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Gort Cancer Support picks its colour for fundraising initiative

Gort Cancer Support is hoping its new fundraising initiative will help them in their efforts to provide much-needed services to those affected by cancer.

The organisation, which operates out of Hollyblue House just off Church Street in Gort, has launched ‘Wear Blue for Hollyblue’ which will take place on Friday, May 3.

Volunteer Director, Mary Nolan, says they’re asking schools, businesses and individuals to show their support for the charity by wearing blue clothing on that date and donating to this worthy cause – and those who want to go a step further by hosting a blue-themed bake sale won’t be discouraged.

“This fundraiser is really about helping us keep the services going,” she says, adding that the vast majority of the centre’s funding comes from donations, with only a small amount being provided by the State.

“This is open to all. We’re hoping some of the big factories will come on board, through their sports and social clubs.”

All donations, big and small, will be gratefully received, she continues.

“Schools can get involved by wearing something blue and donating a €1 or €2 each – we didn’t want it to be a big ask of people,” says Mary.

Hollyblue provides services to people all over South Galway and North Clare – and people travel from as far as Galway City and Portumna to avail of its support.

Providing a driving service for those attending oncology appointments, counselling services, lymph drainage therapy and reflexology, to mention but a few, Gort Cancer Support has become integral to the wellbeing of countless people undergoing cancer treatment, and to that of their families.

Mary says there are currently around 300 people on its client list, and demand is ever-increasing.

They hope this fundraiser, in addition to their annual auction which takes place later in the year, will receive enough support to help them continue that work, she adds.

With just one paid employee, who serves as centre manager, and a number of part-time staff on Community Employment Schemes, Hollyblue house is operated in the main by a dedicated team of volunteer workers.

“Our fundraising pays for the professional services that we provide – the therapists, counsellors, and so on.

“We would love to have more paid staff. Our driver service has to be coordinated every day and it’s a brilliant service, but it is a full-time job in itself,” says Mary.

As part of this service, volunteer drivers bring Gort Cancer Support clients to their hospital appointments, waiting for them and bringing them home – a critical support to many undergoing treatment.

“All funds raised go towards providing services free of charge to those impacted by a cancer diagnosis in South Galway and North Clare.

“Every euro helps.”

In the first three months of this year, Gort Cancer Support saw a 50% increase in new clients, with demand for the driving service more than doubling on last year.

“Now, more than ever, we need your support to enable us to continue providing all our support services to people affected by cancer.”

Those taking part in the Wear Blue fundraiser on May 3 can donate online at

Funds raised can also be dropped into Hollyblue House, or paid directly into Gort Cancer Support’s bank account, with further details of the fundraiser available by contacting

Pictured: Gort Cancer Support Centre Manager, Cara Brady, with Volunteer Director, Mary Nolan, launching ‘Wear Blue for Hollyblue’ which takes place on May 3.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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