RESIDENTS in Ennistymon Community Hospital have received some early Christmas presents thanks to the work of students from a local national school.
Last Friday, children from Ennistymon National School delivered gifts to 17 residents in Ennistymon Community Hospital, much to their delight.
Director of nursing, Orla Hickey told the Clare Champion Ennistymon National School approached us to donate presents to the residents because they couldn’t do their Shoebox Appeal.
“It was lovely that so many people thought of the residents,” she said.
She said residents were quite busy during the lockdowns bird watching, painting stones for the Sea Wall Art Project at Clahanes and gardening.
Holly McMahon, a Fourth Class student in Ennistymon National School, said the pupils made Christmas cards, crafts and decorations to wish residents a happy Christmas.
Holly said the cards contained a special message wishing all the patients a safe Christmas and New Year.
Other gifts that were donated from parents included hairbands, rosary beads and books.
Her mother, Dianne recalled Karen Stackpoole from the Parents’ Association felt it would be a good idea for the school to donate some presents to the residents in lieu of the annual Shoebox Appeal, which didn’t go ahead this year due to Covid-19.
“It was great because as children were making things for the hospital, they were able to engage with older people and old stories were remembered.
“Even the First Year students were speaking to their teachers about what people would get as Christmas presents in the olden days from Santa.
“I thought the children engaged very well by making things rather than just sitting down and listening to old stories. It was lovely. It is great to see everyone coming together for something like this locally,” she said.
Speaking to the residents outside an open window in the courtyard, Dianne wished all of them a happy Christmas and acknowledged the children were sad that they couldn’t visit the hospital to sing for them this year.
On behalf of the residents, Ms Hickey thanked the children and parents for all their lovely presents.
School principal, Helen Sheridan said the children were delighted to link in with older people in the local community.
“All the children have grandfathers and grandmothers so they were happy to make the presents. Normally, the pupils would go into the community hospital to sing, play music and perform some Irish dancing before Christmas.
“Children have been working on making the crafts for the last two weeks. Grandparents and elderly people are a great source of living history for the school.
“Scoil Mhainchín, Ennistymon NS was built in 1915, formerly Convent of Mercy National School, so grandparents and older residents can talk about coming to school there and how things have changed over the years.
“We have all been so isolated because there was no outsiders coming into the school, so it was nice for us to reach out to patients in the hospital,” she said.