Dragon’s Den winner helps out in Chernobyl

Dragon’s Den winner helps out in Chernobyl
Paul O'Connell from Cork, Dragons Den Winner pictured with a local in Ivanskoye, Russia. He recently travelled there with Fiona Corcoran founder of The Greater Chernobyl Cause.

A FORMER winner of the Dragon’s Den show from Cork has travelled to Ivanskoye Russia, with The Greater Chernobyl Cause where he put his building and carpentry skills to good use helping upgrade a hospice run by the charity in the region.

During their latest mission, Paul O’Connell joined The Greater Chernobyl Cause’s founder Fiona Corcoran where he helped renovate the laundry unit using funds donated by a North Cork businessperson. The charity also purchased new windows, laundry equipment and sofas to bring more comfort to the patients. Paul is the inventor of the chimney plug — a device used to prevent heat loss from an unused chimney flue. He appeared on the Dragon’s Den show where he impressed the judges and secured a €50,000 investment in his company from Dragon Niall O’Farrell.

He has been a longtime volunteer with the charity.

Paul O'Connell, Dragons Den Winner pictured with locals in Ivanskoye, Russia. He recently travelled there with Fiona Corcoran founder of The Greater Chernobyl Cause.
Paul O'Connell, Dragons Den Winner pictured with locals in Ivanskoye, Russia. He recently travelled there with Fiona Corcoran founder of The Greater Chernobyl Cause.

The Greater Chernobyl Cause has already invested €120,000 in the building, which is a lifeline for many impoverished and seriously ill people.

Amongst the works they have carried out were repairs to the outdated plumbing system, along with the introduction of new showers and toilet facilities, greatly improving the hygiene quality for the residents.

Water heaters were replaced as a necessary part of kitchen equipment facilities as well as the purchase of all equipment. Beds, as well as orthopaedic mattresses and cabinets, were bought for correct and comfortable client care. Additionally, for health and safety reasons a fire escape was installed.

Since 2010, The Greater Chernobyl Cause has worked to raise funds in order to operate the hospice as a secure and liveable residence.

“I have travelled widely in the former Soviet Union, but have been appalled to see the conditions in which these people have been living,” Ms Corcoran said.

“There is no hope for them and their fellow citizens. I visited a man suffering the terrible pain of spinal cancer, whose only hope of a peaceful death, was admittance to the hospice. We cannot let him down. I ask the Irish people to help us give these people hope. Everyone deserves the right to live and die with dignity.”

During their recent humanitarian aid trip, the charity also signed contracts to co-fund the operation of the hospice at a cost of €53kper annum.

However, to fund the annual operation and the renovation of the face of the building, the charity desperately needs support from others.

To support the charity visit: http://www.greaterchernobylcause.ie.

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