Happy Christmas from LauraLynn

21 Dec

On behalf of the Board of Directors of LauraLynn, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support over the course of 2015.

Despite some inclement weather, our Family Fun Day, Light Up LauraLynn and our Christmas Party were hugely successful and enjoyable events. Even at this early stage, plans are underway to see how we can make these special events for LauraLynn even better in 2016. Children’s Hospice Week 2015 saw us partner with TV3 in a week-long series of events, culminating in an abseil of the Cusack Stand at Croke Park by some of the station’s presenters, and which raised over €100,000 for LauraLynn.

2015 has been our busiest year yet, with more children and families using our services than ever before. The year has seen us commence the transition from being a predominantly respite-based service to one which is more hospice based, through the development of a new model of care, and with work started on expanding our family supports and offering families a greater range of services to meet their individual needs.

Our Board of Directors was strengthened with the addition of three new members: Angie Kinane, Ann O’Driscoll and Mary Ainscough. A new Board Sub-Committee was established in 2015, the Family Engagement Committee, with family representation from users, past and present, of the various services. The Sub-Committee has ambitious plans that will see exciting changes in LauraLynn in 2016.

The year 2015 also saw the successful completion of the LauraLynn@HOME pilot programme, and a positive evaluation by the UCD Medical School in October has ensured that this programme will continue to provide hospice care to even more families in 2016.

On a very sad note, five residents in our disability service died in 2015: Karl Muller, Robert O’Keefe, Wesley Stephenson, Joshua McDougall and Rhiannon Fegan. We also experienced the tragic loss of a colleague, Jacqui Ellis, who was our Team Lead for the LauraLynn@HOME programme.

Our volunteer numbers continued to grow and, for the first time, they have exceeded the number of staff members; their commitment and participation make it possible to deliver care to many more children and their families.  June saw the implementation of our electronic health record, making the move away from paper records to a more safe, secure and flexible system.

There are many challenges facing LauraLynn in the year ahead – not least the challenge of finding ways to sustain funding into the future. In addition, the global shortage of suitably qualified nursing staff is impacting on our ability to deliver services, and we will continue with our active recruitment campaign. Your support and participation is never more needed and we look forward to an exciting year ahead in LauraLynn.

For now, we hope you will take the time to enjoy this very special time of year, and to be with the ones you love.

Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year

David Andrews & Sharon Morrow

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