Help Hospice provide the best possible care

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NORTHERN Ireland Hospice is seeking people from Coleraine and the surrounding area to step out and support their four mile Midnight Walk for Hospice.

Following the success of last years event, which was the first of its kind in the area, the charity are delighted to be bring the event back for another year and are looking more people to join in on the excitement and help raise funds to provide the best care possible to local patients and their families.

All money raised from the charity event will be used to help continue care services in the North Coast and Causeway area. Northern Ireland Hospice is a local charity providing specialist hospice care for people with a terminal illness and their families in communities across the province.

The charity currently has three nurses working in the North Coast area who provide specialist nursing advice and help local people diagnosed with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions. This includes help to deal with pain control and other troublesome symptoms and offering support to patients and their families when they need it most, day or night.

Commenting on her work, Margaret McDowell, Senior Hospice Nurse Specialist, said: “I feel very privileged to be a hospice nurse and to be given access into so many peoples homes and lives at what is probably for them one of the most difficult and traumatic times in their life.

“The work we do allows families to have their loved ones at home for the latter stages of their lives, which means a lot to so many and allows patients that all important choice and say in how they are cared for.”

Margaret and her two nursing colleagues, Katie Galloway and Debbie Knight, have, over the past year cared for over 255 patients and their families in the North Coast area.

“We are kept very busy”, adds Margaret, “and most months we would make between 80 to 150 visits to patients homes. That doesn’t count all the phone calls we also make to keep in touch with how our patients are doing. This regular contact with our patients is very important and allows us to ensure they are comfortable, pain free and receiving the care they need.”

Hospice care is free to patients and their family and friends, but it is not free to provide. To fund its work the charity relies heavily on donations from local people. That’s why Northern Ireland Hospice is now calling on the local community to support their second Midnight Walk in Coleraine, so that more funds can be raised for services in the area.

“In Northern Ireland, one in three people have a friend or family member who has benefited from hospice care,” says Lynn Boyce, Events Fundraiser.

“The Coleraine Midnight Walk for Hospice is perfect opportunity to take part in an exciting event, whilst making a difference to lives of so many people who rely on our services. It’s an easy four mile walk that almost anyone can manage and we are expecting lots of fun in the square with music, dancing, prizes for the best dressed in purple and much more.”

The Midnight Walk commences at 10 pm in The Diamond, Coleraine on Friday, October 26 and it is hoped the event will raise £10,000 for local services. Registration for the walk costs just £10 and will include a free goody bag on the night, fundraising pack and memory card for those who decide to walk in memory of a loved one.

Walkers are also being encouraged to raise a further £90 in sponsorship money which will go towards supporting the ongoing work of Northern Ireland Hospice in the area. To register for the Coleraine Midnight Walk call 028 90 777123 or visit nihospice.org for further information.

Northern Ireland Hospice would like to acknowledge the support of the following local sponsors of this event: Autozone Cars, Ulster Bank, Fitness First, Starbucks, Northwest Disco’s, Zing Design and Print and the Coleraine Times.