Visit to Mary Aikenhead Heritage Centre by Staff of St Andrew’s Hospice, Airdrie

Another Team Building Day to the Mary Aikenhead Heritage Centre, Dublin, was organised by Sr. Catherine Egan on the 28th November 2017. This follows a series of such days built up over the past number of years. It is one of the highlights in the year for Staff from all departments – Nursing, Catering, Fund Raising, Reception, Household and on other occasions Medical staff.

The day began with an early flight from Glasgow by Ryanair.

There was a warm welcome from Sr.Mary Roche at Harold’s Cross Heritage Centre. Following a cuppa Mary proceeded to introduce the staff to the history of the Congregation.

The audio-visual story of Mary Aikenhead from her childhood to her last days in Harold’s Cross made a deep impression on everybody. As almost all the staff were themselves Scottish born they were delighted to follow the history. This was followed by a visit to Mary’s own rooms where she lived, worked, prayed and planned for the Congregation.

Following lunch in the restaurant the group requested a visit to the new Palliative Unit. The staff from St Andrew’s were delighted to be shown around as they are in the process of doing likewise in Airdrie. On the way through this new unit the group met a Volunteer who was very familiar with the many corridors in Palliative Care and kindly led them through. This volunteer managed to bring them into a bedroom (whose occupant was taking a walk on the corridor) and explained how all the new equipment works. He also told how Prince Charles had visited Palliative Care last summer whilst on one of his private visits when in Ireland.

The Staff were enthralled by the experience and it was a great opportunity for them – away from their own environment and particular work – to meet with colleagues from other departments of St Andrew’s hospice.

All were so grateful for a wonderful day in Dublin organised for them by Sisters Mary Roche and Catherine Egan. As one of those who made the visit, (Andrew Flynn – Schools and Colleges Co-Ordinator) said:

“The trip to the Heritage Centre was an amazing experience and it gave us all an insight into the history of the Sisters of Charity and how our own Hospice came to be. It is quite humbling to be part of something that started 200 years ago when Mary Aikenhead and a few like-minded people created something that at the time was to help the poor of Dublin and has evolved to help countless people all over the world. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to make us all feel welcome and to give us a truly unique experience”.

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