PRESS RELEASE

As you all know only too well fundraising in the traditional sense has been dealt a major blow due to Covid-19 with no church-gate etc. for the last 15 months.

To compensate to some extent for this, West Limerick Athletic Club very kindly ran a Community Run (Virtual) for the Friends and two other charities last July which raised close on €14,000 for our fund – but involved a huge input from ourselves. In addition Theresa Doyle McMahon ran an equally successful CD fundraiser – Le Cheile – for the Friends and Rathkeale Butterfly club – and from that we received just over €6,700.00. Also the Markham family, Rathkeale did a sponsored run (virtual) last August and raised €4,300 for the Friends (their mother Mai Markham is a resident in St. Ita’s).

But as you will also know, we have had very hefty outgoings over the last 18 months (amounting to close €150K) all of which have been documented in the Financial Statements which you will have received on a monthly basis. All very essential for the care/treatment, comfort and wellbeing of the residents and patients and would not otherwise be forthcoming but for the Friends. Very fortunately, and thanks to our reserve funds – we were able to rally to the call.

And so we now need to replenish “the Treasury” and to help some little towards that we are running a sponsored 5Km walk/run (Virtual) over the week 7th / 13h June 2021. This can be completed at a time and place of each participants’ choosing and is modelled on how it was done by West Limerick AC Club last year.

Sponsorship cards are being printed at the moment and will be available by mid-week to be collected from St. Ita’s or sent out whichever is most convenient.  We very much hope to get a good response from all members and would ask them to promote it in every-way you can. We have had a lot of very favourable publicity with the ‘good news’ story covering all the very positive things happening in St. Ita’s  in recent times – all of which were given great coverage in all our local papers (as I’m sure you will have seen) – and, indeed, very rightly so keeping the public informed as to how, where and on what their money is being spent. I have no doubt the people will respond generously – as they always do – and at the end of the day it is all very much for the benefit of the residents and patients from this community who find themselves resident in St. Ita’s.

Accordingly you might get back to me at your earliest convenience and let me know how many cards you need. In this regard you might encourage friends and family members to take part as we would hope to make the most of this opportunity. We will also be writing to the business sector for sponsorship. A Garda Permit covering the collection has been applied for.

Finally a very special word of thanks to our great friend Jonathan Harrington who put a huge amount of work into developing the Friends of St. Ita’s Website & Facebook Page which was launched last week. And also our very grateful thanks to Margaret (our Secretary) for her Trojan work in assisting Jonathan throughout. Also many thanks to Hayden Gilbert, Senior O.T. St. Ita’s and Carol Noonan, Ballyhahill who did the photography. A step which has brought the Friends into 21st Century Technology – and long overdue !

Best wishes.

Fergus

Fergus Scanlan on behalf of the Friends of St. Ita’s handing over a set of  high- tech high-spec  Rehab Equipment to Hayden Gilbert Senior O.T. of St. Ita’s Sunflower Rehab Unit   – purchased by the Friends at a cost of €63,500.00 for the Rehab Unit.Fergus Scanlan, Chairman, Friends of St. Ita’s; Hayden Gilbert, Senior Occupational Therapist, St. Ita’s Hospital; Helen Galvin, A/Dir. of Nursing, St. Ita’s Hospital St. Ita’s Hospital and Mary Walsh, Recreation co-ordinator, St. Ita’s Hospital : 

Friends fund the purchase of state-of-the-art technology Equipment for St. Ita’s
Rehab

Friends fund the purchase of state-of-the-art technology Equipment for St. Ita’s
Rehab Unit costing €63,500.00! Fergus Scanlan, Chairman , Friends of St. Ita’s is
delighted to announce this height-tech equipment was delivered to St. Ita’s Hospital this week which marks the dawning of a new, exciting and revolutionising era in the field of rehabilitation treatment here in St. Ita’s which, this ground-breaking technology brings with it – comprising of two systems – Tyromotion Pablo Rehab System & Tyromotion Myro Rehb System – described by St. Ita’s Rehab Staff as “ state-of-the-art interactive visuo/audio-motor technology devices which will be incorporated into daily therapy sessions as well as being used by patients to carry out individualised interventions on a 7 day basis. All of this assists to maximise patients rehab potential while minimising length of in-patient stay as it promotes 7 day week rehab without additional manpower costs” Rehab Staff also comment “This addition to our service will greatly enhance the profile of St. Ita’s Rehab Unit both locally and nationally as leaders in the use of novel interdisciplinary progressive technology and provision of 7 day week input”. Those Staff comments speak for themselves selves as to the unquestionable value of this investment by the Friends, particularly, considering the benefit of expediting the rehab process and so freeing up bed availability but most importantly, the sense of patient self-motivation and achievement being gained is invaluable – as mentioned in the “Staff comments” And to further compliment this very exciting development we understand, St. Ita’s has the proud distinction of being one of the first, if not the first hospital in the country to get this, much sought-after, technology. Still speaking of Rehab the Friends are delighted to report that St.Ita’s has been allocated ten extra rehab beds which are expected to come on stream in the very near future (possibly next month). At the moment recruitment of staff to run the extra beds is in progress and as well as this an additional Consultant is being appointed to manage the unit. All hugely positive and if that’s not enough of exciting news, we also understand that the upgrade of 16 long-
stay patient beds (which has been in the pipeline since 2015) is back on track with
work on this project due to commence very shortly. In addition it will included two
palliative in-patient beds – so very badly needed and long, long over-due. The Friends are also delighted to report that Broadband has now been fully installed in St. Ita’s with Wifi available to all residents and patients throughout the entire hospital and all done courtesy of the Friends at a cost of €15,000.00 which we were only too happy to do for a cause so worthy – which is of course, for our much loved residents and patients who have been through so very, very much due to Covid-19. But thank the good Lord we seem to have turned a corner with the future looking much brighter now with all residents, patients and staff fully vaccinated and visiting (all though still limited) has been resumed which is all really great. Also for Easter the Friends bought Easer Eggs for all of the 75 residents and patients and as well we got our regular musicians – Maura Nolan and Eamon Cronin (Fast Eddie) to record music sessions which were played back to them using the system the Friends have provided in St. Ita’s for that purpose. Emmet Scanlan also did a session for them and hopefully not before too long more they will have their regular live music back again – Le Cunamh De. While it is wonderful to be the harbinger of good news, unfortunately it is not so good in relation to fundraising which has suffered badly because of Covid and the restrictions it has imposed on all of us .Indeed, the only fundraiser we have had in recent months was Theresa Doyle McMahon “Le Cheile” CD Fundraiser which raised the very generous €6,600.00 for which we owe huge gratitude to Theresa and all involved with her in its production. And also of course our grateful thanks to all who supported this fundraiser so generously. As the Friends we have been lucky to have funds in reserve enabling us to fund some quite expensive projects and improvements over the last 18 months or so but happily and very deservedly, all for the benefit of the residents and patients in St. Ita’s. The following is just a brief summary of what we have been funding ; Specialised Rehab Equipment – €63,500; Broadband Installation €15,000; Refurb Rehab Unit €20,430; Refurb St. Ita’s Chapel €26,900; Refurb of some other patient Units €11,350; Purchase of various equipment for St. Ita’s €34,500; “Magic Tables” (3) (for patient entertainment) €26,000; All coming to a very hefty total of €197,680 but to emphasise again the Friends are absolutely delighted to do this and as already stated, all geared towards improving the standard and quality of care and comfort of the residents and patients which is of course, the
objective of our ongoing fundraising campaign. In this regard, I would also hasten to
add (as always) we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our many, many wonderful
supporters for their outstanding support and generosity over these last 18 years in
helping us achieve that objective. And so as we plough ahead in our endeavours to
maintain that momentum but to do so unfortunately, we must once again appeal to
your generosity for your kind help and support by way of a donation or may be some sort of fundraising activity on our behalf. Needless to say whatever you can do or whatever you can give will be greatly appreciated. And just to remember it is all for the residents and patients from this community who find themselves in the care of St. Ita’s. In relation to donations the Friends would like to take this opportunity to thank the very many kind supporters who have given, and continue to give personal donations – needless to say greatly appreciated!
We conclude by wishing all the residents and patients God’s blessing and good health and to reassure them we are always there for them to help out in any and every way we can. Likewise to Management and Staff we compliment them on the wonderful job they continue to do in keeping Covid-19 at bay while at the same time also continuing to provide the first class service for which they are renowned and in this regard the Friends assure them of our ongoing full support. Finally and as ever we say a huge ‘thank you’ to all our wonderful supporters and to acknowledge once more your enormous generosity which continues to be the lifeblood of our outstanding success to-date – for this we can never than you enough and that, we say with the utmost sincerity !
As ever we conclude with a ‘big thank you’ to the wonderful staff at the Weekly
Observer for your outstanding support over these last 18 years which, needless to say
is truly appreciated – Go raibh mhile maith agat ! Note Any Donations to be sent or
dropped into St. Ita’s Hospital and addressed to the Friends of St. Ita’s Hospital.

Friends of St. Ita’s June Sponsored Walk

Friends of St. Ita’s June Sponsored Walk (Virtual) raises a massive €28,320.00Friends of St. Ita’s are totally overwhelmed by the enormity of this outcome said Chairman Fergus Scanlan, who noted, this far, far exceeds our greatest expectations when we decided to run this fundraiser last May. Needless to say we are overjoyed with the result,Continue reading “Friends of St. Ita’s June Sponsored Walk”

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Fergus Scanlan on behalf of the Friends of St. Ita’s handing over a set of  high- tech high-spec  Rehab Equipment to Hayden Gilbert Senior O.T. of St. Ita’s Sunflower Rehab Unit   – purchased by the Friends at a cost of €63,500.00 for the Rehab Unit. Fergus Scanlan, Chairman, Friends of St. Ita’s; Hayden Gilbert, Senior Occupational Therapist, St. Ita’s Hospital; Helen Galvin, A/Dir. of Nursing, St. Ita’s Hospital St. Ita’s Hospital and Mary Walsh, Recreation co-ordinator, St. Ita’s Hospital