The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Cllr Nichola Mallon, hosted a special reception at City Hall this week, where she honoured Unsung Heroes of Northern Ireland Hospice.
More than 60 representatives, from staff nurses to volunteers and fund-raisers, were celebrated for their work and support of Northern Ireland Hospice, Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice and the charity’s Adult Hospice Rebuild project on Belfast’s Somerton Road.
Among those attending the event was new NI Hospice Chief Executive Heather Weir, who previously served as its Director of Nursing and Patient Services.
The Lord Mayor said: “Northern Ireland Hospice has played a critical part in the lives of many people right across Northern Ireland for more than 30 years. The organisation started with a single Hospice nurse in 1985, it has now grown to offering care for over 3,000 adults, children and their families.
This care is offered both in the in-patient units in Belfast as well as in patients’ own homes in communities across the north.”
“There are currently over 1,500 volunteers across the organisation, giving up their time free of charge to help Northern Ireland Hospice and Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.
“Without the compassion, generosity and dedication of Hospice volunteers, it would be simply impossible for NI Hospice and NI Children’s Hospice to do the work they do. Volunteers make NI Hospice what it is today and it is important to take time to say at the very least, thank you.”
NI Hospice CEO Heather Weir said: “It is a great privilege for Northern Ireland Hospice and the efforts of its staff and volunteers to be recognised by the first citizen of Belfast.
“Our staff and volunteers do not seek praise or credit for their work and their efforts but it is always welcome when their dedication is recognised.”
The Northern Ireland Adult Hospice rebuild is scheduled to complete this year and needs to raise the remaining £1.9m of the £13m state-of-the-art project.