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Wanted: farmers to help raise funds for midlands Hospice

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Pat Lalor, chairman of the Project committee, Michael Duignan, RTE's Ella McSweeney, Charlie Redmond and Larry Fleming, (president of Tullamore Lions Club at the launch of Hooves 4 Hospice)

Pat Lalor, chairman of the Project committee, Michael Duignan, RTE's Ella McSweeney, Charlie Redmond and Larry Fleming, (president of Tullamore Lions Club at the launch of Hooves 4 Hospice)

Pat Lalor, chairman of the Project committee, Michael Duignan, RTE's Ella McSweeney, Charlie Redmond and Larry Fleming, (president of Tullamore Lions Club at the launch of Hooves 4 Hospice)

Farmers are being called on to help a midlands fundraiser. Tullamore Lions Club, in association with the farming community in the Midlands, is looking to raise funds to build a Level 3 Hospice in the midlands and has launched a community-based fundraiser, Hooves 4 Hospice.

The hospice will provide specialist end of life care and support for people in the four midland counties: Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath.

The midlands is the only region of Ireland that does not have a Level 3 Hospice and the project, which has the support of other Lions Clubs and the Irish Hospice Foundation, involves recruiting a large number of farmers willing to rear a young animal, has the potential to raise a sizeable sum of money for this much needed Midland Hospice.

Farmers are being asked to donate a young animal that they or a host farmer will rear for 12 to 18 months, according to Pat Lalor, chairman of the project committee.

He also said that Tullamore Lions Club will source and purchase suitable animals and has set up a special sub-committee with farmer input to oversee that part of the project. It is intended that host farmers will not incur any exceptional costs over and above the cost of accommodating the young animals in their herds.

When that donated animal is sold the proceeds will go directly into the Midland Hospice Building Fund.

Offaly Hospice Foundation has already set a significant example by committing €500,000 towards the Midland Hospice Building Fund.

Ms Sharon Foley, CEO, Irish Hospice Foundation, says the lack of a Level 3 Hospice in the Midlands means people in the region are at a disadvantage when it comes to hospice and palliative care services compared to those in other parts of the country.

"On the one hand there is excellent palliative homecare available, while on the other there is no regional specialist palliative care unit (often called regional hospice) in the Midlands," she said.

This, she said, means patients and their families are being denied the full range of services that come with a Level 3 hospice.

Members of the public can contribute to the cost of purchasing these animals by buying some Hooves on the www.h4h.midlandhospice.ie

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