Barretstown calls for support to reduce our waiting lists
Barretstown is marking International Childhood Cancer Day, by calling for public support to help reduce our waiting lists. All Barretstown’s programmes are provided entirely free of charge for the children and families who attend.
We expects to increase the number of campers we serves by 19% in 2015, but as we continue to expand our programme offering, there are currently 100 families on our waiting list.
Sabina Higgins, Patron of Barretstown, visited to mark International Childhood Cancer Day (15th February 2015). Speaking at the event Mrs Higgins said, “I am delighted to be associated with Barretstown. I was very fortunate to visit the Barretstown team and families attending camp last year and saw first-hand the positive impact Barretstown has on its campers. I look forward to, in my role as Patron, supporting Barretstown in the years ahead and wish the team well as they try to serve as many children as they can.”
This year, we aim to serve almost 4,400 campers, 2,400 here on site and and over 2,000 through our outreach programmes.
Ireland’s five-year survival rate after childhood cancers is now almost 80% and childhood cancer survival is steadily increasing in Europe. Commenting on International Childhood Cancer Day, Dee Ahearn, Chief Executive of Barretstown said, “we know that children with cancer go through intensive treatment which can last up to three years. While the treatment produces so many very positive outcomes medically, it does impact and disrupt childhood. Our camps and outreach programmes give children a break from treatment and allow them to just be children again. The positive impact of coming to camp is evident in every child.”
The Barretstown Therapeutic Recreation Programme provides fun activity-based challenges for children with serious illnesses. Campers engage in a range of activities and are encouraged to achieve and to celebrate their successes. The activities are carefully directed through psychosocial support programmes which are now considered to be an integral part of treatment and recovery from serious illness.
Dee Ahearn explains that “we would like to thank the public for their ongoing generous support and are urging supporters to continue to support our work so we can serve as many children and their families as we can. Reducing the waiting lists for our camps, which we provide free of charge, is our key priority for 2015 and we need continued public support to help us achieve that”.