Hand in Hand

October 3, 2018

Outline the vision and mission of the Organisation
Vision To see every family who has a child diagnosed with cancer provided with a tailor-made package of home support throughout their treatment journey.Mission The mission of Hand in Hand is to alleviate, as much as is possible, the stress and anxiety that is inherent with a diagnosis of childhood cancer. It is to provide a comprehensive range of practical and emotional support services to all affected families throughout their child’s treatment.
How has the Organisation developed and tackled issues?
Hand in Hand was established in 2006 and is a registered charity (CHY17268) and a company limited by guarantee (476431). The charity is fully compliant with The Charity Regulatory Authority and all other relevant legislation and recommended best practice.Hand in Hand is led by a board of directors who volunteer their time to strategise, guide and monitor the organisation. The charity has two full time paid staff; a service manager and a fundraiser. There is one part time bookkeeper who volunteers her services. There are a number of regular volunteers who support the fundraising activities undertaken.The Charity exists to support families in the Republic of Ireland who have a child undergoing treatment for cancer. Each family is under extreme stress and duress from the point of diagnosis onwards. There is very little support available outside of the treatment setting. Families struggle with the practicalities of daily living whilst under such pressure. Hand in Hand addresses the needs of families by providing both practical and emotional support throughout the treatment process.Hand in Hand continues to strive to help as many families as possible and raise awareness of the impact of childhood cancer and the limited support available.Hand in Hand continue to pursue HSE funding as their work falls within the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 delivered by Simon Harris last year. HSE funding would allow the charity to help more families and extend their services to include a suite of emotional support services for the whole family.
What has the overall impact of the work been?
More than 200 families each year have a child diagnosed with cancer and this figure is increasing annually. Currently, Hand in Hand services up to 25% of this cohort but with increased funding this could be significantly increased.The services of the charity have a positive impact on the child with cancer, their siblings, parents and extended family. By providing a range of practical home supports, families are enabled to sustain some sense of normality in the home. Parents are freed from routine chores and thus have more time to focus on the treatment for the affected child, their emotional welfare and that of their siblings. There is a reduction in stress and anxiety for parents.Annually Hand in Hand provide thousands of home support service episodes throughout Ireland, supporting upto 50 families. The charity also provided a range of emotional support including telephone support, home visits and a range of activities for children with cancer, their siblings and parents.This year, Hand in Hand have worked with Trinity College on a piece of research 'The Lived Experiences of Mothers who have a Child Diagnosed with Cancer'. This research provides a groundbreaking insight into the impact of a childhood cancer diagnosis on the whole family and the importance of providing the practical support services of Hand in Hand to the families.I have attached a video of a testimonial from one of our families which explains the impact of Hand in Hand's work.
What makes this Organisation unique?
Hand in Hand are the only national charity in Ireland providing these practical support services to families with a child undergoing cancer treatment.
How can the public support this work?
The public can support Hand in Hand through third party fundraising efforts, and raising awareness of the Charity and the work they do. The public can connect with the charity through Facebook and their website www.handinhand.ie.
How is the Organisation transparent and accountable?
Hand in Hand was established in 2006 and is a registered charity (CHY17268) and a company limited by guarantee (476431). The charity is fully compliant with The Charity Regulatory Authority and all other relevant legislation and recommended best practice.

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