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Silverbridge sisters’ generous efforts benefit ICU patients’ relatives

Two sisters from Silverbridge have undertaken a major makeover of a room for families located in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Craigavon Area Hospital.

It’s the second time sisters Belinda O’Neill and Claudia McAvoy have completed such a project as last year they refurbished the department’s Family Room.  This time it was the turn of the Family Consultation Room to benefit from their makeover magic.

The new look Family Consultation Room now includes a bespoke sofa, armchair and foot stool, tea and coffee making facilities and other soft furnishings such as paintings, rugs and accessories. 

IN 2017 the sisters embarked on a fundraising drive with the aim of giving something back to the ICU department where a close family member received treatment. They came up with the project of transforming the two rooms where they themselves had spent a lot of time, and where relatives of patients in ICU can now avail of the comfortable surroundings

Belinda and Claudia hosted two Sparkling Afternoon Tea events, one in 2017 in the Canal Court in Newry and another was held last year in the Carrickdale Hotel.  The proceeds of both events were used to completely refurbish the two rooms. 

Belinda O’Neill [third from left] with her son Leo and Claudia McAvoy [extreme right] with her daughter Kyla [front right], pictured in the newly transformed Family Consultation Room in Craigavon Area Hospital ICU department with Interim Director for Acute Services Melanie McClements, Assistant Director Ronan Carroll, Sister Ruth McParland and Dr Helena Murray. 

Speaking about the project, Belinda said: “This is our way of showing our gratitude to the amazing ICU staff and we hope that other families who find themselves in the same situation will find some comfort in these refurbished surroundings.  

“We knew there were the two rooms and we felt we could not do one without the other.

We are so happy how they have turned out as they complement one another through their colour schemes and we only hope that families who find themselves needing this room, will benefit from the little comforts that we have made in them, during what can be such a distressing time for them.”

Thanking them for their generosity, Intensive Care Unit Manager, Sister Ruth McParland, said: “Once again we are completely overwhelmed by the kindness of Belinda and Claudia. They have put their whole hearts into transforming both rooms and their thoughtfulness has not gone unnoticed.

 “Here in Intensive Care we treat acutely ill patients from across the whole Southern Trust area. The Family Consultation Room is for families to have a rest and the privacy to come to terms with the trauma of having an ill relative in Intensive Care. Thanks to the efforts from Belinda and Claudia, these families will now have a beautiful home-from-home environment which will hopefully bring them some comfort during these difficult circumstances”.

Belinda and son Leo alongside Claudia and their great-aunt Vera McGahon were delighted to show the staff of Craigavon Area Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) the new look Family Consultation Room. 

Belinda and Claudia would like to thank everyone who donated to their fundraising efforts. In addition to the room transformations, donations were also given to PIPS Hope and Support and the Ellen Treanor Fund. 

The sisters have said that they are also planning another fundraising event scheduled for June of next year to raise funds for other charitable causes which are close to their hearts.