Hospices are more about the joy of life rather than death, according to a Dublin woman who is set to join Ireland’s biggest coffee morning for Hospice. Adrienne Parkes, 77, has been volunteering at Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services in Harold’s Cross since her late friend Anne O’Hanlon persuaded her to give her time to the centre 11 years ago. She said that hospices are more focused on how life should be lived due to the level of care, compassion and friendship offered to patients and their families.
“I always wanted to volunteer after I retired but I wasn’t quite sure where,” said former office manager Adrienne. “My friend Anne O’Hanlon persuaded me to come along with her to Harold’s Cross where she had been volunteering for over a decade and I’ve never looked back.”
The Bewley’s Big Coffee Morning Social for Hospice, taking place nationwide on September 21, has raised over €43.2million since its inception in 1992 – and there is a €2million fundraising target this year. Together for Hospice, The National Hospice Movement, represents 26 Hospice and specialist palliative home care providers supporting patients and their families. Funds raised locally stay local and go back into each hospice to innovate, build new facilities, develop new services and deliver quality improvements and extra benefits for their patients and their family members. Adrienne told how during Covid-19, she held coffee mornings on the green next to her home on Dowland Road, Walkinstown – where it will be held again this year on September 23.
“It was such a success that I just continued it there. It’s a great social scene and a way for new people in the estate to meet their neighbours. “Businesses, neighbours and family are so good at donating prizes and baking cakes for the day and it really is an event where everyone can get involved. “I’ve even spotted children emptying their pocket money into the donation boxes. “Through volunteering at the Hospice, I’ve made great friends who I socialise with regularly. “Some people associate hospices with death but that is not the case anymore. Hospices are more about life now than death and there are far more smiles than tears. “Our Lady’s also caters for those with long-term needs and illnesses and those in respite and offers so many services so people can feel fulfilled. Everyone is friendly, caring and kind. It’s what life should be like.”
Adrienne will hold her coffee morning on September 23. You can support this one – or register now to host your own event on September 21 – or on a date that suits you – at hospicecoffeemorning.ie or call 0818 995 996. If you can not host or attend one, you can make a donation at hospicecoffeemorning.ie/donate