*Photograph; Martin Connolly
Students of Scoil Na Maighdine Mhuire in Newmarket-On-Fergus this month stepped on board the BUMBLEance to learn about the work of children’s national ambulance service.
The visit forms part of the Clare County Library’s ‘Books and BUMBLEance tour’ which has already visited Scariff, Miltown Malbay and Shannon libraries with children’s writers on board. The fourth class children, accompanied by teacher Emer Pigott and SNA Pauline O’Neill, had a unique opportunity to see the equipment the BUMBLEance contains, hear about the services they provide and why the charity was set up, as well as focusing on the comfort of reading and how books can make a difference to children’s health.
So taken by the story of the BUMBLEance and its founders decided to do what they could to join the Bee Team and help the children who need the BUMBLEance services, staff and children raised €310 in a cake sale with the presentation being made at Newmarket on Fergus Library to BUMBLEance driver Jim Burke and Mary Heffernan, founder of the Saoirse Foundation. Having experienced the stress and challenges that parents of sick children face, Mary and her husband established the Saoirse Foundation after their two children sadly succumbed to the fatal Batten’s Disease. The BUMBLEance service was soon launched.
The children’s national ambulance service reaches into every town, city and county in Ireland, delivering safe and comfortable transportation of sick children to and from children’s hospitals, national treatment centres, respite and hospice centres. BUMBLEance provides the highest standards in professional medical care, and a suite of top-of-the range entertainment facilities designed and tailored for children. The aim is to distract, comfort and entertain Ireland’s youngest and most sick patients as they travel, allowing children to be children and parents to be parents. Their mission is to deliver smiles and compassion in equal measure, along with all additional medical supports when needed most.