Last week I visited St Luke’s hospital for the first time. I met the staff:
Yvonne Boland, Appeals Director
Deirdre Turley , Appeals Director
Ger Watt, Events Co-Ordinator
Geraldine Stafford, Walks Co-Ordinator
Fiona Campbell, Finance & Office Manager
Yvonne took me on a tour and explained about the Friends of St Luke’s. I was prepared to be impressed, but I was simply blown away by the atmosphere, by the facilities and by the work of the Friends!
It is difficult for anyone who has a critical illness, but to be a parent or family member of a child who is suffering must be pain and anxiety beyond belief.
At St Luke’s there are good facilities and caring staff, while the Friends supply the extras – the rooms for children or teenagers to spend their time before or after treatment, the beautiful gardens with places to sit quietly or to go for a stroll. It has to be seen to be believed!
We are delighted that The Friends of St Luke’s have joined with us in the Book Festival. It is appropriate to have a Book Festival for Children and to support the care of children who are ill. We hope that this will become an annual event and that each year the folk in our local hospital will benefit.
It is great news that the Library Maker Van is coming to the Book Festival. It offers the opportunity to experiment with resources such as 3-D printers, lasers, audio, video capture, editing tools, traditional arts and crafts supplies.
This is such a great image – just had to use it again!
Every day there is a new development in the programme for the day.
Michael Judd will be presenting The Selfish Giant & other Oscar Wilde Children’s Stories in the mini theatre from 1.30 pm to 2.30 pm.
Dublin City Libraries have confirmed availability of their Library Maker Van .
The mini theatre in the Lecture Hall is a space where there will be performances by authors and actors while the workshops are running. This means that when older children learning literary and artistic skills, parents and younger children will be enthralled with the performers on stage.
With food stalls and the Library Maker Van outside, a book stall, mini theatre, second hand books and workshops inside there is something for all the family.
Let us emphasize that there is no admission charge and that it is an afternoon of fun and creativity for all the family. All donations are going to the Friends of St Luke’s.
Everything is progressing smoothly. It is wonderful to see so many people from different walks of life enthusiastically involved in a community event.
What are the highlights so far:
Miriam O’Callaghan will open the festival at 12.00 o’clock in the Lecture Hall at CCR.
In the hall there will be a book stall, a ‘mini theatre’ where there will be performances all afternoon, and there will be three workshops running concurrently in various rooms. The precise timings of what will be happening has still to be worked out!
Some of the performances will be readings by authors, some will be by the actors, and we are hoping to have entertainment for parents with their 3-5 year olds.
There will be a used book exchange where the proceeds will go to the Friends of St Luke’s. Check out on their page on this website what they do. We are delighted that, in addition to the community aspect, there is the opportunity at a Children’s Book Festival to support the valuable service of the Friends of St Luke’s to families where children are ill.
There will be food stalls provided by Bijou and Saba, and we are hoping for a good day so that these can be outside.
So – come to the festival, have your lunch, buy some early Christmas presents, and enjoy the performances and workshops.
Remember – there is no charge. Admission is free. However, we hope people will be generous in their donations to the Friends of St Luke’s.
One of the members of Christ Church had been at the Dalkey Book festival to hear Stephen Fry speaking. That evening she and her husband were discussing how good it would be to have a book festival specifically for children.
At the same time, I was reflecting upon how successful the Bloomsday Festival had been in Rathgar in June – so much so, in fact, that I resolved to dress up for next year! Not like me at all! And I was wondering what we could do in the autumn – perhaps a Harvest Festival or something.
The two ideas coalesced and here we are – the inaugural Rathgar Book Festival for Children, to be held on Saturday, October 19th in Christ Church.
Since then the level of enthusiasm and willingness to help has been breathtaking. Rathgar Resident’s Association, Rathgar Business Association, Christ Church, The O’Brien Press, Dublin City Council, various authors – all have been keen to help and support.
As the Book Festival is for children, it seemed natural to extend it to include The Friends of St Luke’s Hospital. All proceeds will go to the Friends of St Luke’s for the benefit of children.
St Luke’s Radiology Oncology Hospital is Ireland’s only provider of paediatric radiation and oncology treatments for children and adolescents. Patients and their families travel from every county in Ireland, spending five days a week for a period of six weeks receiving treatment. Between 40 – 50 children and young adolescents are treated in St Luke’s each year for Brain Tumours, Carcinomas, Neuroblastomas and Wilms’ Tumours. Children from one up to 18 years of age are treated as outpatients in the Rathgar Hospital in Dublin and travel to St Luke’s daily from other children’s hospitals in Dublin.
So – we will keep you informed of things as they develop. On the day there will be books, workshops, delicious food an more.