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.
As we reflect on 2022 it was truly a special year. We finally began to see some reduction in the challenges that Covid brought over the last few years. We got to spend even more time in person with our teams, families and volunteers. The last few years have really given us added perspective and made us appreciate this time even more.
A true highlight of this year has been almost one full year of in-person events. From our LauraLynn Heroes Ball to our special collaboration with Riverdance. The unique Riverdance project saw four LauraLynn Mums train with Lead Dancers and perform an encore with the cast on stage in the Gaiety Theatre, in June. From the glitz and glamour of the LauraLynn Oscars to the spooky Halloween Parade and of course the magic that was Light Up LauraLynn. It has been a joy to have our LauraLynn events back up and running.
2022 was an extra special year for our hospice service as we opened our first satellite service in Cork, bringing care closer to home for families across Munster. A milestone on this journey of growth, was officially opening the service with An Taoiseach Micheál Martin T.D. in Cork in December.
After nine years dedicated service on the Board, including being Chairperson for the last six years, Niall McHugh stepped down from the role in June and from the board in September. In his place, Sandra O'Malley was appointed Chairperson, the first female to hold this prestigious title. I would like to thank Niall for his time and commitment to the board over the years.
We celebrated with our colleagues and volunteers during our Staff and Volunteer Appreciation Awards in September. We were joined by our ambassador Ray D’Arcy for this special evening, honouring 91 LauraLynn staff and volunteers, with more than five years’ service.
We had lots of improvements to our campus in 2022 with an extensive renovation project in Hazel House, the installation of meeting and break-out pods across the campus and the planting of a beautiful new mini orchard. We are proud of our spaces in LauraLynn and we are delighted that we were able to improve our facilities during the year.
In 2022, we also completed an accreditation process for our hospice services under CHKS Accreditation and Quality Assurance. We set high standards for our services, and we were found to be 97% compliant on the first attempt. We now strive towards achieving our full accreditation award soon.
Earlier this year we welcomed a visit from Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris. Minister Harris joined us at LauraLynn to welcome the establishment of The McKenna Scholarship and appoint the inaugural McKenna Scholar, Wicklow native, Elaine Brennan. The establishment of the McKenna Scholar marked a major step in our commitment to grow and invest in children’s palliative care and continue to grow the knowledge base in this area.
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 encouraging. 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 wish all the children, families, adults, and all in LauraLynn’s Community of Care a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful Christmas and every best wish for 2023.
Kerry McLaverty - CEO LauraLynn.