Christmas Message from LauraLynn

21 Dec
2017

As the year draws to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you sincerely for all of your support during the past year. 2017 was another fantastic year at LauraLynn & there are many special moments & achievements to reflect on.

In November, our disability services received the report from our first unannounced HIQA inspection in 2016 & we are delighted to say that this was a very positive appraisal, with particular recognition of our team’s knowledge of the resident’s needs & the level of comfort that they displayed towards staff. Our focus for 2018 will be on maintaining & improving these standards & on ensuring any outstanding actions are addressed.

Throughout the year, over 180 families in Ireland received access to LauraLynn services, the highest number to date. This is in addition to the many bereaved families who also received support. Our family support services were extended, with the introduction of our Autumn Leaves Program & Saturday Club, which gave families more opportunities to enjoy precious time together. A full time permanent Recreation & Activity Coordinator was appointed within our disability services, to provide a comprehensive activities programme for the adults, children, families & staff.

Greater numbers meant that our Family Fun Day & Christmas Party events were again moved offsite to accommodate all families. Light Up LauraLynn was a spectacular occasion with families & guests enjoying a special surprise performance from Hozier. In addition, we were privileged to welcome Her Royal Highness Princess Takamado of Japan, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Ireland Football Manager Martin O’Neill and the cast of ‘Once’, who came to meet our families & to learn more about the vital work we do.

Children’s Hospice Week in May was a big success, with TV3 partnering with LauraLynn for the third year in a row. This partnership saw TV3 air the first ever Children’s Hospice Telethon across all daytime programming, raising vital funds & awareness. Our second Heroes Ball also took place in May in the glamorous Intercontinental Hotel, celebrating the little heroes that require our care.

In September, LauraLynn received the exciting news that we had been chosen as the charity partner for a reimagining of U2’s iconic Joshua Tree album ‘New Roots’, produced by 2FM & Universal Music. The 2FM Roadcaster visited LauraLynn in October for the launch, with special guest appearances from artists Kodaline & Fangclub. The album quickly rose to number 1 in the Irish album charts & is on sale in many outlets around the country, as well as on download.

2017 was a year of recognition for LauraLynn & we were honoured to receive four different award nominations. As well as being nominated in two categories at the recent Charity Impact Awards, our Quality Risk & Safety and Education Teams were commended at the Irish Healthcare Awards for their implementation of the Schwatz Rounds Forum. Our big win of the year was a Repak Pakman Award, which our Fundraising Team received in recognition of our battery recycling corporate partnership with WEEE Ireland.

In November, we bid a fond farewell to our CEO Sharon Morrow as she moved on to pastures new. Our Board & team would like to sincerely thank Sharon for her contribution to LauraLynn over the past three years & to congratulate her on her many achievements during this time. We look forward to the appointment of a new CEO in the New Year & to the positive developments that this will bring for our organisation.

2018 will be a busy year for LauraLynn as more families continue to avail of our services. The increased demand for services will also bring challenges for funding, however we continue to be humbled by the tireless efforts of our many supporters who give so generously to support us.

Our hospice is hugely dependent on fundraised income to cover operational costs & this year was very challenging as we strived to reach our target of €3.5m.  Trust in the charity sector has been damaged in recent years but thankfully the generosity of our supporters has prevailed throughout. Your trust in LauraLynn is of paramount importance to us & we continue to show this, by striving to be open & transparent in all areas. From our Triple Lock system, to the publishing of our annual reports, we endevour to keep you informed about how we raise & spend our money. You can view our recently published 2016 Annual Report here.

Lastly, it’s our privilege, on behalf of our children, families, staff & Board members, to wish you & your loved ones a very happy & peaceful Christmas Season. We remain indebited to you for your continued support of our special hospice & look forward to making 2018 another year of great progress for LauraLynn.

Niall McHugh (Chairperson) & Rachel Nolan (Interim CEO at LauraLynn)

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