Central Remedial Clinic Visit on 4th May 2017
Due to grant applications, I get to travel across the country to meet a range of people from organisations when conducting assessments. Paul Clare [Managing Director] and I visited the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) in Clontarf, Dublin on 4th May 2017, to assess a grant application for their Summer Project. CRC has been providing services for children and adults with disabilities since April 1951, when Lady Valerie Goulding and Kathleen O’Rourke set up the Central Remedial Clinic. They were responding to the needs of children and adults who were left with disabilities after an outbreak of poliomyelitis in Ireland in the 1940s and 1950s. The first Clinic was a small non-residential treatment centre in a house in Upper Pembroke Street in the heart of Dublin.
We were taken on a tour of the Clontarf Centre which was quite extensive, with impressive facilities for their children. In addition to that, we were given a presentation about CRC and the importance of the summer camp. The Charity wants to run two summer camps in 2017 which will provide respite care for 100 children at Clontarf and 65 children at Clondalkin. The camps will last for two weeks and the largest cost is transporting the children each day.
Multiple Sclerosis Ireland Visit on 5th May 2017.
Paul Clare [Managing Director], Sharon Phelan [Operations Director] and I visited Multiple Sclerosis Ireland on 5th May 2017, to assess a grant application for their Dublin respite centre. Multiple Sclerosis Ireland is the only national organisation providing information, support and advocacy services to the Multiple Sclerosis [MS] community. They work with people with MS, their families, carers and a range of key stakeholders including health professionals, students and others interested in or concerned about MS.
MS Care Centre comprises of 12 ensuite accessible bedrooms. The Care Centre can accommodate a maximum of 6 high - care dependency residents at any one time with hoist assisted beds. It is the Charity’s experience that people with high levels of complex needs find it impossible to source appropriate respite, so the MS Centre aims to provide the correct level of care for these beneficiaries.
On my visit, the team Paul Clare, Sharon Phelan and I met Caitriona Hughes, Fundraising Manager and Margaret Maguire, Clinical Care Manager. Margaret gave us a tour of the Centre which was quite extensive. She explained that, due to the Health Service Executive [HSE] and other funding cuts, the Centre was no longer open on a fulltime basis. We were very impressed by Margaret’s knowledge and dedication to the Centre.
University of Brighton Visit on 8th May, 2017
I visited University of Brighton on 8th May, 2017, to assess a grant application towards research into antibiotic levels in burn wounds.
My meeting was with Simon Booth and Dr Brian Jones at Brighton University’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences. The nature of my visit was to assess a grant application towards research into antibiotic levels in burn wounds. The School specialises in education and research in the fields of pharmacy, biology, biomedical sciences, chemistry and ecology. Simon is a research fellow at the University, but also works as a burns expert at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, which is a specialist NHS hospital providing life-changing reconstructive surgery, burns care and rehabilitation services for people across the South of England. Simon is carrying out some world-first research into the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating burn wounds. This is incredibly important as up to 40% of burns become infected, which could be “over-treated” with antibiotics.
World Cancer Research Fund Visit on 23rd May 2017.
Paul Clare and I visited the World Cancer Research Fund’s [WCRF] research centre at the University of Manchester on 23rd May 2017, to assess a grant application towards research into the impact of BMI on cancer survival rates. Over the past 25 years, World Cancer Research Fund has invested more than £100 million into cancer prevention and survival research. Independent studies have shown that a third of the UK’s most common cancers could be prevented if everyone followed World Cancer Research Fund’s cancer prevention recommendations. That’s an extra 80,000 cancer-free lives every year.
The cornerstone of their research programme is the World Cancer Research Fund Continuous Update Project. It’s the world’s largest source of scientific research on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity.
The Manchester Cancer Research Centre was formed in 2006 by the University of Manchester, Cancer Research UK and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust and has since been expanded to include NHS Trusts across Greater Manchester. The partnership provides the integrated approach essential to turn research findings in the laboratory into better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.
Enable Ireland Disability Services Limited Visit on 30th May, 2017
Paul Clare and I visited Enable Ireland Disability Services on 30th May, 2017, to assess a grant application for a Hydrotherapy Pool Project.
Enable Ireland provides services to children and adults with disabilities and their families from 40 locations in 14 counties in Ireland. The Charity focuses on the person, not the disability. Enable Ireland believes that access, inclusion and equality are basic rights for all people and assert that society must recognise and accommodate individual needs.
The hydrotherapy pool at the Tralee Enable Children’s Centre is the only facility of its kind in Kerry; I have no doubt that funding for an extra 2 days would make a huge difference to disabled people in Tralee. Therefore, I strongly recommend that we award a large grant of €12,400 to Enable Ireland Disability Services.
Recovery Haven Kerry Visit on 30th May 2017
Recovery Haven Kerry Cancer Support House delivers caring and therapeutic services to those who have experienced cancer, their families and carers in a tranquil and relaxing environment and to the highest standard.
I met Kenneth Reynolds, Senior Fundraising and Administration Co-ordinator, Eileen Comerford, Chairman and Siobhan McSweeney, Charity Manager. Siobhan gave Paul and me a tour of the Cancer Support House and Gardens. She explained that since the Cancer Unit was closed in Tralee, patients had no option but to travel to Cork for treatments such as chemotherapy – a 4 hour round trip. Siobhan is a qualified oncology nurse who worked with Marian Barnes at the Tralee Hospital. Siobhan explained how vital the Cancer Support House is to its users as there is very little help for cancer patients and their families in the local area. I have only visited two charities of this type over the past six years - one in Aberdeen and one in south London. I was very impressed with both of these charities as I was with Recovery Haven Kerry. Clearly, the Charity had developed due a very specific local need. Siobhan explained that cancer treatment in Kerry is poor, especially aftercare. Patients do not want to travel to Cork for advice on very practical things such as wig fitting, so Recovery Haven Kerry had filled the gap in services. The grant application was for a cancer support nurse.