July 30 In the Press

Brave little Avah granted wish as iCare charity sends family on beach holiday

By Eleanor McGillie

THE bravery of a two-year-old girl who suffers from Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus has inspired a family friend so much that she has been nominated and granted an iCare Wish by a Northern Ireland charity.

Avah McGinty, from Martinstown in Co Antrim, is a bright and bubbly toddler in spite of living with her debilitating conditions.

Her mum Emma, 25, and dad Darren, 33, work hard to look after Avah and her brother Caleb, so when Emma received a phonecall to say her daughter had been nominated for an iCare Wish, she was over the moon.

Emma said: “My mum’s friend Vivenne Lindsay read in the Ballymena Guardian that iCare was seeking nominations from people who they wanted to be granted a wish so Vivienne wrote to the charity telling them about Avah.

“Avah is so beautiful and bubbly and there’s no doubt about it –  it is hard work sometimes. Her brother Caleb, who is four-years-old, loves playing with her but we hadn’t planned any holidays for this summer. Her mobility suffers so we have

to be so careful with her. She is a gorgeous wee girl and we just love her. Now we can’t wait to take her on holiday.

“It’s great that Vivienne wrote to iCare. The charity’s committee have worked so hard to find us a holiday which totally suited our needs so we are now booked into a lovely holiday home in Portstewart for a week in August. It will be great for my mum too who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s just a welcome break for us all which we didn’t think we were going to be able to have. We can’t thank iCare enough.”

iCare is a charity based in Armagh and is run by Homecare Independent Living employees who volunteer their time to ensure the charity makes a positive impact in the community.

Speaking about why she nominated Avah for an iCare Wish, Vivienne said: “Avah’s granny Anne is a very good friend of mine. She helped me when my son died. Anne has been diagnosed with breast cancer and I want to be a good friend to her and her family. She is fantastic with brave little Avah and spends a lot of time looking after her. I just felt it was the right time to nominate Avah for an iCare Wish as the whole family will benefit.”

Janine Smalls, an iCare committee member, said: “Every year we host an event called Santa’s Gatelodge in Milford in Armagh. It’s a Christmas spectacle with Santa Claus, Mrs Claus, elves, puppets and reindeers. It attracts thousands of people from all over the country. Every penny raised goes towards granting iCare Wishes for people in the community.

“People wanting to come this year can book their tickets online at santasgatelodge.com from September 22 and help us raise more money so we can grant more wishes to people in our community. Because it is perhaps Northern Ireland’s biggest Christmas event we advise people to book their tickets early.”

Anyone wishing to nominate someone in the community for an iCare Wish can do so by writing to The iCare Committee, Milford Gatelodge, Milford, Armagh, Northern Ireland BT60 3NZ. The next round of nominations is now open and will close on October 31.


Notes To Editor:

  • Homecare Independent Living is a national leader in homecare provision offering services to clients enabling them to live independently. Services include domiciliary care, peripatetic and floating support services, nursing and continuing care services and housing services. Homecare Independent Living employs 1,200 people and has offices in Armagh, Belfast, Magherafelt, Ballymena, Sligo, Dundalk and Dublin.
  • iCare was set up in 2010 and is run by members of the Homecare Independent Living team.
  • For media enquiries contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | www.mgmpr.co.uk | Healthcare PR | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism Experts | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK

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