NEWCASTLE West man, Pat Dalton has been named as an Irish Pride Hospice Hero for his work in supporting the Milford Care Centre over three decades.
Mr Dalton was presented with his award by broadcaster Mary Kennedy at a ceremony in the Mansion House, Dublin earlier this month.
“I was surprised,” Mr Dalton said, but it was a pleasant surprise. “It is nice to be recognised,” he added.
In nominating Pat for the award, Anne Marie Hayes, who runs the fundraising section of Milford Care Centre said he had given “extraordinary service” to the hospice through organising and running fund-raising events throughout West Limerick.
“Pat provides an invaluable resource in support of the work of Milford Hospice and as such is recognised as a committed member of the Milford Hospice Friends who brings an unique contribution in support of the services provided,” she said.
Pat had a family connection to the Little Company of Mary sisters through his aunt, a nurse tutor with the order which set up Milford Hospice.
He became actively involved in the fundraising side of things when the late Sr Norbert urged and invited him to do so and has been involved in all the hospice’s Sunflower Days for the past 22 years. He has also organised church gate collections and dances and is a volunteer at the annual Harvest Fair.
At the award ceremony in Dublin, TV presenter Mary Kennedy, issued an urgent appeal for volunteers for this year’s Sunflower Days which take place on Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9.
“By making a contribution during Sunflower Days, people will play a vital role in efforts to bring comfort and dignity to people at the end of their life.
Communities throughout Ireland have played a key role in developing hospice services and this support is much needed in these difficult economic times.”
Hospices around Ireland provide care for some 6000 people each year. If you want to volunteer go to www.milfordcarecentre.ie for more details or call 061-485859/60.