Grant Thornton Ireland has announced Children in Hospital Ireland as its new charity partner. Grant Thornton will partner with the charity, which highlights and supports the rights and welfare of children in hospital, for the next two years. The partnership will help to raise vital funds that will directly impact the lives of thousands of sick children in hospitals across the country and their families.
On average, there are 325,000 visits to Irish hospitals by children each year. For more than 100,000 children this means an average stay of 3 nights, and 75,000 child inpatients are under the age of four. Since its establishment in 1970, Children in Hospital has sought to highlight the specific challenges faced by hospitalised children and their parents or carers, as well as the need for a more child-centered approach in the provision of healthcare services for children.
Speaking on the launch of the partnership, Anna Gunning, CEO of Children in Hospital Ireland said: “This partnership will really make a difference to our work and will allow us to provide more services and supports to children and their families in hospital throughout Ireland. The past two years have been difficult for families with all the Covid-19 restrictions. We are working to ensure that we can make the hospital experience a little easier by providing play opportunities and bringing some fun to what can be a difficult time.”
At the heart of Children in Hospital Ireland’s work is its play service, which is now available to children in hospitals throughout Ireland. It is the only charity managing such a voluntary service in Irish hospitals. By providing engaging and supportive play in wards, playrooms, emergency departments and outpatient departments, Children in Hospital Ireland play volunteers nurture curiosity and creativity and provide distraction from the stress of being in hospital. Today there are some 300 volunteers that facilitate play and provide information services within 14 paediatric units around Ireland.
One such volunteer is Grant Thornton Ireland employee Haley Gaharan. Speaking about the partnership she said: “Through my time volunteering with CIH, I have witnessed first–hand the extremely challenging circumstances that sick children and their families are facing every day.”
She added: “The support that CIH offers to families in these circumstances is invaluable, particularly the play service which allows children to really be children, despite being ill and in hospital. I know that Grant Thornton’s support through this partnership over the next two years will only further enhance and improve their young lives during such a difficult time.”
Through the partnership, Children in Hospital’s work will be amplified and supported by Grant Thornton over the next two years. It will also give the staff at the firm an opportunity to get involved in small and large ways to support families and children facing some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
Speaking on the partnership launch, Partner with responsibility for CSR at Grant Thornton Ireland, Dan Holland said: “Grant Thornton’s relationship with Children in Hospital is an important part of our firm’s sustainability strategy and our drive to always be a responsible business, and one that ultimately wants to create a positive impact on society.
Children in Hospital Ireland’s focus on play and wellbeing for children aligns well with Grant Thornton’s corporate value of bringing fun to all we do. This focus on fun is not something you see often in the professional services sector and is something that is also central to the mission of CIH.”