christmas.

Hosted by Tesco colleagues across Ireland, this year’s series of ‘Festive Fun Days’ aim to raise €150,000 for the little heroes of Temple Street, with all of the vital funds raised going towards purchasing an advanced Retinal Camera for the Theatre ward, needed for Temple Street to ensure that each child receives the best care possible. Using this new equipment, an Ophthalmologist can ensure timely intervention, which can prevent loss of sight and in the case of Retinal cancer can cure many cases.

You can give your host the perfect gift this festive season with Tesco’s Christmas themed floral bouquet in aid of Temple Street. The beautiful bouquet is an ideal gift for your host this festive season and contains a combination of happy pink mini gerbera, with a mix of purple, pink and white chrysanthemums with some beautiful touches of frosted pinecones, decorative scented cinnamon sticks and glittered foliage.

These bouquets are available in stores nationwide priced at €10.00 and a donation of €1.00 per bouquet sold will be made to Temple Street.

Each year Temple Street treats over 150,000 children from across the country and for thousands of children, Temple Street is the only hospital in Ireland in which they can be treated. Temple Street has been Tesco Ireland’s charity partner since October 2014 and to-date Tesco Ireland has raised €4.7 million in aid of the little heroes of Temple Street.



Christmas should be celebrated in the comfort of your own home. You should be with your nearet and dearest during the most wonderful time of year, but some people aren't so lucky. One Dublin couple had to spend their son's first Christmas in hospital so they are urging the public to help raise vital funds for sick children by hosting a Christmas Jumper Day.

Sarah-Jane and Seán Preston's one-year-old son, Seán Óg, spent his first Christmas in Crumlin Hospital, but this December the family are looking forward to spending Christmas at home. Over 150,000 children go through the doors of CHI at Crumlin every year and one in 100 children in Ireland are born with a structural heart defect.

“We found out our little baby Seán Óg had a congenital heart defect at our 20 week scan.” Sarah-Jane shared. “We were completely shocked as we had never heard of it before and we didn’t know how serious it was. Three days later it was confirmed that our little baby had multiple defects, but we wouldn’t know the full extent until he was born.

"We didn’t know if he would survive the pregnancy let alone the birth so we tried to enjoy every second we had. He continued to grow and when he was born he was transferred to CHI at Crumlin straight away. During the night Seán Óg was struggling to breathe and had to be ventilated to keep him alive. I got out of hospital the next day and finally got to see my little boy properly for the first time.”

The team discovered that Seán Óg had eight heart defects in total, with three of them being rare. He had his first heart surgery at two days old and was christened in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) when he was a day old.

“The nurses caring for Seán Óg were absolutely amazing.” Sarah-Jane said. “They treated him like he was their own and I trusted them 100% which made leaving him a little more bearable. Seán Óg responded really well to the surgery and he was allowed home at six days old. One of the nurses from ICU came up to the ward before he went to give him one last cuddle which was so touching.”

Seán Óg wasn’t due his next surgery until he was around eight months old, but at Christmas his little heart was failing so he needed his operation sooner. He had his open heart surgery at four months old and just four days before Christmas. He responded really well and got home within a week.

Sarah-Jane described how special the staff made her baby’s first Christmas in Crumlin – “Santa visited him and left him presents, I was left a big hamper and there were presents waiting for his big sister when she came to visit. These are the special moments that stand out and they are facilitated by the incredible fundraisers who give their time and energy to making sure that they’re doing all they can for sick children. Christmas dinner was also provided in the restaurant so we could have dinner as a family which was so important to us and something we are so grateful for.

"Every single staff member from household staff up to consultants made our stay as comfortable and special as it could be. The support we received went way beyond the operating theatre and we are so grateful for everything so far. Nobody wants to spend Christmas in hospital but it was such a festive atmosphere that it didn’t feel like we were in hospital at times.

"It’s not just the incredible heart centre that fundraising has supported, it’s the little things too, like a present for our little girl who spent Christmas day in the hospital with her sick brother.”

Seán Óg has a tough road ahead of him and needs another open heart surgery when he’s around three, but he’s doing really well – “He’s such a happy little eight month old boy. We will be forever grateful to Crumlin hospital for saving our little boy especially, Mr. Jonathan McGuinness who is Seán Og’s surgeon, and Orla Franklin, his cardiologist.

We will never ever be able to express our gratitude to CHI at Crumlin, the staff and the fundraisers who saved our baby, but we will continue to help out in any way we can.”

Email Sinead Nolan at christmasjumperday@cmrf.org to learn more about Christmas Jumper Day and how to get your school or company involved



Irish rugby legend Rob Kearney has been announced as the ‘Face of Christmas Jumper Day’ for CMRF Crumlin, to raise vital funds for CHI Crumlin and the National Children’s Research Centre. The CMRF Christmas Jumper Day will launch in schools and businesses across Ireland from November, and aims to raise €50,000 for some of Ireland’s sickest children.

Rob, who is a CMRF Crumlin ambassador, is encouraging teachers and students to set up a Christmas Jumper Day fundraiser in their school; and employees to set up a Christmas Jumper Day fundraiser in their companies, in aid of CMRF Crumlin.

“Christmas Jumper Day is a great way to support sick children in Crumlin hospital.” Rob Kearney said, “Over 150,000 children go through the doors of CHI Crumlin every year. CMRF has helped families in most communities across Ireland, so I’m proud to support this campaign. Hopefully I can encourage as many children, teachers and companies as possible to raise vital funds for sick children.

"Childhood illness takes too many precious moments of laughter, play and happiness. Christmas should be a special time for them no matter where they are. I’m calling on schools and companies across Ireland to join me, and host a Christmas Jumper Day in aid of CMRF, so that they can create some magical memories for sick children this Christmas.”

CMRF Crumlin is encouraging people taking part in Christmas Jumper Day to share photos on social media and to tag @cmrf_crumlin using the hashtags #ChristmasJumperDay and #WhateverItTakes.

Christmas Jumper Day packs can be sent out to schools and companies looking to participate in the nationwide fundraiser. Interested participants can email Sinead Nolan on christmasjumperday@cmrf.org to order their packs.



Tesco Ireland and McVitie’s today announced details of a new partnership that sees both brands donating 10c to Temple Street for every pack of McVitie’s biscuits sold in Tesco stores and online over the next four weeks.

All funds raised will help Temple Street to purchase eight new beds and mattresses for a vital new ward, which consists of eight isolation rooms for treating Temple Street’s most vulnerable patients.

The promotion will run across all packs of McVitie’s biscuits for the next four weeks until November 12 and will be supported by in store POS and social media to remind customers that when they are enjoying a well-earned biscuit break, they will be helping to raise vital funds for Temple Street.

Emma Barrett, Head of Corporate Development, Temple Street Foundation said: “We’re so grateful to Tesco Ireland and McVitie’s for their support. Every pack sold will play its part in helping us to continue to provide life-saving treatment and facilities for sick children in Ireland.”

Niamh Twyford, Head of Marketing at McVitie’s said “McVitie’s wants to take this moment to give back. This partnership with Tesco Ireland is about encouraging people to recognise the work that the incredible staff of Temple Street do to help sick children in Ireland. It means while enjoying an 11 o’clock break or an after-dinner cup of tea and biscuit, consumers can know they have also helped in raising much needed funds for Temple Street.”

Each year Temple Street treats over 150,000 children from across the country and operates the busiest A&E department in Europe. For thousands of children, Temple Street is the only hospital in Ireland in which they can be treated. Through the charity partner programme, Tesco colleagues and customers can help little people from all over Ireland get better and be real life heroes to children attending the hospital.

Temple Street has been Tesco Ireland’s charity partner since October 2014 and to-date Tesco Ireland has raised €4.5 million in aid of the little heroes of Temple Street.



RESPECT, the organisation in charge of fundraising for capital projects and research within The Daughters of Charity Disability Support Service, have announced their latest event and we are blown away.

An afternoon of style will take place featuring Irish fashion designer Catriona Hanly in aid of the charity, with an Autumn/Winter 2019 collection on display.

RESPECT supports people by improving their surroundings and allowing them to be more independent, through capital building projects and ground-breaking research initiatives.

The unique fashion showcase is taking place on Friday, October 18 in the Herbert Park Hotel, Ballsbridge from 12.30pm. Mark the date on your calendars, gals; it's set to be brilliant.


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Guests of the event will be treated to an afternoon of fun and fashion with Catriona, who is set to show off her latest collection as well as offering a sneak preview of her Spring/Summer 2020 plans.

Hanly’s fashion collections have made waves at home and abroad, with her stand-out creative designs being worn by global celebrities and personalities including; Madison McKinley, Amanda Byram, Victoria Smurfit, Vogue Williams, Lorraine Keane, Anna Daly and Celia Holman Lee.

The designer's statement jewellery line is available in over 350 boutiques in Ireland, the UK and the US and she has delivered interior projects in leading hotels and private residences worldwide.

RESPECT's services are ultimately about helping people to improve their quality of life and reach their full potential, and Catriona is the perfect person to collaborate with.


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Speaking about the fundraiser, Sister Zoe Killeen, Director of RESPECT, commented,

“We are delighted to join forces with Catriona for this special fashion fundraiser. We are calling on fashion lovers and supporters to join us on October 18th to help raise much-needed funds for RESPECT.” 

Catriona commented on the fundraiser, and expressed her passion to have a role in helping the charity;

“RESPECT is a very worthy cause, so I am really looking forward to hosting this special fashion afternoon to raise funds for the charity."

She added; "All the team at RESPECT work tirelessly to provide support to improve the lives of people living with intellectual disabilities, so I am delighted to play a part in helping them to raise vital funds.” 

Tickets for the fashion fundraiser are priced at €125 each with proceeds going directly to RESPECT’s current building and research projects.

To secure your ticket today contact RESPECT on 01-6856502 or head to their website here.

Feature image: Instagram/@catrionahanly


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.


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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.

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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.”



Today, representatives of Hospice and specialist palliative homecare services throughout the country gathered at Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, Harold’s Cross to launch Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning for Hospice Together with Bewley’s. The group are calling on the people of Ireland to host a coffee morning on Thursday, September 19 to help raise vital funds for their local hospice.

Celebrating twenty-seven years of coffee mornings, it is hoped that this year’s events, held in homes and businesses across the country, will raise a much needed €2 million for Hospices across Ireland, to meet growing demands for the service.

Author and broadcaster, Maia Dunphy, officially launched this year’s campaign which is asking people across the country to support this important campaign by hosting or attending a coffee morning. Those who can’t attend a coffee morning can simply text COFFEE to 50300 and donate €4* to support local hospice and homecare services and help to give patients the best quality of life during their illness.


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Pat Quinlan, Chair of the Voluntary Hospice Group said, “The demands on specialist hospice in-patient and community services around Ireland are growing each year and as always we, as providers, want to be able to deliver high quality and responsive services. The money raised through Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning for Hospice Together with Bewley’s is crucial in ensuring that we continue to meet each individual patient’s needs and to support their families and loved ones at a most difficult time in their lives. The success of the campaign over the last 27 years is thanks to the incredible generosity of our many supporters, including our dedicated coffee morning hosts, guests, Ambassadors and our long-time sponsor Bewley’s. Indeed, we could not do what we do without this ongoing financial support.’’


Jason Doyle, Managing Director at Bewley’s said, “It’s been a privilege for Bewley’s to lend its support as sole sponsor for Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning for Hospice for the past 27 years. Community and people are at the heart of Bewley’s and caring for people in the local community is what hospice services are all about. Our connection to hospice is a perfect fit with the ethos of our company and we are delighted to be involved once again with this important fundraising event for Hospice.’’

To register to host a coffee morning on Thursday, September 19, or on a date that suits you, go to www.hospicecoffeemorning.ie or call 1890 998 995. Hosts are provided with a Coffee Morning Pack containing Bewley’s coffee, posters and invitations free of charge. Remember, every cup counts.

The public can support Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning for Hospice Together with Bewley’s on Thursday, September 19 2019 by:

Hosting a Coffee Morning

Attending a Coffee Morning

Texting COFFEE to 50300 to donate €4*

*Text costs €4. Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning for Hospice Together with Bewley’s will receive a minimum of €3.60. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278.



Tayto Park has announced two special awareness days for Irish Guide Dogs for the blind, which will take place on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 of August.

Tayto Park is Ireland's only theme park and zoo, and is a proud supporter and charity partner of Assistance Dogs in association with Irish Guide Dogs. 

The park has donated €5,000 to the charity, and has also put together an array of activities to support and raise funds for the brilliant organisation.


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The Irish Guide Dogs staff and Tayto Park volunteers will encourage visitors across the two days to experience the Sensory Tunnel, which offers users the sensory chance to experience what it's like to be vision impaired.

Guests will be invited to walk through the tunnel blindfolded with street noises and loud traffic blared over the speakers around them. Surfaces like brick walls, a wooden fence, netting, grass and fur allows users to feel their way through the five-metre-long structure.

Floor panels with bumps similar to the tactile pavement used to guide vision impaired people on the streets are included in the structure.


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Irish Guide Dogs staff will be on hand to provide information to visitors about how the charity can be supported, and Tayto Park will have bucket collections raising funds for them.

Speaking on the partnership Chairman of the Irish Guide Dogs Board, Patrick Burke said,

“Support such as this is fundamental to our ability to reach and help families of children with autism and those with visual impairment achieve independence and mobility."


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85 percent of our income comes from fundraising and donations from the public and our partnerships with our corporate supporters means we can provide a future for a family of a child with autism or person with visual impairment achieve independence”.

Tayto Park are proud charity partners of Assistance Dogs in association with Irish Guide Dogs, ALONE, supporting older people to age at home and JIGSAW, supporting young people’s health in mind.

Feature image: Instagram/@irishguidedogs