There are many organisations in Ireland who provide support, advice and services to families affected by childhood cancer. We have listed some of these organisations below.
Aoibheann’s Pink Tie
Aoibheann’s Pink Tie was set up in 2010 to provide practical, emotional and financial support to families who need it. Some of the services offered include emergency financial support, respite days for families, hickman drysuits for swimming and showering, overnight bags, twice yearly parties, chemo duck, murals for a wall in a child’s bedroom, princess dresses for girls and hero costumes for boys, Christmas hampers, Freddie vests and birthday presents.
Unit 3 above Eurospar, The Green Shopping Centre, Main St. Dunboyne, Co. Meath.
Anam Cara is an all Island organisation that offers support services for bereaved parents and their families after the death of a child. Anam Cara supports all bereaved parents regardless of the age of the child or circumstances of their death, or whether this was recent or not.
Our services include Parent Evenings where bereaved parents can connect in a safe and comfortable setting, Bereavement Information Evenings (with guest speakers), Remembrance/Celebration of Life Events and Family Events. We have a website with access to Private Message Forums and videos with parent testimonies.
Our Information Pack contains eight booklets on different aspects of parental grief such as A Dad’s Grief, A Mother’s Grief, Supporting My Family and Coping with Sudden Death. The pack can be ordered free of charge by contacting Anam Cara.
For more information:
Address: HCL House, Second Avenue, Cookstown Industrial Estate, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Phone: +353 1 4045 378 Phone NI: +44 28 9521 3120
ARC Cancer Support Centre
ARC Cancer Support Centres are an Irish charity dedicated to supporting people diagnosed with cancer, their family members, (including parents of diagnosed children), friends and carers. They offer counselling services and a number of complimentary therapies as well as survivorship programmes. They offer talks throughout the year and organise peer support groups.
The services are confidential, professional and caring, and are provided free of charge in a welcoming environment. They have three centres, 65 Eccles Street, Dublin 7 (facing Mater Hospital car park); 559 South Circular Road, Dublin 8 (close to St James Hospital); and Lowell House, 23 Herbert Avenue, Dublin 4 (close to Vincent’s Hospital)
Barretstown was founded by Hollywood actor Paul Newman in 1994 after the success of his Hole In The Wall Camps in the USA. Barretstown offers free, specially designed camps and programmes for children and their families living with a serious illness – supported behind the scenes by 24 hour on site medical and nursing care. Our camps and programmes have a profound effect and lasting impact on our campers and their families. After participating, children go home with increased confidence, self-esteem and more importantly the reassurance that happiness is not just for healthy children. Barretstown has grown from serving 124 children in a marquee in 1994 to over 30,000 children and their families from across Europe. The site has grown to offer a first-class facility for children with serious illness with an excellent medical centre and a unique therapeutic programme backed by the medical community.
For more information on Barretstown:
The Bubblegum Club
The Bubblegum Club is an Irish registered not for profit organisation whose mission is to provide extraordinary outings for extraordinary children, many of whom suffer from life threatening illness, long term debilitating illness or are disadvantaged in some other way.
Over the last 20 years they have developed great experience and supportive contacts which enables The Bubblegum Club to put on a fantastic show quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.
BUMBLEance is the most modern children’s ambulance service on the planet and it is the world’s first interactive ambulance purposefully designed for children. It provides a FREE national service for critically and seriously ill children, who require transportation between their home and children’s hospitals, hospices, national treatment centres and respite centres. Bookings can be made by parents or through nurses, social workers and other healthcare professionals in direct contact with the family of a sick child. The top of the range onboard entertainment, which includes a PlayStation, Sensory Lighting, Netflix, iPad Air, Beats Headphones, Apple TV and Apple Music, is a distraction and removes many of the child's anxieties.
The charity provides specialised Angel Trips; these are designed to give support and comfort to the family of terminally ill child who is making their final journey on earth.
BUMBLEance is part of The Saoirse Foundation which was founded by Mary and Tony Heffernan in 2010 after their young daughter, Saoirse, was diagnosed with the rare and always fatal neurological condition Batten Disease. Little Saoirse passed away in January 2011 when she was only 5 years old. Tragically the Heffernan’s son Liam was also diagnosed with Batten Disease. He grew his angel wings also at the tender age of five in 2014.
At BUMBLEance, we know how stressful it is to transport a sick child and we are with families every step of the way, with the comfort and safety of Ireland’s youngest patients as our number one priority. There have been over 11000 trips nationwide since BUMBLEance’s inception and there are hundreds of families availing of the charity’s services. As part of the fleet, the Heffernan’s have also created both the Children’s Chemo Cab bringing children to and from Cancer Treatments, and BUMBLEair, a free air transport service for sick children.
The Saoirse Foundation, 2 James St, Tralee, Kerry. V92 T6PH
General enquiries: 083 00 44 444
Bookings: 086 1451470
Cancer Care West Support Centre
The Support centre has been in operation since May 2009.
The really unique aspect of their service is that traditionally, psychological and support services were seen as being mainly required at the time of diagnosis of cancer however Cancer Care West recognise that many people require practical and emotional support for up to two to four years after cancer treatment.
The centre offers counselling and play therapy to families dealing with childhood cancer.
Cancer Care West Support Centre, 72 Seamus Quirke Road, Galway.
Tel: 091-540 040
CanCare4Living is a registered charity and dedicated advocacy group for survivors of childhood and adolescent cancers and their families. Our objective is to ensure that these adult survivors can access appropriate, structured and comprehensive long term follow up care and support in Ireland to assist them to achieve healthy and fulfilled adult lives. We engage with Irish and Pan European support and research organisations concerned with Long term follow up care and meet in advisory group sessions to plan the preferred model of care to be rolled out in Ireland.
For more information on CanCare4Living.
CanTeen Ireland is a registered charity and the nationwide support group for young people between the ages of 12 and 25 years who have or have had cancer. We were founded by a group of dedicated health professionals in May 1990 and have since grown from strength to strength. Our aims are to support, empower and develop young people who have, or have had cancer. CanTeen Ireland provides an opportunity for young people who have been affected with cancer to meet up in a relaxed and informal setting and to attend fun activity weekends away together as a group. Membership is free to our 260 members.
It is a testament to the success of the group that many of our members are now volunteer leaders, including our current Chairperson.
For more information on CanTeen.
Cancer Fund for Children
Cancer Fund for Children understands the devastating impact a cancer diagnosis and treatment can have on the whole family. The charity offers families, from across the Island of Ireland, whose child has been diagnosed with cancer (aged 0-24), a free therapeutic short break at Daisy Lodge, it’s state-of-the-art facility in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains in Co. Down.
A therapeutic short break gives families living with a cancer diagnosis the chance to relax and spend quality time together away from the pressures of gruelling cancer treatment and hospital visits. Families find strength from a therapeutic short break with Cancer Fund for Children. It is not a ‘holiday’ in the traditional sense but an opportunity for families to relax, spend precious time together during or after a cancer treatment and get away from the busy round of medical appointments, the isolation of hospital wards and invasive treatments. Specialist therapeutic support and a range of complementary therapies are available.
Families describe the charity’s facilities as ‘a life line’, a ‘god send’, ‘a place where they can feel normal’, ‘make friends,’ ‘belong to a community’, ‘where they can better understand what they are going through’ and ‘a safe place where they can unblock difficult feelings in a secure environment’.
Families can also benefit from a free self-catering break at Cancer Fund for Children’s cottages which are situated in a tranquil development along the banks of the River Bann near Coleraine, Co. Londonderry.
Wherever the family lives in Ireland, travel costs to Cancer Fund for Children’s Therapeutic Short Break Facility and Self-catering Cottages are met through the Travel for Short Breaks Grant.
Families can be referred for a Cancer Fund for Children short break through the Social Work Team at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, Dublin.
For more information visit www.cancerfundforchildren.com/shortbreaks/ or call us on 0044 28 9080 5599.
Children In Hospital Ireland
Children In Hospital Ireland (CHI) is a National non profit organisation committed to promoting and ensuring the welfare of all children in hospital and their families.
CHI uses its expertise to deliver unique daily and weekly play sessions that support children parents and staff in 13 hospital wards and playrooms nationwide. CHI supports parents before, during and after a child's hospital stay.
CHI Volunteers are on hand in 13 hospitals to entertain children and to allow parents to take time for a coffee, a shower or a short nap. CHI has published a series of information leaflets, booklets and comprehensive reports to help support and inform parents, health professionals and policy makers about the rights and needs of sick children.
CHI has been involved in the planning and development of services in children's hospitals for four decades. The organisation provides a voice for all hospitalised children and their parents and participates in and contributes to a wide range of local consultative and national forums. The Charity aims to make hospital a happier place for children through play and advocacy.
Suite 211 3-4 Burton Hall Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18
Children’s Leukaemia Association
Started in the 1970’s as a result of an awareness of the lack of services in the Cork region the association provides the following:
Free home from home accommodation in an apartment purchased (through fundraising) and maintained by the Charity for families who have travelled long distances while their child is being treated in the Children’s Leukaemia Unit.
Funds additional nursing staff at critical periods during the child’s illness.
Provides financial support when problems or acute needs are experienced during the course of treatment for leukaemia, cancer or other serious blood disorders.
Provides essential medical equipment.
Funds necessary counselling for the child and other family members and any other therapy services required.
Organises and funds a trip to Lourdes for the child and parent after treatment.
Organises special outing for children and their families including a Christmas Party, Parents Night Out and a Family Day Trip.
Funds Leukaemia Research focusing on quality of life for the child and family.
Funds educational support for staff who work in the Children’s Leukaemia Unit.
arranges regular Parent Support Evenings with guest speakers specialising in areas affecting the family.
The charity is currently fundraising for the new Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Unit at the proposed new Children’s Hospital in Cork University Hospital.
9 Dyke Parade, Mardyke, Cork.
Tel: 021- 494 9801
Cliona’s Foundation is a charitable organisation founded in 2007 and provides financial assistance to families of children with a life limiting illness to help them with the multiple non-medical costs of caring for their child. These costs can range from accommodation, transport, food, car parking fees, childcare cost and cost of specialist home care equipment.
Cliona’s Foundation is the only Charity providing this type of assistance across all life limiting conditions from birth up to the age of 16 years of age and supports families all over the country.
What Cliona’s Foundation does is ease the family’s struggle in a small but very important way and gives them the breathing space to cope.
Roselawn House, University Business Campus, National Technology Park, Limerick.
The Cuisle Cancer Support Centre
The Cuisle Centre in Portlaoise was founded in 2004. It is a registered charity offering professional support to people diagnosed with cancer and to their families. The Cuisle Centre has both a structured and an informal approach to each person’s care. People are encouraged to use the centre on an informal basis where they are able to meet professionally trained people in a relaxed, calm and homely atmosphere.
Professional counselling services and a range of complementary therapies are provided to parents of children with cancer and other family members are available by appointment basis. These therapies include massage, reflexology, Indian Head and Reiki Therapy.
There are also workshops available for children and adolescents dealing with a cancer diagnosis.
Cuisle Centre, Block Road, Portlaoise, Co. Laois, Ireland
Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre
The Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre is situated in Georges Street, Drogheda, Co. Louth. The Centre does not provide services to children with cancer but all services at the centre are available to people over 18, parents and guardians of children with cancer and their adult siblings. The centre offers holistic and complementary therapies, education and psychological support. The centre is open to people on the island of Ireland. All therapies and supports are free of charge.
The centre is committed to providing a safe and holistic sanctuary of reflection, retreat and recovery. The centre is a non-referral service and an appointment is not necessary.
Georges Street, Drogheda, Co. Louth
The Gavin Glynn Foundation
The Gavin Glynn Foundation was founded in 2015 by John & Jayne Glynn in memory of their son Gavin who passed away from Rhabdomyosarcoma. John says “We know first-hand what it is like to have to travel to other countries with your child to receive treatment. We want to take this financial burden and stress away from the families so they can focus all their time on their child and family”.
The Gavin Glynn Foundation’s mission is to be able to assist families with:
· Transportation costs (Flights, Car Hire etc.).
· Transportation to and from the designated Airports.
· Accommodation within, or close to, the designated medical centre.
· Food and living expenses for the duration of the child’s treatment while abroad.
· Travel pack to include toys for the child and siblings travelling.
For more information contact:-
Address: The Gavin Glynn Foundation, 69 Woodstock, Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow
Greystones Cancer Support
Greystones Cancer Support offers guidance, encouragement and practical help to cancer patients, their families and their friends. The Centre offers counselling and complementary therapies to its clients which are of great support to them.
Services For Children: Transport to and from hospital. Respite help. Social outings. Counselling for teens and upwards. Assistance with home needs.
Services For Parents: One to one counselling. Complementary therapies. Specialised sessions for art, yoga and craft. Assistance with transport to and from hospital. Professionally facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics. Social outings. Use of extensive library. One to one contact with cancer support helper.
Greystones Cancer Support,
La Touche Place, Greystones, Co. Wicklow
Hand in Hand National Children's Cancer Charity
Hand in Hand is a non-profit organisation which provides the families of children with cancer with much-needed practical support.
The Charity supports families who are affected by childhood cancer by giving them access to professional service providers.
By availing of the services, families find they have more precious time to spend with their children rather than trying to keep on top of household chores.
The Charity is unique in that it is the only organisation that offers this type of practical support to children and their families throughout their cancer treatment.
They engage professional services suppliers to provide the following support to all families before, during and after their child’s cancer treatment:
support with child care
domestic cleaning services
Families who contact Hand in Hand are individually assessed so that they can tailor the services available to their needs. The services are driven by user needs identified through feedback from affected families, and they aim to continually adapt to families’ needs.
Hand in Hand Ltd,
Main Street, Oranmore, Co. Galway
Out of Hours: 087 6600103
Mobile: 087 6600103
Julie Wren Children's Cancer Support Centre
The Centre funds the Julie Wren Complementary Therapy room on St John's Ward, Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin. The therapy room is the only one of its kind in Ireland. The main aim is to ease some of the pain, anxiety, stress, nausea and suffering of children with cancer and their parents.
A skilled Complementary therapist, who is also a specialist paediatric oncology children’s nurse and who has years of experience in treating children with cancer provides the service. Parents can also avail of these therapies for much needed time to themselves, if there are spaces available.
The Trust also funds vital palliative care for children at home and supports Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin’s Annual Remembrance Day.
The Julie Wren Children's Cancer Support Centre,
Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin
Tel: 087 9687469/ 01 4096300
Cancer Support Sanctuary LARCC
Cancer Support Sanctuary LARCC offers psychological and emotional support to people living with cancer, providing a homely environment where patients and family members can engage in a selection of services including one to one counselling and complementary therapies. Clients can participate in group therapy classes and courses, obtain information on a range of issues and concerns and experience the camaraderie of fellow clients attending the centre.
Professional counselling services and a range of complementary therapies are provided to children with cancer and other family members are available by appointment . These therapies include massage, reflexology, Indian Head and Reiki Therapy.
They also have well-being courses: Pilates, Yoga, Meditation and weekend workshop on gardening, colour me beautiful and nutrition advice.
The centre offers play therapy and art therapy to children with cancer and their siblings.
Coole Road, Multyfarnham Co. Westmeath.
Tel: 044 9371971
Laura Lynn-Ireland's Children's Hospice
Laura Lynn provides palliative care and support for children (0-18 years) with life-limiting conditions and their families, from the point of diagnosis to end of life, and throughout bereavement.
Working in partnership with the child’s primary care team, our specialised supports can be delivered in our hospice, at hospital, in the community, or in the family home, depending on the child and family’s preference. All care is provided free to families.
Laura Lynn’s holistic approach ensures we support the whole family, allowing parents to have time to be Mum and Dad rather than full-time carers. Each child/family has a unique care plan which outlines the particular services/supports that are most pertinent to them.
The range of family supports we offer includes: Symptom Management; Planned short hospice stays (respite); Unplanned hospice stays (emergency care); End of Life Care; Music & Play Therapy; Psychological & Bereavement support; Therapeutic Family Work; Social Worker and Chaplaincy.
For further information:
Little Blue Heroes Foundation
Little Blue Heroes is an established not-for-profit charitable foundation, voluntarily operated by Garda staff. Little Blue Heroes aims to support local Gardaí in providing financial assistance to families in need, who they have recognized, in their local communities where they work, that have children undergoing long-term medical treatment for critical illness. In addition, the foundation aims to provide Garda themed distraction toys, activity books, and children’s events (e.g. Garda for a Day or Special Garda Open Days) for the children they support.
The Little Blue Heroes Foundation focuses completely on providing practical help for families who have exhausted all other avenues of assistance.
For further information:
Make a Wish
Make-A-Wish Ireland grants wishes to children age 3-17 living with a life-threatening illness. Your child may be at the start, in the middle or nearing the end of their treatment, and what better way to reward their bravery than applying for a wish on their behalf? A wish can help them forget about the injections, treatment and hospital visits and give them a chance to be a child again. If you would like to apply for a wish, please click here to download an application form or call their Wishgranting Department on 01 2052011.
Make-A-Wish ® Foundation
2 Leopardstown Business Center, Ballyogan Avenue, Leopardstown, Dublin 18, Ireland
Tel: 01 2052007
Purple House formerly known as Bray Cancer Support Group has been in existence for 26 years and provides a wide range of services free of charge to families affected by cancer in Ireland.
The centre also provides a range of support services for children and young adults affected by cancer, including art therapy, individual counselling, social outings and arts & crafts classes.
Their counsellors are specifically trained to deal with the issues that affect children and cancer.
Purple House offers the CLIMB Children’s Programme:
CLIMB is a programme for children aged 5-12 who are experiencing the impact of a parents cancer diagnosis.
The centre provides support services for teenagers who are dealing with Cancer or who have a family member or friend affected by Cancer.
A service for young adults 18-35 is also provided.
Aubrey Court, Parnell Road, Bray, Co. Wicklow
Ronald McDonald House
The Present and Future
The first Irish Ronald McDonald House was opened in 2004 on the grounds of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital.
The Ronald McDonald House provides long term accommodation, care and support for families from all over Ireland whilst their children are seriously ill in Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
Since the House opened in 2004 it has been a home to over 3,000 families from all over Ireland. The House has 16 ensuite family bedrooms, 3 kitchens, a dining room, a TV room, a toddlers’ room and a utility room. There is an outdoor play area for children and a small garden. There is also a 4 bedroom house situated directly across from the main house at 45 St. Mary’s Drive, Crumlin which provides an additional 4 family bedrooms.
The charity plans to open a 53 bedroom Ronald McDonald House alongside the new National Children’s Hospital when it opens in 2021.
What We Do
The Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation, care and support for 20 families every night while their seriously ill child is an inpatient or receiving care in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin
The House enables families to stay together so that they can be with their sick child at what is a very traumatic time for them all.
Many families travel far from home to get treatment for their seriously ill or injured children. Often, it can be a long time to be away from home and divide a family. For children facing a serious medical crisis, nothing seems scarier than not having their mum and dad close by for love and support. The Ronald McDonald House program provides a Home for families so they can stay close by their hospitalised child at very little cost. The House works on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on healing their child – not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest.
Ronald Mc Donald House, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12.
Tel: 01-456 0435
Sligo Cancer Support Centre
The centre is a place of peace and hope where people with cancer and their families can access support, counselling, holistic therapies and healing workshops in a caring and tranquil environment.
The centre offers play therapy, music therapy, and art therapy to children with cancer onsite at the centre. Professional counselling services and a range of complementary therapies are provided to parents of children with cancer and other family members. These therapies include meditation and relaxation classes. aromatherapy treatment, yoga and other treatments.
44 Wine Street, Sligo.
Share A Dream
The Share a Dream Foundation move heaven and earth to make a dream come true for a child who is terminally ill. Every effort is made to include the immediate family in the child’s dream.
Every year Share A Dream receives requests from hundreds of sick and disabled children from all over Ireland to go on a special holiday, a concert, an outing and enjoy a little quality time away from hospitals and painful treatments. Share a Dream organises a family break for hundreds of special children. The breaks are an opportunity to create a magical environment where these children don’t feel different, make lots of new friends and can take part in events they once thought were impossible.
Each year the Share a Dream Foundation honours eight special children by hosting the National Children of Courage Awards at its Annual Dream Ball. These children who have shown extraordinary courage and unbelievable determination to live life to the very best of their ability despite their serious illness or disability are chosen from hundreds of nominations received from around the country.
The Foundation operates The Dream Machine bus which travels to children's homes all around the country bringing dreams to their doorsteps with on board aqua bubble lamps, fibre optics, Xbox, V-tech video games, V-tech story books, a green screen, books, games, an interactive fish tank and VAIO touch screen computer.
The Foundation recently opened Dreamland, a fully accessible and all inclusive play centre where no child sick or disabled will feel different and where children will have fun with their siblings and friends.
Share A Dream Foundation,
Unit 8F, National Technological Pk, Plassey, Limerick
Tel: 061 200 080
Tel: 061 200 083
Tuam Cancer Care Centre
Tuam Cancer Care is a voluntary organisation that offers psychological, emotional and practical support to people with a cancer diagnosis and their families.
It is hoped that the support provided will help the person with a cancer diagnosis to regain control of their lives and enhance their personal coping skills, during a difficult period of their lives. As cancer is very much a family affair, family members are also supported at this difficult time.
Professional counselling services and a range of complementary therapies are provided to parents of children with cancer and other family members. These are available by appointment. Therapies include massage, reflexology, Indian Head and Reiki Therapy.
The centre also runs well-being courses: Pilates, Yoga, Meditation and weekend workshop on gardening, colour me beautiful and nutrition advice.
The centre offers play therapy and art therapy to children with cancer and their siblings.
Cricket Court, Dunmore Road, Tuam, Co.Galway
Roscommon Cancer Support Centre
Roscommon Cancer Support set up in 2013 endeavours to provides support that will enhance recovery from cancer for parents and family members of children with a cancer diagnosis.
Professional counselling services and a range of complementary therapies are provided to parents of children with cancer and other family members by appointment. These therapies include massage, reflexology, Indian Head and Reiki Therapy.
The centre also holds well-being courses: Pilates, Yoga, Meditation and weekend workshop on gardening, colour me beautiful and nutrition advice.
Vita House, Abbey St. Roscommon
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