A Christmas Message from LauraLynn CEO

Published: 24 Dec 2021

As we come to the end of a difficult year, our CEO takes a few moments to reflect. 


Dear all,

As we come to the end of the year, I just want to take a few moments to wish you and yours a very happy and safe Christmas from all of us at LauraLynn Children’s Hospice and to thank you all for your support this year.

2021, much like 2020, has brought its many challenges, both in our personal lives and also professionally, as Covid continues to dominate our lives and change the way we live but I am so proud of our organisation for the resilience shown throughout this pandemic and for the dedication to help and protect our service users and their families every step of the way.

But, with the arrival of vaccines, 2021 did bring hope and we got to spend more in person time together when restrictions allowed. Once again, our hospice hallways were filled with some special moments of joy and laughter as families returned for much needed short respite breaks. Our residents in Willow View returned to their Day Services and families from Hazel House were able to get some much needed respite again too. We also continued and will continue to provide virtual care and supports for our families. A pinnacle of the year was holding our first in-person family event since Covid, as we came together in style for the LauraLynn Oscars in October.

2021 was an extra special year for our hospice service as we marked a Decade of Care in September, celebrating 10 years since the opening of LauraLynn House by President Mary McAleese. As part of our celebrations, we announced the expansion of the hospice service with an ambitious target to double the number of families we care for by increasing care to families in Leinster and establishing a Satellite Service in Cork, bringing care closer to home for families across Munster.

We also celebrated with our colleagues, service users and supporters through a Virtual 10th Birthday Event which was streamed from our gardens in LauraLynn. It was a lovely event to have Jane and Brenda McKenna unveil our very special Memorial Tree as part of the event. Our Memorial Tree and Garden honours all of the children who have sadly passed away over the years and it is a beautiful reflective space for families to remember their loved one. I want to say a huge thanks to everyone involved in making this space a reality especially to local artist Emma-Jane Rushworth who sculpted the tree and the School of Engineering in DCU who partnered with us on this project.

We welcomed and met with some very important people during 2021 including a visit from Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to mark our decade of care and we also met with An Taoiseach Michaél Martin at Government Buildings to take him through our plans for the future. 2021 was also the first year that we received core state funding for our hospice service. The funding equates to one third of the overall running costs and was a welcomed recognition of children’s palliative and hospice care.

As always, I want to thank our incredible Board, staff, volunteers, supporters, donors, and Ambassadors who have supported us throughout the year, your commitment to LauraLynn is so heart-warming. We are so fortunate to have such wonderful supporters who share our vision of making every day better for those in our care.

And finally, I would like to thank the adults, children and families of LauraLynn for being part of our Community of Care and the centre of everything we do.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas and every best wish for 2022.

Kerry McLaverty - CEO LauraLynn.