Barefield run to kick-start Uganda fund-raiser

Barefield run to kick-start Uganda fund-raiser

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Barefield will be the location on Sunday next, April 28th for a special fun-run and family walk as Clare people join ranks to help raise funds towards a Ugandan hospice and a pre-school for orphans.

The event is the brainchild of local man John Conroy, who will lead a group of 15 volunteers from the area this summer to work on the two projects in Uganda.

Sunday’s walk is the main fundraiser for these projects, which will see the proceeds go towards the Hospice Jinja and the purchase of a site and construction costs for a new pre-school for 90 orphan children.

John has been volunteering in Africa for the past 10 years, concentrating in Uganda for the past number of years. He is on the board of directors with Hospice Jinja which was founded by retired G.P.’s Dr Frank and Patricia Hassett from Ennis.

Speaking about the Hospice Mr Conroy said: “It’s a palliative care service that deals with end stage cancer and HIV and was founded in 2005 covering an area of 10,000 km2 with a population of 3.5 million.

“Since its establishment 13 years ago, over150,000 patients and families have been assisted by the hospice team. For the average Ugandan there is no radiotherapy or chemotherapy as the population cannot afford it, so once people are diagnosed with cancer, they are simply biding their time. Now, thanks to the project, 17 local staff are employed to offer care.”

John also volunteers with Soft Power Education, a British charity and Ugandan NGO working with communities in Uganda to improve quality of life through education.

“The school’s Special Educational Needs Programme works with over 140 families with children with disabilities providing access to free physiotherapy, occupational therapy, specialised teaching and parental support.”

Registration on Sunday is at Hassett’s and costs €10 per person, €20 per family, and there will be prizes on the day, including a prize for first buggy home!

There will be face painting and a DJ and post-race/run refreshments also.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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