‘WE NEED YOUR HELP’ Care home led by Irish nun makes desperate plea for support amid crisis
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‘WE NEED YOUR HELP’ Care home led by Irish nun makes desperate plea for support amid crisis

A CARE HOME led by an Irish nun has been forced to ask the public for help as the coronavirus crisis devastates its finances and puts a stop to all fundraising activities.

St Joseph’s Nursing and Residential Home in Glasgow, which is run by the Little Sisters of the Poor order of nuns, is facing a financial crisis while working hard to keep its residents and staff safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Founded in 1862 by a group of young nuns who arrived in Glasgow from France, today the home’s Mother Superior is Sister Marie-Claire Brennan, who was born in Birmingham to parents from Dublin and Kildare.

St Joseph's cares for the sick and the elderly and currently has 55 residents.

But it is now in need of support as the outbreak has caused a significant rise in costs – for increased PPE supplies as well as paying high rates for agency staff to cover team members who are self-isolating - while all of its fundraising activities have been cancelled.

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The charity, which is relies on public donations, this week launched an online fundraising page asking for help.

Set up by Sr Marie’s nieces Ciara Foley and Christina Filmer, on behalf of the sisters who run the home, the JustGiving page outlines the crisis they now face.

“We know this is a tough time for everyone, and you are all in our prayers daily,” the sisters state.

“As a charity-based care home, we are feeling the strain as well. Covid-19 has meant that we haven't been able to undertake our usual fundraising activities in the community, which we rely heavily on day to day.

“We estimate to have lost out on around £18,000 in fundraising since the start of this pandemic's lockdown.”

They explain: “We are unable to take in any new residents, which means we have less money coming in, our PPE costs have risen significantly, and agency staffing costs have increased by a large amount due to some of our permanent staff members needing to self-isolate.

“With the current situation fast depleting our funds, and an unknown timeline for this pandemic, donations will enable us to ensure not only the future of St Joseph's care home, but the safety, well-being and happiness of our elderly and vulnerable residents - who are at the very heart of all we do, as well as our staff.”

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In a direct plea for help, they add: “During this uncertain and unprecedented time, we need your help more than ever to support our fantastic staff and to ensure our residents continue to remain protected, happy and healthy.”

Sr Marie-Claire Brennan, Alvaro and Susan Rossi (residents of St Joseph’s home who made the rainbow), and Sr Ursula Dempsey at St Joseph's in Glasgow

The home has set themselves a £10,000 fundraising target, which they explain will “help support our ongoing costs; from vital pieces of medical equipment and steady supplies of PPE, to the cost of increased data allowances and electronic devices so that residents will be able to attend medical appointments virtually and keep in contact with loved ones who cannot visit them right now”.

Thomas Brennan, Sr Marie’s nephew, told The Irish Post: “St Joseph’s is a charity funded Catholic residential care home for sick and elderly residents - it is largely funded by the generosity of public donations.”

He added: “The sisters are unable to hold the various fundraising events they usually would throughout the year – upon which their existence depends.

“Therefore, in an attempt to save themselves from irreparable financial damage, they have set up this JustGiving fundraising page and are seeking support.

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“Their future depends on the generosity of donations.”

To support the fundraising campaign click here.