COMMUNITIES across Limerick are brewing up plans for a coffee morning to protect and develop palliative care services at Milford Care Centre.
Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning is being hosted across the country on September 19 and, it is anticipated, will raise millions for hospice services at Milford and around the country.
The event has been held for 21 years now with the help of Bewley’s. The coffee house estimates that in that time, people supporting the initiative have drunk 15 million cups of coffee and raised €30 million for the hospice movement.
Pat Quinlan, chief executive of Milford Care Centre, said: “All funds raised through Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning will go directly towards financing the services we provide to patients and their families”.
“Fundraising plays an integral role in helping to improve and develop our in-patient and community-based specialist palliative care services.”
Milford Care Centre provides a full range of specialist palliative care and older person’s services to the people of the Mid-West within their purpose-built, 30-bed specialist palliative care unit; in their daycare centre, and through the Hospice at Home service set up in 2006. Almost 550 patients were treated in the specialist inpatient unit and 1,100 patients cared for through the Hospice at Home service in 2012 alone.
The Limerick centre was one of only three hospices in the country when the first coffee morning was held in 1993. There are now nine hospice inpatient units across the country but demand has steadily increased.
Experts say that for Ireland’s current population, there should be at least 450 hospice beds in the country, whereas the number of operational beds in the system barely reaches one third of that figure.
Workplaces, community organisations and even family homes are urged to support the development of services at Milford by holding a coffee morning next month and collecting €2 for every cup of coffee served. The coffee will be supplied by Bewley’s free-of-charge. All money raised locally stays locally and goes directly back to fund local hospice care services.
Registration details are available from your local hospice group or by calling the Irish Hospice Foundation on 01 679 3188. People can also register on www.Irelandsbiggestcoffeemorning.ie