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Cork Charity Wins Community Spirit Award

Cork Charity Aiming To Keep Families Together Wins Community Spirit Award

9,000 families have benefitted from accommodation at Bru Columbanus over the last 16 years.

Bru Columbanus has been chosen as the latest winner of The Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Award.

With an amazing team of 50 volunteers, Bru Columbanus in Wilton in Cork provides temporary accommodation for relatives of seriously ill patients in Cork hospitals. The main aim, they say, is that they want to help keep families together at what is often a challenging time.

Bru Columbanus is a small independent charity, reliant on donations and fundraising initiatives to cover its running costs. Since opening in 2005 Bru Columbanus has provided accommodation to in excess of 9,000 families, with relatives of patients in Cork hospitals and the hospice.

Bru Columbanus provides accommodation free of charge to families, particularly those with children of long term critically ill persons, who are patients at any of the Cork City hospitals, or hospices. They also offer people the opportunity to meet, and share support, with others going through similar experiences.

O'Connor (Chief Executive), Ray Doherty, Helen O'Leary (Directors), Pat Meade (Manager), Angela Foley (Volunteer) & Marian Murphy (Administrator) by Cllr. Colm Kelleher, Lord Mayor of Cork; Eoghan Murphy (Deputy General Manager, Cork International Hotel) & Sandra Murphy (Group Brand & Communications Manager, Trigon Hotels), 12th November. Photo Siobhán Russell

Congratulating Bru Columbanus, Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher said: “Bru Columbanus is a very special place that provides a calm, caring and supportive environment for those who need it. I would like to especially pay tribute to the 50 local volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise to ensure their mission is a success. This very valuable charity is more than just a house or a facility, it is a home to the many families that stay here. Congratulations to everyone at Bru Columbanus.”

Anne Maria O’Connor from Bru Columbanus said: “Every day, families arrive at hospitals away from their homes with a relative in need of urgent medical treatment. The staff and volunteers aim to lighten the burden for families plunged into difficult times, providing practical and emotional support. Despite the challenges faced by COVID-19, we continue to provide this invaluable service.”

General Manager of the Cork International Hotel, Carmel Lonergan said: “This award is in recognition of the many volunteers past and present who have helped to make Bru Columbanus the success it is today. If it were not for those who are willing to give up their time free of charge they would not be able to provide the services that they do. I would like to wish them the very best for the future and say a huge thank you for their incredible work.”

The awards, which are sponsored by The Carrigdhoun Newspaper and Gerald McCarthy Giftware, take in a large geographical area in South Cork stretching from Rochestown, Douglas and Togher to Kinsale, Crosshaven and Passage West.

The judging panel comprises a mixture of public and private sector representatives from the community.

The judging panel for this award was:

· Carmel Lonergan General Manager Cork International Hotel

· Nicola Radley Senior Executive Officer, Municipal District Operations & Rural Development at Cork County Council

· Aisling Killilea Bank of Ireland Manager Carrigaline and Douglas

· Vincent O'Donovan & Jack White The Carrigdhoun Newspaper

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