'The staff and volunteers aim to lighten the burden for families': Brú Columbanus wins community award

'The staff and volunteers aim to lighten the burden for families': Brú Columbanus wins community award

Anne-Maria O'Connor, Chief Executive, Bru Columbanus, Wilton, Winners of the Community Spirit Award, presented by Cllr Colm Kelleher, Lord Mayor of Cork. Photo: Siobhán Russell.

A CORK-based voluntary group that provides temporary accommodation for relatives of seriously ill hospital patients has won The Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Award.

Brú Columbanus provides accommodation for free to families, particularly those with children of parents who are long-term critically ill and patients at any of the Cork City hospitals or hospices, and offers people the opportunity to meet, and share support, with others going through similar experiences.

General manager of the Cork International Hotel, Carmel Lonergan, who was on the judging panel, said that Brú Columbanus was recognised for the many volunteers who have helped to make it the success it is today.

“If it were not for those who are willing to give up their time, free of charge, they would not be able to provide the services that they do,” Ms Lonergan said.

“I would like to wish them the very best for the future and say a huge thank you for their incredible work,” she said.

Brú Columbanus is a small, independent charity of 50 volunteers, reliant on donations and fundraising.

Since opening, in 2005, Brú Columbanus has provided accommodation to 9,000 families, for free, so they could stay together during what is often a challenging time.

Congratulating Brú Columbanus, Cork Lord Mayor Colm Kelleher: “Brú Columbanus is a very special place that provides a calm, caring, and supportive environment for those who need it.

“This very valuable charity is more than just a house or a facility, it is a home to the many families that stay here. Congratulations to everyone at Brú Columbanus.”

Anne Maria O’Connor, from Brú Columbanus, said: “Every day, families arrive at hospitals, away from their homes, with a relative in need of urgent medical treatment.

“The staff and volunteers aim to lighten the burden for families plunged into difficult times, providing practical and emotional support. Despite the challenges faced by Covid-19, we continue to provide this invaluable service.”

The awards take in a large geographical area in south Cork, stretching from Rochestown, Douglas, and Togher to Kinsale, Crosshaven, and Passage West.

The judging panel is a mixture of public and private sector representatives from the community.

Nominations for next year’s awards are open by visiting https://tinyurl.com/4wbmpw7e

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