Mum’s moving insight to Children’s Hospice care ahead of Larne’s big charity fundraiser

Billy Crymble, financial director of Forever Living Products Ireland, presenting a cheque for �10,000  to Heather Weir,   CEO NI Hospice,  to assist with the Jingle All The Way initiative, included are Roddensvale School Choir who sang at the launch and at the Larne Jingle Concert on Friday, Elaine McBride and son Sam, Olivia Nash MBE, NI Hospice Vice President   and  Alison McClean, Events manager FLPI. Picture: PressEye / Philip Magowan
Billy Crymble, financial director of Forever Living Products Ireland, presenting a cheque for �10,000 to Heather Weir, CEO NI Hospice, to assist with the Jingle All The Way initiative, included are Roddensvale School Choir who sang at the launch and at the Larne Jingle Concert on Friday, Elaine McBride and son Sam, Olivia Nash MBE, NI Hospice Vice President and Alison McClean, Events manager FLPI. Picture: PressEye / Philip Magowan

Olivia Nash MBE will lead Larne’s Big ‘Jingle All The Way’ Parade this Friday evening.

The local celebrity will join representatives from Forever Living, Roddensvale School, Moyle Primary School, ASDA, Oakland Insurance, Larne Football Club, Larne Rugby Club, Antrim Coast Dancing Academy and Curran Irish Dancers plus bikes, trikes, floats, novelty vehicles and Santa Claus as the cavalcade makes its way around the town to Broadway Plaza in support of Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

Hanna Ferjani.

Hanna Ferjani.

Weather permitting, a large turnout of walking participants will congregate at St. McNissi’s School playground with all vehicles taking positions at Agnew Street car park 5.30-6.00pm for a 6.30pm parade start. Everyone is welcome and organisers invite the young and young at heart to pull on a festive fleece and join the Big Jingle Parade. Donations are welcome with proceeds supporting the charity.

The programme begins with a full afternoon’s entertainment at Broadway Plaza featuring Roddensvale School Choir, Larne Adult Centre Choirs, Carnlough and Seaview Primary, Glenarm, Choir and Mark Dobbin 12.30pm-3.00pm. Radio Larne will keep the beat at the plaza and at 3.00pm a Christmas Punch and Judy show will delight all ages. At 4.00pm, The Music Yard takes to the stage and street magician Caolan McBride will mingle and amaze spectators from 4pm to 6.00pm.

Larne’s Community Choir will add their voice before the parade sets off with a finale back at Broadway to include a guest performance by ‘Uplift Performing Arts’.

Olivia Nash, Northern Ireland Hospice Vice President, said: “I am so proud and delighted to be in a position to take part in Larne’s big day as they ‘Jingle’ in support of Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice. Larne are huge supporters of Hospice and at Christmas our hearts are with every family who has a life-limited baby, young person or adult.

Moyle Primary School pupils who will be taking part in the parade.

Moyle Primary School pupils who will be taking part in the parade.

“Jingle events have taken place in the run up to this wonderful finale. We have had a Jingle Concert, a Jingle Car Show, a charity golf day, a Hooley and many more little ‘Jingles’. It is a helping hand to raise much needed funds and highlight the work of Hospice and the important role it plays in our community.

“I have to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to this event and to all the other events that have and are taking place in support of Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice’s brilliant Christmas campaign, ‘Jingle All The Way’.”

Moyle Primary School’s participation is particularly poignant as it remembers former pupil Hanna Ferjani (above right), who passed away in 2014 from a rare brain tumour. The school stated: “Moyle Primary School are delighted to be taking part in the Big Larne Jingle Parade and class mates, parents and teachers will walk in memory of our former student and friend Hanna Ferjani.”

Encouraging support for the Big Jingle, Hanna’s mum, Tania Glover, shared this moving insight to the care provided by the hospice: “2013 / 2014 was set to be the start of the worst years of my family’s lives. Our beautiful little girl Hanna, who was six when she died, had been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour. In a blur we where given different options of what would be the best for Hanna. The minute I heard the two words ‘Children’s Hospice’ I just broke. Hanna and hospice did not go together. For the last six weeks of her little life that’s where we would live.

“Going over the threshold with my precious baby was horrendous. Knowing she would never leave alive. Never see her home , her friends all her little things she loved was heartbreaking. That was it. But... the Children’s Hospice was the best decision I ever made. Surprising it was the best six weeks we could have ever hoped for in that dreadful time. Fun, laughs, jokes , singing and dancing. No sadness whatsoever. Apart from the dark, dark moments as well.

“The nurses got us through. People described them as angels. Well they are. They are a world apart. Amazing. Hanna’s needs of every kind met. Right down to her nails and toes painted every day and her perfume on. I will never ever be able to thank them enough for getting us all through in an amazing way. I know Hanna was completely happy and at peace. Sadly, I never ever wanted to be there with my baby girl but if I was faced with it again that’s where I’d be.

“Please support them in any way. It’s amazing for our sick kids. They are without a doubt angels. Thank you individually you special beautiful people.”

Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice is the only service of its type caring for children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses both at hospice and at home. With over £3.5 million to raise every year, all donations, large and small are much needed and very much appreciated.

Catherine O’Hara, Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice Regional fundraiser, said: “The wonderful people of Larne are shining a light this Christmas on the unique care only the Children’s Hospice can give to life-limited children locally and across Northern Ireland. I have to thank a very special bunch of people who stepped up months ago to put this together as Larne flagships this exciting Christmas community campaign. The excitement and buzz in and around Larne is tangible. At the heart of this are our life limited families receiving specialist Children’s Hospice care and bereavement services and those who need our help. All are very much in our thoughts this Christmas. We deeply appreciate the generosity and kindness of our local community.”

To make a donation or organise a ‘Jingle’, contact Catherine on 07515 06 3303 or email Catherine.ohara@nihospice.org