The Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club has been confirmed as the first winner of this year’s Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards. The charity organises magical and exciting adventures and trips of a lifetime for children and their families who are going through a difficult time.
The Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club was founded in 1994 by a small group of Cork University Hospital staff who got together to raise some money to give children attending the hospital a fun day out. The charity now has more than 40 volunteers made up of security personnel from CUH, Gardai, doctors, nurses, social workers, children protection officers, ambulance personnel and pharmacists.
The charity needs to raise €140,000 each year to fund its activities. Its main event every year is a trip of a lifetime to Disneyland Paris in October. Volunteers bring 85 people and this trip alone costs around €84,000 each year. Other activities throughout the year include a fun cruise and day out on the River Shannon and the Christmas Extravaganza where 250 children are given the chance to meet Santa and Mrs Claus.
The Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club ensures there is a full medical support team in place on every trip.
The charity was affected by the Covid pandemic and in 2020 was forced to cancel the annual Disneyland trip for the first time in 26 years. However, Chairperson John Looney and the team of volunteers were determined to continue their aim of bringing smiles to the faces of vulnerable children and announced that they will be bringing a group to the Paris attraction this year.
General Manager of the Cork International Hotel, Eoghan Murphy said, “The Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club is an exceptional charity and epitomises everything the Community Spirit Awards stand for. John Looney has worked incredibly hard for decades and has successfully brought smiles to the faces of countless sick and deserving children. It is our great pleasure to honour him and the organisation for their unconditional effort and we hope they are able to continue to bring joy to children for many years to come.”
The Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards sees 12 individuals or groups honoured throughout the year with an overall winner announced at a special ceremony at the end of the year. The awards are sponsored by The Carrigdhoun Newspaper and Gerald McCarthy Giftware.
The judging panel for the Community Spirit Awards are made up of a mixture of representatives from the public and private sector within the community.
The judging panel for this award was:
Carmel Lonergan, Group Director of Operations, Trigon Hotels
Nicola Radley, Senior Executive Officer, Municipal District Operations & Rural Development at Cork County Council
Vincent O’Donovan, Publisher of The Carrigdhoun Newspaper