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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Ballymena group presents cheque for £155K to Northern Ireland Hospice

Members of Ballymena NI Hospice Support Group

Ballymena NI Hospice Support Group members met recently, on Monday 8th March, for their Annual General Meeting.

During the evening a cheque for the amazing amount of £155,503.92 was presented by Toni Bailes (Chairperson) to Trevor McCartney, Acting CE of Northern Ireland Hospice.

Toni welcomed all attending and recorded that the Group had been delighted to welcome new members Alison Graham, Lisa Sweeney, Laura Adams, Saranne Bartley, Rodney Quigley and Ronnie McFall.  

She detailed another outstanding year of fundraising by the Support Group and thanked all the Members for their dedication and hard work.  Toni said:

“We could not achieve this amazing level of fundraising without the support of our wonderful community in Ballymena and surrounding area. They donate at street collections, organise fundraisers and support our events”.  She continued: “The support is cross community from businesses, sports clubs, schools, churches and individuals together with organisations such as Ballymena BID, Ballymena Chamber of Commerce, Mid and East Antrim Council who work with us to raise the profile of and funding for the services provided by NI Hospice and NI Children’s Hospice”.  

Toni introduced Mr Trevor McCartney, Acting CE of NI Hospice who reported:

“Facing considerable challenges, NI Hospice remains resolute in its mission to deliver compassionate and exemplary palliative care to those in need. Recent media coverage has highlighted the financial hurdles encountered by Hospices, prompting tough decisions within our organisation to ensure sustainability of our vital services. Escalating costs particularly driven by wage and medical inflation, coupled with the absence of a cohesive commissioning strategy, have compounded our financial pressures.

“In response we are proud to unveil a new 5-year strategy, strategically crafted to ensure financial resilience while laying the groundwork for future growth and service expansion. This strategy unfolds in two stages: initially focusing on achieving financial sustainability over a two-year period, followed by a concerted effort towards growth and development over the subsequent three years. Our aim is to meet the projected surge in demand for palliative care services in a manner that is financially viable in the long run.

“We recognise that we cannot navigate these challenges alone.  We rely on the support of our communities and partners to advocate for and deliver sustainable palliative care services in Northern Ireland. Despite the daunting landscape our commitment to upholding and expanding our service remains unwavering.  We are dedicated to serving those who rely on us now more than ever, ensuring their needs are met with compassion and dignity”.

Mr McCartney concluded with sincere thanks to the Ballymena NI Hospice Support Group, “who for nearly 40 years, have worked tirelessly in support of NI Hospice and are an exemplary model of innovation, governance and succession planning”.

An election was held resulting in the following appointment for the financial year 2024/25:

Chair: Toni Bailes

Vice Chair: Elaine McBride

Treasurer: Kathleen Cooke

Secretary: Muriel Barr

Assistant Secretary/Minute Secretary: Julie Scobie

Health and Safety Officer: Neil Scobie

Youth and Schools Liaison Officers:  Emma Henry and Elaine McBride

If you are Interested in volunteering send a private message to Elaine via the Ballymena NI Hospice Support Group Facebook Page.


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