BPW SUMMER LUNCH a great success in aid of Galway Hospice

BPW Galway hosted their Annual Summer Lunch last Friday 18th May in the Ardilaun Hotel and this year BPW were delighted to have Gemma Hussey as our guest speaker with the proceeds of the raffle on the day going to Galway Hospice – it was a great success. Over 150 ladies turned out for this very glamorous event and enjoyed an afternoon, of food, fashion and fun.

Gemma Hussey, at the age of 22, co-founded and directed The English Language Institute in Dublin, having left UCD with a degree in Politics and Economics. She became a leader of the Women’s Political Association, having married and had three children. She was elected as an Independent to Seanad Eireann, then to Dail Eireann for Fine Gael, becoming Minister for Education under Garret FitzGerald. She left politics (undefeated) and worked voluntarily in eastern Europe, designing and delivering democracy training to women in ten countries of the region. To date she has written two books and currently chairs the Ireland Romania Cultural Foundation. More recently she writes and broadcasts on current affairs and in 2010 was a founder member of the 5050 Group, and are a supporter and advisor to women for election.

Galway Hospice are a worthy charity this year providing a wide range of Specialist Palliative Care Services, which include Home Care, Inpatient Care, Day Care, Bereavement Support and Education. Their Home Care service, which has been in operation since 1990, made 5813 “Hospice at Home” visits last year throughout county Galway, including the Aran Islands and Inishbofin. Their specialist nurses work in close collaboration with the General Practitioners to support patients and families in their home environment for as long as possible. The Day Care service, which had 1036 attendances last year, provides a blend of clinical, therapeutic and recreational supports for patients, serving as a link between inpatient and community-based services.

Both the Home Care and Day Care service cost €1.5 million to run annually and are funded entirely by voluntary contributions. The Galway Hospice depends totally on this voluntary support to ensure that we can continue providing these services. In 2011 their fundraising income fell by 10%.

The Hospice also works in partnership with the Western Area HSE who initially provided 100 % funding for their 12-bed In Patient Unit which costs €3.5 million to run annually. However funding has fallen by 10.3% over the last 3 years which puts extra pressure on funds raised. This enables patients to avail of the care and expertise of the specialist multi-disciplinary team within the Inpatient Unit at Galway Hospice.

All Hospice services are provided free of charge. Your contribution will assist the Hospice in providing the highest possible level of care to patients and families at what for them is a very difficult time.

The folks from Let’s Do It Global were also in attendance on the countdown to the Volvo Ocean Race so there was a definite nautical theme on the day.

During the meal wonderful hats and headpieces from local Milliner Catherina King were showcased giving you plenty of inspiration for the upcoming Galway Races.

Top raffle prizes won on the day included a specially commissioned oil painting by Thelma Mansfield valued at €700, plus a round of golf for 4 people at the exclusive K Club to mention but a few! An event like this could not happen without some main sponsors and were grateful this year to have KPMG and Collins Mc Nicholas