The Midland Lions Clubs Hooves4Hospice fundraising project passed a major milestone this week when the 300th animal was registered at a farm in the midlands.
The Hooves4Hospice project involves Lions Clubs in the Midlands, the Irish Hospice Foundation and the farming community working together to raise funds to build a 16 beds Level3 Palliative Care Hospice in the Midlands.
The Midlands is currently the only region of Ireland that does not have a Level 3 Hospice.
Launched only last January when well known RTE ‘Ear to the Ground” presenter, Ella Mc Sweeney, facilitated a discussion with two of the country’s best known sportsmen, Offaly man Michael Duignan and Dubliner Charlie Redmond, who both lost loved ones, related their different experiences of family hospice care - one who had the experience of Level 3 Hospice care and one who did not.
Chairman of the project, Mr Pat Lalor, speaking this week, thanked everyone associated with the success of the project in its first five months, particularly the farmers who are taking part in the project.
“Given that the Covid - 19 Pandemic hit the country just two weeks after our launch, I think the fact that we have 300 animals signed up to date is an indication of the great support and goodwill there is towards this project. As is the case for everybody, Covid19 interfered somewhat with the progress of the project due to the limitations on meetings with farmers and with the movement of animals. However, the support from the farming community is all the more significant when we consider that many farmers are currently under financial and weather pressures along with the uncertainty of Brexit on the horizon”.
“We are actively continuing with the project and everyday we still have farmers contacting us in relation to joining the project. In addition to the participating farmers, I wish to acknowledge the generous financial contributions we are receiving, on line and by post, from members of the public, which enables us to purchase more animals to place with host farmers.
“We now have a great base and contacts built up as we proceed towards our ultimate goal of 500 animals. The success of the project” he said “will potentially benefit every family in the region where specialist end of life care and support is needed."
The project involves farmers being asked to donate a young animal that they or a host farmer will rear for 12 to 24 months.
When that donated animal is sold, the proceeds will go directly into the Midland Hospice Building Fund.
Tullamore Lions Club will source suitable animals and has set up a special sub-committee, with farmer input, to oversee that part of the project.
It is intended that host farmers will not incur any exceptional costs over and above the cost of accommodating the young animals in their herds.
Animals purchased by Tullamore Lions Club and placed on host farms will remain the property of Tullamore Lions Club.
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