Barretstown survey shows family is most imporant for Irish adults in 2020


A survey conducted by children's charity Barretstown has confirmed that spending time with family is what is most important to Irish families this Christmas.


In fact, 80% of the adults they asked said that spending time with family is more important than receiving any material gifts.


Three quarters of Irish adults said that 2020 has reminded them of the importance of spending time with family.


Half will make charitable donations this festive season.


Speaking about their Christmas Appeal, Dee Ahearn, CEO of Barretstown, said:


This year especially, many of us will be looking forward to some quality family time together at Christmas.


''If there is one thing that 2020 has taught us all, it is that family and health are the most important things we could ask for.


''We continue to support and serve seriously ill children and their families through our virtual Barretstown Live programmes.


''The majority of the families we serve have been experiencing a prolonged isolation period due to their childs serious health condition.


''This Christmas will be particularly difficult for them as they shield away from extended family and friends.


''At Barretstown we see that family really does mean so much, particularly at Christmas time.


''This year we are asking the Irish public to visit http://www.Barretstown.org to donate or visit our online shop to support Barretstown in any way they can.


Virtually


To overcome Covid-19 restrictions Barretstown has been offering its programmes virtually through Barretstown Live, an online interactive platform.


It has also enabled Barretstown to support new campers, who would have been unable to come to Barretstown by themselves, even prior to Covid-19, due to the complexities of their medical needs.


Speaking about her experience, Barretstown mum Paula Cahill, said:


Christmas time has always brought up many memories for me. It was Christmas 2016 that my son Tom Tom was in Crumlin hospital battling with cancer for the second time.


''Throughout the Christmas period he was in a critical condition and there were days when I did not know what the morning would bring. I would walk by shopfronts with expensive gifts on display and would think to myself there was only one gift I truly wanted, that was for Tom Tom to be better.



''On Christmas Day while my husband went home to Cork to be with our other sons Jack and Charlie, I stayed in hospital with Tom Tom. It was the most utterly miserable Christmas any of us could have ever imagined, not even Santa was allowed in the room for infection control.


Now I'm really looking forward to a happy family Christmas. Ever since Tom Tom spent that awful Christmas in Crumlin, we understand that the real meaning of Christmas.


''It is not what is underneath the Christmas tree that matters, it is who is around it with you. The greatest gift is that we are all together and we are all healthy.''


  • Barretstown is a childrens charity in Co. Kildare that offers free, specially designed therapeutic programmes for children and their families living with a serious illness.