Impact Awards

Charity Impact Awards Night

This award celebrates the work of community and voluntary and charitable organisations, clubs or groups that have brought about positive change.

Meet the 2019 Charity Impact Winners

Charity Reg no.: 20107703

Video entry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rBLwOz7je4&feature=emb_title

 

1. Tell us about the issue(s) this organisation is tackling and why it's important

Shannon’s Hopeline was set up in memory of my daughter who died by suicide in 2012. Shannon was just 13 years old. Her Suicide was a complete shock to us as a family and the whole community, she never mentioned suicide and signs of suicide went unnoticed by all who knew her.Several months after Shannon’s suicide with a mindful of unanswered questions I began to research. In 2012 the suicide rate among teenage girls was higher in Ireland than any EU state, while the rate among young males was the second highest as reported by the Irish Examiner. As I carried on my research I noted the lack of services and lengthy waiting lists, in some cases a year. I knew in my heart something had to be done to help the young people and with the help of my sister Lisa, Shannon’s Hopeline was born.

2. How does your organisation go about tackling these issues?

Our aim at Shannon’s Hopeline is to educate & support young people on the importance of looking after their mental health. Aiming to prevent suicide by creating in those a sense of strength, hope and confidence. We support by providing a low-cost counselling service with concerns such as bullying, depression, suicidal thoughts, sexuality, isolation & many more. Support groups for parents who are dealing with their children at home suffering from anxiety & depression. We educate through our workshop “Be kind to your Mind” which gives tips on improving mental health, by visiting schools and youth clubs. At the end of counselling and workshops we provide our “Gift of Hope.” In this gift there are items and advice to help the children & young people on their journey to a positive mental health.

3. Everyone loves a good story. Tell us about a case where the organisation has made a positive difference.

One day Jasmine, a client of ours wrote a post on Instagram which I thought was a bit worrying. I reached out to her immediately, I left my number & asked her to call me. We talked that evening for sometime on the phone. I arranged counselling for her & within a week Jasmine used our counselling services, she was truly grateful as she had been waiting over a year to talk to a counsellor. Jasmine comments on how Shannon’s Hopeline saved her life that day, she told me if I hadn’t reached out to her that day she doesn’t think she would be here to tell the tale. While one of our workshops was taking place, I sat with the Mothers to explain to them what we were teaching their children. One mother told me how nervous her 10 year old boy was coming to the workshop. He complained of pains & felt ill. This was a sign of anxiety. After some encouragement he joined the group, his Mother said how she was afraid he wouldn’t go back after lunch. When the young boy appeared for his break he had a great big smile. After his lunch we were delighted to see how eager he was to get back, he was the first one knocking on the door. His Mother also rang that evening to say how happy her son was, how he enjoyed the workshop & his “Gift of Hope.” Testimonial Thanks so much to all involved! Aaron really enjoyed himself & it’s such an important message. Such positive ideas & you have introduced the lads to tools that will help them through their whole life or possibly help them help others.

4. What has the overall impact of this work been?

Since April of 2018 when we began our counselling services we have seen 51 children and young people. We know it has been successful through our follow up calls. Parents are grateful for the fact that we see their children within a week and also like how comfortable they feel chatting with us about their child’s mental health because of our life experience. Our workshops too have had a big impact, we have been to 7 different localities including schools, a football club and the Hope Centre educating the youth on how to take better care of their mental health. Helping at least 160 students. We know this too has been successful through reviews, feedback and being asked to come back to educate more students. Parents have also been helped because happier children makes for happy parents.

5. What makes your organisation special?

Before counselling begins we like to bring the parent in for a chat & a cuppa, after all they too need the support, the parents like this as they feel they have gotten a lot off their mind. When clients are finished counselling with us it doesn’t end there. After a month or so we ring to check on how the client & parents are doing. So far there are no complaints, everyone seems to be doing well. We let them know our doors are always open for a chat. What’s special about Shannon’s Hopeline is it’s homeliness & we always intend to keep it that way. People like the fact too that Shannon’s Hopeline was built from love, which makes them believe we really do care. What is also different is our “Gifts of Hope” which everyone goes away with when they have finished either a workshop or counselling.

6. How can the public support your work?

The public could help us by sharing our story and getting Shannon’s Hopeline out there so we can support more children and parents. We have no government back up and heavily rely on the generosity of the public to keep Shannon’s Hopeline running. We have been very fortunate to live in The liberties where the people have been so good to us, fundraising through events, but we cannot rely on them forever. If anyone else out there would like to fundraise for us it would be greatly appreciated. Without the support of the good people Shannon’s Hopeline could not exist and for that we are truly grateful. We would also welcome any advice on how we can keep Shannon’s Hopeline funded. You can find out more about our story through our website http://www.shannonshopeline or like our Facebook page. Thank you!

7. Describe how your organisation is transparent and accountable

Shannon’s Hopeline publish the annual accounts on our website http://www.shannonshopeline.ie. We are a registered charity No.20107703 CHY: 21066. Currently we are on a journey to be compliant with the charities regulator governance code, we will be compliant in 2020. A governance sub-committee has been formed comprising of nine Board members. At each board meeting, which is one per month, we make sure the governance is approved by the board. Regarding the fundraising we have put together a fundraising policy which outlines our fundraising principles, we ensure that anyone within the organisation who is arranging fundraising receives a copy of this.

Charity Reg no.: RCN 20022983 CHY 9172

Video entry: https://player.vimeo.com/video/363283669

1. Tell us about the issue(s) this organisation is tackling and why it's important

Anew Support Services was established in 1981 to provide women with unplanned pregnancies with an alternative option to mother and baby homes. We provide services relating to housing, parenting and maternal wellbeing. Over the past 40 years Ireland has changed a lot, but issues impacting women who experience unplanned pregnancy remain complex. Many of the women we work with are homeless as a direct result of their pregnancy: they have to leave the family home, or can't bring a baby into a houseshare, they lose employment-related accommodation, or have to leave their homes due to domestic violence, or relationship breakdown. Our aim is to reduce homelessness for pregnant women and new mothers and achieve great post natal and early childhood outcomes for both mother and child.

2. How does your organisation go about tackling these issues?

We take a client-centred approach, working with each woman to assess her unique needs and develop a plan to support her throughout her pregnancy and post birth. We operate a small accommodation service for pregnant women experiencing homelessness, while working to secure long term housing for the women. Our family support worker also visits women in their long-term home to ensure they are linked into community services in the area for ongoing support. Parenting and early baby skills programmes are provided as the women often have no support network to help them with a newborn baby. Women attend group work to meet and receive support from others who have had similar experiences. We encourage and provide counselling for the women for as long as needed to work through their trauma.

3. Everyone loves a good story. Tell us about a case where the organisation has made a positive difference.

“I can’t thank you enough for everything you've done for me and R. You were a great support for us and I'll never forget it. R had the best start in life all because of you all and the house and I will make sure she knows all about it when she’s older. Thank you so much for all the help with the baby and even before she was born. You helped me through the hardest time of my life and I really appreciate it. I’ve learnt so much about myself and being a mother from being in the house. I am forever grateful.” Jenny left her father’s home while working because their relationship broke down. She wanted to find a place of her own in a house share, but after weeks of trying, she had no choice but to present as homeless. On her first few nights in the hostel, she was so afraid that she hid all her belongings under the covers with her. She then sought protection from a man also living in the hostel, but the relationship was fraught and she ended it. However, a few weeks later, she found out she was pregnant and knew she needed a safe place to stay for her and her baby. That's when she found out about Anew and Cherry Blossom Cottage. Jenny quickly settled into the house and began to trust the staff and other residents. She started to focus on her health and her pregnancy, and the future of her and her baby while staff helped prepare her for motherhood. Jenny has now found her forever home, attends group work with other mothers and receives visiting support from our family support worker.

4. What has the overall impact of this work been?

We use the Parent and Baby Outcome Star to measure outcomes in mental and physical health, relationships, including bonding with baby and support network, housing, and essentials. In 2019 there has been an average improvement of 25% in all areas measured. We also measure Key Performance Indicators relating to the number of long term tenancies secured. 2019 has seen 90% of women using our services secure a tenancy along with a tenancy sustainment rate of 100%. In 2020, we hope to introduce the tenancy star and the early parenting (3 years) star. We are also currently in discussions with a research team to develop an approach to measure the outcomes for the children of the women with whom we work. We hope that this will further demonstrate the effect and long term impact of our work.

5. What makes your organisation special?

Anew Support Services is the only service in Ireland providing a range of supports specifically to pregnant women and new mothers experiencing homelessness. The women we work with become homeless as a direct result of their pregnancy, are already homeless and become pregnant, and also are women in Direct Provision who are pregnant. We recognise that coming to terms with the reality of having a newborn without the supports typically found at home is hugely challenging. Things like trying to have a shower or eat with a baby a few days old, with no one to hold or watch over baby in services where no visitors are allowed can result in great stress to a new mother. We are unique because we measure typical homeless service and typical pre-and post-natal outcomes and combine them into one.

6. How can the public support your work?

We need the public to share the stories of the women with whom we work to raise awareness about the fact that women in Ireland are still becoming homeless as a direct result of their pregnancy. We do not have the resources to put into fundraising or marketing campaigns, so public awareness is crucial. Our counselling service in Cork and Dublin, and our parenting support programme in Cork (for women in Direct Provision) are facing closure in 2020 due to a lack of statutory funding, despite increased demand. This is, in part, due to a lack of understanding about the issues affecting the women who avail of Anew Support Services. We need a corporate sponsor or private funder and one sponsor could change the lives of thousands of pregnant women and new mothers experiencing homelessness.

7. Describe how your organisation is transparent and accountable

Accountability is one of Anew’s core values and we strive to be accountable at all times as to how for how we use our funding, and our annual accounts are available on our website. Anew is compliant with the Charities Regulator governance code, statutory funding is subject to Service Level Agreements, and finance reports are provided under the terms of those contracts. The Accommodation Service works in compliance with the Pathways to Home model of service delivery and the National Standards Framework for Homeless Services. All elements of service provision have strong policies and procedures in place with a particular emphasis on Health and Safety as a result of the particularly vulnerable target group. Anew is governed by a Board of Directors, profiles can be viewed on our website.

Charity Reg no.: 20027193

Video entry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpmNrn0st3E&feature=emb_title

1. Tell us about the issue(s) this organisation is tackling and why it's important

1989 to provide specialist palliative care for the people of North Dublin City and County. Prior to that, there was no hospice service located north of the River Liffey. Specialist palliative care brings comfort, dignity and holistic person-centred care to people who are faced with a life limiting illness. A challenge for St Francis Hospice has been to expand our services to respond to the needs of people with all life limiting illnesses. Today, about one in four of our patients has a diagnosis other than cancer, e.g. motor neurone disease, COPD, congestive heart failure, and others. The provision of specialist palliative care for these patient populations is invaluable to their quality of life, pain / symptom management, and family support.

2. How does your organisation go about tackling these issues?

Patients and families have different needs which can change over time, so we offer: Community palliative care Outpatient services Hospice day care Inpatient care Bereavement support We practice interdisciplinary teamwork to provide holistic care across the different areas of our service. Each individual and each professional role contributes to the overall care of each patient and family accessing our services. We collaborate with external agencies such as the HSE (for funding), as well as healthcare professionals working in hospitals, nursing homes, community services, and GP surgeries throughout our catchment area. This ensures the best possible person-centred care for our patients and their families.

3. Everyone loves a good story. Tell us about a case where the organisation has made a positive difference.

Paul is 61 years old, and until recently worked as a truck driver. Along with his wife and family, he was active and enjoyed life to the full. Last year he was diagnosed with Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), which causes the hardening of lung tissue. The only cure is a lung transplant, however due to a separate cancer diagnosis, Paul is not eligible for this surgery. He was referred to St Francis Hospice to help manage his condition and improve his quality of life. When Paul attended physiotherapy at the hospice, he reported having a low mood. He hadn’t left the house in a month and was fearful of doing physical activity as he quickly became short of breath. His leg muscles were weakening and his fatigue levels increasing as a result of inactivity. Paul enrolled in the physiotherapy team’s Exhale programme, an exercise and education programme for people with advanced lung disease. Paul attended a 10 week exercise class in St. Francis Hospice where he got to know other people living with the same illness. He enjoyed chatting with the other patients and comparing notes on their progress. Paul has improved his strength and functional ability through the programme while learning ways to control his breathing. Having been fearful of leaving his house a year ago, Paul is delighted to be up and about, living the best quality of life possible. He attended the Communion of two of his grandchildren, something he hadn’t thought possible before attending St Francis Hospice.

4. What has the overall impact of this work been?

In its 30 years of service, St Francis Hospice has directly impacted the lives of approximately 170,000 people. In 2018 we cared for 1713 individuals and their family members and friends. Through our education programmes and clinical presence in hospitals/nursing homes, we influence the care of patients in those settings. Our impact is perhaps best measured by feedback such as this: When a person whom you love very much is sick and perhaps at their most vulnerable it can be very difficult to entrust them to “strangers”. There are no strangers in St Francis Hospice – only caring, attentive, loving professionals. We cannot begin to express our gratitude for the loving, respectful, tender care each and every member of the team here bestowed not only on our brother, but on us, his family.

5. What makes your organisation special?

People often comment that there is “just something in the air” when they enter our hospices. We believe that what they are sensing is the ethos, culture and spirit of St Francis Hospice. As a values-led organisation, we strive to ensure that our six core values of Dignity, Respect, Compassion, Collaboration, Excellence and Kindness provide a strong foundation to ensure high quality patient/family care and harmonious workplace relations. One point of uniqueness is that St Francis Hospice Dublin does not accept payment of any kind, including health insurance, for any of our services. This means that equitable access to our services is guaranteed. All referrals are assessed on the same medical and psychosocial needs basis, and individuals are prioritised based on these criteria only.

6. How can the public support your work?

St Francis Hospice Dublin needs to raise €4.5million each year to fund our day to day services and repay capital debts associated with the building of our second hospice facility in Blanchardstown. We welcome the support of the North Dublin community and beyond. We encourage people to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, make a donation, or become involved in fundraising campaigns. Visit http://www.sfh.ie to see how you can help. We also rely upon the services of more than 300 volunteers, who work across 44 different roles, including hospitality, transportation, gardening, administration, hairdressing, complementary therapies, and many more. If you have time and talent to contribute, please visit the Volunteering section of our web site to find out more.

7. Describe how your organisation is transparent and accountable

St Francis Hospice Dublin is a registered charity (No. 20027193). We publish our annual accounts on our web site and provide a balance statement in our annual report. We act in compliance with the Charities Regulator governance code. Our Fundraising Team abides by the Irish Charities Tax Research code of practice. Their Statement of Guiding Principles can be found on our web site: https://www.sfh.ie/statement-guiding-principles-fundraising.