GALWAY Hospice will hold its ninth annual Galway Memorial Walk on Sunday September 14.
This year’s Memorial Walk will begin at 12 noon from Claddagh Hall to Blackrock and back - a total distance of 6.5km.
The Memorial Walk is Galway Hospice’s biggest fundraising event of the year and, since its inception in 2006, the event has raised more than €1.2 million to help maintain essential hospice services.
Those who take part in the Memorial Walk do so in memory of a deceased family member, friend, or work colleague, with many participants wearing the name of their loved ones on specially personalised T-shirts.
Those wishing to take part in this year’s Memorial Walk must register in advance. The closing date for participants requiring personalised T-shirts is Tuesday August 26.
“The Galway Memorial Walk has become a very special and unique annual event for the people of Galway city and county,” said Galway Hospice chief executive, Sean O’Healy.
“What people remark on most of all is how personal and uplifting the event is for them. It is truly a celebration of life, honouring deceased family members and friends in a uniquely personal yet public manner.”
The Memorial Walk allows participants to celebrate the lives of their loved ones, and simultaneously to help others in their final days.
Michael Craig, fundraising manager at Galway Hospice, said; “Proceeds from the Galway Memorial Walk go totally towards funding the Galway Hospice home care and day care services. Each year, Galway Hospice must raise in the region of €1.5 million to ensure the delivery of home care, day care, and bereavement support services. Without the continuing generosity of the people of Galway, these services would simply cease to exist.
“A major emphasis of hospice services is to support patients in their own home for as long as possible. Hospice staff made 5,458 ‘Hospice at Home’ visits in 2013, and there were 1,307 attendances at day care for a range of therapeutic treatments, as well as medical and nursing assessments. These services are funded entirely by the public, and are provided totally free of charge to those who need them.”
Galway Hospice has recently lodged a planning application with the Galway City Council for a proposed expansion of its facility in Renmore.
The project will involve the construction of an additional six inpatient beds with enhanced counselling and therapy areas, as well as providing overnight self-contained accommodation for families. The project also includes a significant increase in home care and day care services, to meet the increasing demand for these services. Longerterm, the complete relocation of hospice services to a new 26-bed facility on a greenfield site is planned.