St Columba’s Thomastown to benefit from “Ballylinch / Mount Juliet Cars for Good” programme

A dedicated voluntary group working to enhance services at St Columba’s Hospital, Thomastown is to benefit from the use of a new €20,000 Toyota Auris under the Ballylinch / Mount Juliet Cars for Good programme.

A dedicated voluntary group working to enhance services at St Columba’s Hospital, Thomastown is to benefit from the use of a new €20,000 Toyota Auris under the Ballylinch / Mount Juliet Cars for Good programme.

Staff of Ballylinch Stud Farm and Mount Juliet Country Estate in Thomastown has nominated The Friends of St Columba’s to benefit from the 2013 registered vehicle. The hard working voluntary group is 21 years old this year, and is responsible for providing services to St Columba’s Hospital which add to the comfort of patients.

The Ballylinch / Mount Juliet Cars for Good initiative originally started by Toyota Ireland is now in its second year. Last year the staff at Mount Juliet and Ballylinch Stud were given the opportunity to nominate a chosen charity to receive a new vehicle and they selected the Carlow/Kilkenny Home Care team.

This year staff joined together to nominate the Friends of St. Columba’s as the recipient of the 2013 Toyota Auris. The hard working voluntary group works closely with the HSE South East to enhance the delivery of care to the residents of the hospital.

Over the years Friends of St Columba’s has developed a sensory garden in the front of the hospital and a garden for use of the residents of the Dementia Care unit. It has also funded flat screen televisions, music centres and DVD players and is responsible for email and internet access for clients attending Day Care. The group is also responsible for installing a PA system in the hospital chapel allowing patients too ill to attend services to hear.

Friends of St Columba’s organise fund raising events throughout the year including flag days, fashion shows, Easter and Christmas raffles, car boot sales and Golf Classics. St Columba’s hospital was opened in 1853 as a workhouse, and was governed by the sisters of St. John of God from 1888 to 2001. It was administered by the County Council from 1921, renamed St. Columba’s Hospital in 1951 and reserved for care of the older person. It has been administered by the Health Service Executive since 2005 and is currently registered with HIQA, the statutory regulatory body for residential care services for Older People.

The keys of the new Toyota Auris were handed over to Director of Nursing Ms Georgina Bassett from Friends of St Columba’s by Mr John O’Connor at Ballylinch Stud on January 31st. John O’Connor, Managing Director of Ballylinch Stud said Ballylinch and Mount Juliet are inextricably linked with Thomastown and it’s hinterland for generations. “So it is particularly appropriate that St. Columba’s, which provides such an important service to the local area, is this year’s recipient of the Cars for Good Programme. We hope this donation will be of assistance and we wish the Friend’s of St. Columba’s every success in its 21st year and well into the future,” he said.