The Harry Potter star hopes to raise €2million for ‘extraordinary’ hospice services in memory of his father Brendan’s parents, who spent their final days in St Francis Hospice in Dublin
Domhnall Gleeson took time out of his undoubtedly busy schedule this week to support Bewley’s Big Coffee Morning Social for Hospice, a fundraising drive which has generated €43.2million since 1992.
He joined Hospice hosts and volunteers at the iconic Bewley’s café on Dublin’s Grafton Street and asked everyone in Ireland to host or support this year’s event on 21 September.
Speaking about his grandparents, the Star Wars actor said: “My grandma (Pat) was only there for a few weeks and that was my first experience of being around a Hospice.
“I was incredibly close to her and I was struck by the atmosphere of care and kindness. She had a rough journey before she got there – and all of a sudden, that difficult road seemed less punishing to travel.”
He recalled thinking she seemed ‘safe and cared for’ and that it was a ‘relief’ to him when he knew she was in the right place to get the help she needed.
His grandfather Francis had a different experience and ended up finding what Domhnall called a ‘new lease of life’ in the Hospice.
“In terms of my granddad (Francis), we had been looking after him for a long time, probably about a year, and didn’t think he was going to last that long in Hospice, but he was there for months. The care was extraordinary, he had a new lease of life, it (Hospice care) gives their body the care it needs and makes them feel special.”
He told how Francis constantly joked with staff who, he said, see beyond the illness or life-limiting condition.
“There’s a focus on creating a connection and patients are not just a problem to be solved on the way to the next problem along the corridor. Each person’s journey is different and each one matters to the people working there.”
Clearly passionate about the worthy cause, he added: “I don’t know how they do it, there is an incredible giving of oneself. So I am asking everyone on 21 September, or whenever suits them, to organise, support or donate to a coffee morning.”
Organisers hope to raise €2million in 2023, returning the fundraiser to pre-Covid levels and bringing the total raised since its inception beyond €45million. 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, paying for medical and general staff, palliative care beds, home care visits, specialist equipment and new hospice builds.
Register to host a coffee morning to support your local Hospice 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 here.