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7 things you didn't know about the LauraLynn Hospice

LauraLynn is Ireland’s Children’s Hospice, providing much-needed care to short and precious lives.

LAURALYNN IS THE only hospice in Ireland to care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

The hospice provides palliative and end-of-life care to children with life-limiting conditions and gives respite and support to their families – both at the hospice and in their own homes.

1. Children have been cared for at the site since 1925

heritage-and-house-2 Overend family picture Source: Airfield

Last year, they celebrated their 90th anniversary of providing care to children. The hospice was originally a convalescence home for children with rickets. When rickets became less common, children with tuberculosis and pre- and post-operative congenital heart disease were cared for by the home. The site the home was on was donated by the Overend family.

2. A groundbreaking female doctor was at the helm

Dr.-Ella-Webb-204x300 Source: Lauralynn

Originally called the Sunshine Home for Convalescents, Dr Ella Webb, a Dublin paediatrician, founded the home with the help of a dedicated group which included Letitia Overend, whose family owned Airfield in Dundrum.

3. A personal tragedy inspired the incredible LauraLynn Foundation

J0234560005-e1390901836530 Jane McKenna Source: Lauralynn

The LauraLynn Children’s Hospice Foundation was established in 2001 by Jane and Brendan McKenna after their two daughters, Laura, 4, and Lynn, 13, died within two years of each other. The McKennas had personal experience of the lack of respite or specialist care for children with life-limiting conditions and hoped to build a hospice in their daughters’ honour.

4. Ireland’s first and only children’s hospice opened in 2011

LauraLynn House opened LauraLynn House opened by President Mary McAleese in 2011 Source: PA Archive/PA Images

The Children’s Sunshine Home Hospice Project was merged with the LauraLynn Children’s Hospice Foundation in 2006 to maximise fundraising efforts and established Ireland’s first children’s hospice in 2011.

5. There are 4,000 children with life-limiting illnesses in Ireland

LauraLynn House opened President Mary McAleese meets four-year-old Sophia Oragano in 2011 Source: PA Archive/PA Images

LauraLynn supports children with life-limiting conditions, and their families from birth to 18 years-of-age. That can be in the hospice itself or in the child’s own home – which is being piloted right now through a new programme, LauraLynn@HOME.

6. They do more than care for children

LauraLynn House opened Monica Cwiok and her son David at the opening of LauraLynn House Source: PA Archive/PA Images

The hospice also provides psychological counselling, support groups, a bereavement programme, music therapies and holistic therapies to the families. Not only that, all of the palliative, support, transitional, crisis and respite care provided to the children and their families is free of charge.

7. It costs €4 million to run LauraLynn annually

Fran-Arthur1-300x225 Source: Lauralynn

LauraLynn receives no government funding and relies entirely on donations from the public. There are lots of people doing epic work for LauraLynn such as author Fran O’Brien who donates 100% of the proceeds from her books to LauraLynn.

If you’re looking for a way to help the LauraLynn Hospice, recycling your batteries with WEEE Ireland at all ALDI stores nationwide is the easiest way to raise money for the hospice. LauraLynn is trying to reach their target of €250,000 before Christmas and you can help by recycling your batteries with ALDI now. ALDI recycles more batteries than any other retailer in Ireland. Every moment matters, every battery helps. 

Source: WEEEIreland/YouTube

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About the author:

Edel Corrigan

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