Cliona’s Foundation calls on the government to “do more for families” as we launch our  ambitious three-year strategic plan to campaign and expand our supports for over 4000 families in Ireland who are caring for a seriously sick child.   

Co-Founder and CEO of Cliona’s Foundation together with the board of directors at Cliona’s Foundation launched our three year strategic plan outlining the organisation’s intention to work harder than ever on our mission to provide immediate financial support to families caring for a seriously sick child across the island of Ireland.

We  are also calling on government to provide more assistance for the thousands of families in crisis who need immediate and long term help.

The foundation was set up by Brendan and Terry Ring following the death of their daughter Cliona from an inoperable brain tumour in 2006, aged 15. During Cliona’s treatment, Brendan and Terry met many families who were struggling not only with the devastating diagnosis but also with the significant non-medical costs. Having lost their daughter Cliona, they possess an intimate understanding of, and empathy for, the difficult situation the families find themselves in.

An academic review commissioned by Cliona’s entitled “Too Dear to Visit” found that there are approximately 4000 families caring for a seriously sick child with a life limiting illness in Ireland with many of them struggling with the substantial non-medical costs of caring for their child while in hospital or at home. Many of these families have two working parents and at least one of these parents must give up their job to help care for their child which immediately plunges them into financial crisis.

The team at Cliona’s have witnessed the many challenges facing families struggling to cover the substantial non-medical costs of caring for their child while in hospital or at home. Part of the study concluded that the financial support given by Cliona’s Foundation is as used for pay for travel, accommodation, petrol, subsistence (56%), household bills and income support (18%), adaptations (house car and equipment) (13%), miscellaneous (9%).

Off the back of these findings Cliona’s now release their three-year plan with one objective being to “do more for families”

Cliona’s wish to expand on their services and supports by becoming recognized as the leading organisation in Ireland who are supporting families with non-medical costs, developing fundraising, ensuring the sustainability of the supports and ultimately doing more for families.

With housing, costs of living, youth mental health, and overcrowding in hospitals all dominating the headlines the CEO and Co-Founder Brendan Ring says it is vitally important to advocate for these families who are consistently disproportionately affected. Speaking at the launch of the Strategic Plan 2023-2025

“We are committed to bringing the work of Cliona’s to households all over Ireland with a view to expanding our services and supports. I am incredibly saddened by the issues facing families at the moment, such as inflation, hospital over-crowding and more recently the findings at CAMH’s, because we KNOW that families caring for a seriously sick child will be so badly affected by these issues. For example, long term childhood illness and/or life limiting illness has a profound effect on mental health. We are launching our ambitious yet necessary strategic plan and to let these families know that we see their difficulties and are here to help. There is more that can be done. We are a team of like-minded and skilled people of integrity, experience and compassion ready to implement this strategic plan. We are calling on the government to address this.”

Cliona’s Foundation distributed €413,800 in funding to struggling families in 2022, the largest annual amount since the organisation was founded in 2008 and up a staggering 85% on the 2021 support distributed. Cliona’s have provided financial support to over 1,160 families across the island of Ireland.                    

Cliona’s Foundation expects at least 200 families will apply for financial assistance by the end of this year and will need to raise a minimum of €500,000 to meet these applications.