Young people from Foróige's Big Brother Big Sister programme and Mayo Comhairle Na nÓg collaborated to raise almost €2,400 for the purchase of reclining chairs at the children’s wards of Mayo University Hospital. The chairs are intended for use by parents who are required to stay overnight with their sick children.
The idea was conceived by a group of five young people involved in the Foróige Big Brother Big Sister programme, who wanted to make a meaningful difference in their local community. After several weeks of deliberation and consultation with hospital staff to identify areas of need, the group set about exploring possible ways of raising funds for the purchase of the chairs.
Mayo Comhairle Na nÓg, which is a representative body made up of young people throughout Mayo came on board to assist the group, and donated money raised through its annual Mental Health Colour Run around Lough Lannagh. In addition, a bucket collection in the town and fundraising activities at local secondary schools, St Gerald’s and Davitt College made up a significant part of the money raised.
Now that the project is completed, the young people involved hope that the bright red recliners will make a difference for hundreds of parents who will be staying overnight at the hospital in the years to come. Carmel O’Malley, nurse manager of the children’s ward said, “The chairs will be a valuable addition to the children’s ward here at Mayo University Hospital. Having a sick child in hospital is never easy, and it’s vitally important that parents have the opportunity to sleep and rest properly during their stay. We are very grateful to all the young people in the Foróige Big Brother Big Sister programme and Mayo Comhairle Na nÓg for their hard work and generosity.”