Wicklow Hospice is ready to start building, but needs another €1million in order to place the building contract, chairman Sean Dorgan told the Hospice Foundation AGM on Tuesday evening (25th October). “The sooner we raise this money, the sooner building will start.”
The AGM agreed that great progress has already been made, and that a strong fundraising push now will see the much wanted hospice go ahead, hopefully within the next year.
The site at Magheramore is being donated by the Columban Sisters, the building plans have been prepared and full planning permission has been received. The 15 bed facility will be the hub of palliative care services for the County
Agreement has been reached with Our Lady’s Hospice, Harolds Cross, who will operate the Hospice when it is built.
The Department of Health / HSE will meet the annual running costs of €3m.
Simon Harris TD, Minister for Health, has said: “This is a project that is very close to my heart. I am very pleased that the funding agreed earlier this year has allowed the Wicklow Hospice Foundation to move forward. I look forward to working closely with the Wicklow Hospice”
To date €3.3million has been raised by the Foundation through the generosity of many people in Wicklow and beyond. The Foundation relies almost entirely on volunteer efforts.
“We know that people are getting impatient because nothing is yet visible on site” said Sean Dorgan. “We share this concern. We had hoped and planned to start the building sooner, but prudence requires that before we start we can see it all the way to completion.”
“Our original funding target was €3million. Since then, the economic recession has led the government to change the policy on capital funding. The HSE now want more of the capital cost of hospices to be raised (only half was required previously). We are now also providing 15 rooms rather than the 12 rooms previously planned.”
“We are ramping up our fundraising programme to raise this further €1 million as soon as possible in order to commence the build. It’s a lot but we have raised €3.3million to date and it is not insurmountable. We will be reaching out to philanthropic supporters both in Ireland and abroad as well as driving a corporate fundraising programme. We will continue with an intensive programme of community fundraising events, which thanks to the support of the people of Wicklow, have raised significant funds over the past seven years. We are extremely grateful to the local community for their continued support, and together we will get there and build this 15-bed hospice for the people of County Wicklow.”
Sean Dorgan paid tribute to Dr Brendan Cuddihy who was Chairman of the Foundation for seven years. “Dr Cuddihy was the Founding Chairman and led with great energy and commitment with the support of an able and hardworking committee. I am delighted that he is continuing as a board member, contributing his experience and talents as we bring the project to fruition.”