Barretstown seeks €100,000 as it welcomes 100,000th child

Charity looks to build on success as it supports generations of children living with illness and their families

Barretstown, the charity for children living with serious illness, is launching a €100,000 fundraising campaign this week as it welcomes the 100,000th sick child to its Irish base this week.

Opened in 1994, the charity offers specially designed recreational camps and therapeutic programmes for children and their families living with serious illness — supported by 24-hour on-site medical and nursing care. Over half of the children supported using the Kildare facility annually by Barretstown suffer from cancer and haematology-related illnesses.

The charity says it will support 17,000 children and family members this year, up from 14,000 last year. Apart from a fun break, the centre’s programmes aim to rebuild confidence, independence and self-esteem for children who are affected by serious illness.

Chief executive Dee Ahearn notes that all the services it provides to children and their families are free of charge, and the organisation gets only 2 per cent of its funding from the Government. The balance comes from donations and the fundraising efforts of corporate supporters, individuals and community groups.