Gathering to benefit children’s charity

One of Northern Ireland’s leading cancer charities is set to benefit from this year’s Broadisland Gathering festival in Ballycarry.

This will be the 20th anniversary of the longest running Ulster Scots festival in Northern Ireland and to help mark the landmark occasion the festival committee has decided to support CLIC Sargent, which provides a range of essential support for children, young people and families.

Collectors from the charity will be at the gathering and there will also be a stall at the country fair on Ballycarry Fairhill, while several events surrounding the Gathering will also be directly supporting CLIC Sargent through fundraising collections.

CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. It provides clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life.

The charity are there from the diagnosis onwards and aim to help the whole family deal with the impact of cancer and its treatment, life after treatment and sadly, in some cases, bereavement. CLIC Sargent operates and delivers care to local children, young people and their families.

A representative from the charity recently addressed the Broadisland Committee and outlined how one of the aims of the charity is to build two homes from home in Northern Ireland. One of these homes will be based within walking distance of the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and the other will be based near the Belfast City Hospital and Cancer Centre. The homes will allow families to stay near to their child who is receiving treatment for cancer.

CLIC Sargent also has holiday accommodation to families as well as providing practical support for the children undergoing treatment.

“CLIC Sargent is a national charity with local delivery and the Committee liked the fact that all monies raised through our events will stay in Northern Ireland,” said Dr David Hume, festival director of the Gathering.

We will be encouraging those who attend events of the Gathering to be as generous as possible in their support,” he added.

Fionnuala Savage, community fundraising manager at CLIC Sargent said; “This is a truly significant milestone for the Ulster Scots Festival in Northern Ireland, and I’d like to thank all the committee members from the Broadisland Gathering festival for nominating CLIC Sargent as their chosen charity.

“Every week in Northern Ireland two children or young people are diagnosed with cancer. CLIC Sargent Northern Ireland has started a fundraising appeal to raise much needed funds for two homes from home.

“So the money raised from the festival will go directly towards supporting these families. I encourage everyone to get behind the festival and make a donation or get involved with one of the fundraising events.”

This year’s main Broadisland Gathering festival will be held on the first weekend of September but events will run from August 24th until September 7th and include musical concerts, a table quiz, exhibitions, talks, and a full range of musical entertainment on Saturday, September 1, the main day of the Gathering.