Dublin People

Terenue hero volunteer urges public to support Hospice coffee morning

Actor Domhnall Gleeson with Emily Barton, Senior Manager, Public Fundraising, Our Lady's Hospice, Dublin, and Hospice Hero Gay Davoren, at the launch of Bewley’s Big Coffee Morning Social for Hospice. Picture: Conor McCabe.

A retired bank worker has told how visits to a dying colleague led to a new ‘career’ as a full-time volunteer at Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services in Dublin.

Gay Davoren, from Terenure, is asking members of the public to host a coffee morning for Bewley’s Big Coffee Morning Social for Hospice on September 21.

The nationwide event, supported by Bewley’s since 1992, has raised over €43.2million – and there is a €2million fundraising target this year.

Gay was a regular visitor to the extended care unit in Harold’s Cross where his co-worker was receiving end-of-life care when he was approached by staff.

“One day I met the Hospice’s volunteer co-ordinator in the corridor and he said, ’you’re the one who brings Anne out’,” said Gay.

“He told me that they were always looking for volunteers, and that was it, I joined – that was 13 years ago, in 2010.”

Although Gay was still working full-time at AIB at the time, he was able to carry out his volunteering duties in the evenings and at weekends.

He later joined the driving team as a full-time volunteer when he retired from the bank in 2013.

“We bring patients to and from their home for outpatient appointments, or we might bring residents in the extended care units out to hospital appointments, or to a home visit in the afternoon and collect them in the evening,” he said.

Gay is also a member of the Hospice’s homecare team, which aims to enhance the palliative care of patients in the home and the community and to support their families and carers.

And he revealed he even takes one of his homecare patients to the pub to meet friends.

“The situation is he can’t have any contact with his friends at home, so he meets them in the pub,” he said.

Patients facing the end of life the community have variety of needs, Gay explained.

“One of my colleagues brings her patient to a Men’s Shed, while another brings hers to whist game,” he said.

“The whole purpose of the programme is to assist the patient in continuing with a social life.”

Together for Hospice, The National Hospice Movement, represents 26 Hospice and specialist palliative home care providers supporting patients and their families.

Funds raised locally stay local and go back into each Hospice service to innovate, build new facilities, develop new services, and deliver quality improvements and extra benefits for their patients and their family members.

Register to host a coffee morning on September 21 – or on a date that suits you – at hospicecoffeemorning.ie or call 0818 995 996.

If you can not host or attend one, you can make a donation at hospicecoffeemorning.ie/donate

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