Crowds attending a previous fair at the UL Arena. The event takes place this Sunday Picture: Keith Wiseman
WITH the Milford Hospice Harvest Fair just days away, organisers are appealing for both donations and volunteers to make the event another huge success in its 31st year.
The event, Milford’s biggest annual fundraiser, is expected to draw 20,000 people to UL Arena on Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
Harvest Fair chairman Joe Murphy has issued a final appeal for donations, which can be dropped at Milford until 8pm this Thursday – with confectionary items accepted on the morning of the fair – plus volunteers to help out.
“We are, as ever, seeking good quality items for the stalls, including fancy goods, and toys,” he said.
“We would also welcome cakes, jams and groceries, bottles, plants and new items for the Wheel of Fortune. All goods will be checked for quality before being accepted in order to minimise the major costs involved with the disposal of unsaleable items, and I’m afraid we can’t accept electrical goods or furniture.”
With Milford currently working on construction of a new, state-of-the-art purpose-built 34-bed singled roomed hospice unit, the fundraiser has taken on a priority this year. Milford CEO Pat Quinlan said funds raised would “go towards supporting existing hospice services and the building of a new 34 bed €11 million state of the art hospice, which is expected to commence in late September”.
Mr Murphy said the generous support from the people of the Mid-West is “all the more important” given the fundraising context.
”Hopefully we will have as many of you as possible at the fair on the grounds of UL for what promises to be a great day out for all.”
There is free admission for all and plenty of free parking around the Arena, he added. Those attending can expect the Wheel of Fortune, live music, face painting, barbeques, sporting activities for all ages, tug-of-war, egg and spoon races, penalty shoot-outs, inflatable fun games, bouncy castles and more.
The Books Stall, Fancy Goods and the Toys Stall will all make a comeback, while a Mobile Creamery will be on display in the Vintage Car area.
The fair also features a food court and live entertainment, while the Grand Raffle takes place at 3pm at the entrance to the Arena. To donate, contact 061-485859 or 485860.
Profile: Shirley Real, manager of Milford’s physiotherapy service
AHEAD of the Milford Hospice Harvest Fair this weekend, we focus on the work of of the Milford team and get an insight into the impact the Care Centre has for patients and their families.
Limerick woman, Shirley Real, is manager of the Physiotherapy service at Milford Care Centre. For her, the role of physiotherapy in palliative care has developed and expanded over the last number of years.
“When I commenced working in Milford 13 years ago we provided services to the specialist palliative care unit (hospice), the nursing home and day care centres. We now have a much expanded active role in areas including community Hospice at Home Service, Out Patients and the Lymphoedema Clinic.
"This allows us to meet patients’ needs at the right time and right place – at home, in the hospice, the day unit, and as an outpatient.
“Our aim is to minimise some of the effects of disease or its treatments. This is achieved through working with patients and their families to maximise functional ability, enhance quality of life and redesign their lives throughout their disease journey. Education and support for the patient and their families is of utmost importance.
"We offer numerous different treatment options based on an individualised assessment across a wide variety of specialties – these include exercise prescription, function and mobility training, pain relief, rehabilitation, breathlessness management and lymphoedema management, to name a few.
For Shirley, one of the most rewarding aspects of working in Milford is the presence of an experienced multidisciplinary team – numerous healthcare professionals with individualised approaches who combine with the patient to agree on an appropriate and coordinated care plan.
“Being part of this team has enriched me professionally and widened my knowledge. Physiotherapy for palliative care patients is a relatively new area of expertise; we have been actively conducting research that will help guide such treatments in the future. This means our treatments are more effective and provide better interventions to patients and their families.”
Shirley is confident that Milford are at the forefront of delivering the highest quality care to patients across the Mid-West and continually looks at ways to improve their input. This has led to plans for the development of a new purpose built specialist hospice unit with single room occupancy, which will offer patients and their families’ privacy and dignity.
As the Centre embarks further upon the building of this new unit, fundraising initiatives such as the Harvest Fair have become even more imperative in order to achieve their goals.
With that in mind, Shirley is appealing to all to come out and support this year’s event.
“I really appreciate the support Milford has received from the people of Limerick and the Mid-West. Without this we would not be able to continue to grow the service to meet the needs of patients. The Harvest Fair has a long standing tradition in Limerick and it raises awareness of Milford and its role in the community.”