Christ Church Clifden – Conservation Phase Two

Dear Friends,
Urgent action has been taken to screen off the chancel of Christ Church for Health and Safety reasons. The advice of our Conservation Engineer was to remove all plaster work from the sanctuary area and also remove the memorial plaques which were in danger of falling.
This has been done and work will begin, subject to funding, in the very near future as part of Phase Two of the conservation program.

The church will now be able to remain open and worship will take place as usual. The concert on Thursday 1st June will be unaffected.

Thank you for your understanding – Canon Stan Evans

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Making Meditainers: Samara’s Aid Appeal

Dear Stan

Today our hearts go out to the individuals and families who have been devastated by the horrific and senseless bomb attack that happened today, this time on our own soil. There is no way to understand or make sense of these kinds of acts, driven only by darkness and evil. I’m sure you are already with me in praying for these people affected today and in the coming days and months, for their healing both on the inside as well as the outside.

Please also pray that the people capable to carrying out these attacks here, in Europe, in the Middle East and across the world will be be changed, that their hearts will be turned from wanting to spread fear, violence and destruction to instead spreading love, hope and reconciliation.

As I read the reports today, I was also struck by the amazing infrastructure that we are so blessed with, ready to respond to such a terrible event. An emergency helpline was set up for worried relatives to call, 60 ambulances attended the scene and the injured were taken to six difference hospitals in Manchester. As a former A&E nurse I am aware that a major incident would be declared in those hospitals and extra staff and resources would be brought in to deal with the many injured people. I am so thankful that we have these kind of resources for our children and loved ones at our time of great need.

I also felt a great sadness in my heart as I reflected that when these same terrorist attacks take place in Syria, the people cannot hope for any kind of response like this. These kind of terrorist attacks in Syria have two parts, the initial explosion devastating many lives, then as the ambulances and emergency workers gather to help the casualties, a suicide bomber detonates a second bomb designed to cause as much fear and destruction as possible.

So many medical workers and ambulances have been destroyed in these attacks that when attacks like this which kill and injure huge numbers of people take place, the most they can hope for is a few ambulances. Sometimes 1-3 ambulances for double, treble and quadruple the number of people who were injured today. Members of the public carry the injured to hospitals if there are any in the area in their arms or they take them in pick up trucks or the back of people’s cars. Sometimes there are no hospitals, and when there are, they many not have the staff, equipment or medicines needed to give the injured the care they need. There is no helpline for worried relatives to call.

While I was in Syria I was privileged to visit all of our medical projects. I was especially excited to visit our first three “Meditainers”. The video above (click on the image to watch – apologies for the broken link in last email, we are working on a new database) shows how three containers that we sent from Worthing and Essex in the UK have been converted into the meditainers that you see being used to carry out operations towards the end of the video. For a change, I wanted to show you a more routine operation rather than just blood and trauma in Syria.

I stood inside the meditainer in Syria, featured in this movie, and talked with our doctor who manages the hospital where it is currently based. Having personally helped to load this container in the UK, I could see the amazing transformation that Dr A and our team in Syria have worked so hard to achieve. It was a great honour for me to be able thank all of the team there personally for their great work and commitment. These are the amazing souls who have chosen to stay and serve their people in spite of the danger when so many others have understandably fled to safer places.

The idea of these Meditainers was born out of a need to provide urgent life-saving medical care in the most challenging war zone of our time. This design was put together by Dr A and our doctors with our specific needs in mind.

Last year, Dr A lost his hospital in the desert when ISIS took the area it was in. The situation there deteriorated over a number of weeks and as the fighting got closer and closer to the hospital it was a tough call for the medical team there. No one wanted to leave the people of this area with no medical care for many miles around, but equally the team were fearful for their lives.

It is a continuing challenge to make these decisions weighing up when to stay and when to leave. On one hand if you are too far from the fighting, it is hard to provide care to many of those who need it most, but if you are too close to the fighting then everything can be lost including the precious team themselves.

While our meditainers cannot solve all of the complicated problems that come with providing emergency care in this complex war zone, they do give us an ability to serve the people in a number of different areas where there is no medical care. If the fighting gets closer then we have some ability to be able to move our team and facilities to a safer area. It is a brilliant use of the empty containers that we have used to send aid into Syria in.

As each Meditainer costs us around $35,000 to convert and equip, we are really keen to ask you whether you, your churches, schools and workplaces can help us with the fundraising for these projects. We have another 14 containers in Syria waiting to be converted. The sooner we can do this, more of the 12.8 million people needing healthcare provision in Syria will have access to emergency medical care.

Our new fundraising site with BT Mydonate allows you to set up your own fundraising page which will send the money you raise directly to us. The best part is that they don’t charge us any fees for this service unlike other well known online giving platforms, and gift aid can also be claimed if you tick the gift aid box. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS BT MYDONATE PAGE

If you plan a fundraising event in which people may need to pay money at the event ie an auction or similar, you can set up your own fundraising page and your guests can pay by card online at the event using wifi or their phone data (check network coverage in the area first!) and the additional benefit is that gift aid can be claimed on their payment for their prize or service which might otherwise be lost at an event like this. If they ensure that they include their name then you can see that they have made their payment or donation at the event.

To see the page where you can set up your own fundraising page to support our medical projects, please CLICK ON THIS LINK TO VISIT FUNDRAISING LINK PAGE.

If you are interested in organizing a collection of aid here in the UK to send to Syria and Iraq, please download our information pack then register as a collector with us by following the instructions in the pack.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD INFORMATION PACK

The amazing things that we have achieved over the last few years have all been achieved through you. Through your generosity of time, love and giving.

Thanks so much to all of you for making this essential and life-saving work possible.

Love

Samara

A Festival of Flowers

A FESTIVAL OF FLOWERS
Presented by the Galway Flower and Garden Club

ST. NICHOLAS CHURCH GALWAY

FRI 5th – SUN 7th MAY 2017
OPEN: Fri & Sat: 10 am – 6 pm
Sun: 1 pm – 6 pm
Admission €8

OFFICIAL OPENING: Fri 5th May at 7 pm with “The Bluebirds” singers & Wine & Cheese Reception Admission €10

CONCERT : Sun 7th May at 7 pm Cois Cladaigh & The Headford Youth Jazz Ensemble Admission €10

IN AID OF GALWAY HOSPICE

Time To Act: The True Story of Medical Teams in Syria

Dear friends
When we see devastating reports coming from Syria, people often ask me what the truth is and what is happening on the ground. This has been the hardest video to make, not just for me but for our team reliving these events.

There may be many things that we can’t change as individuals, but there are so many things that we can change when we work together. The time and contributions we put in when we get involved may be small acts on our parts, but to the people we are supporting they can mean the difference between life and death, the difference between carrying their burdens alone or knowing that we are standing beside them, or the difference between feeling they have no voice or knowing that people are speaking on their behalf.

Ultimately, our contribution is hope.

Time is life. We all have the opportunity to be a little part of a much bigger picture. Everything we do makes a difference, however large or small. If you are moved by the things you are seeing I would ask you to do three simple things:

1 Watch the video above
2 Share this video
3 Get involved

The people in Syria need our support. We can all make a difference when we work together in response to a problem.

This is the truth.

HELP US FUNDRAISE http://www.samarasaidappeal.org/fundraise/
GIVE http://www.samarasaidappeal.org/giving/
FIND OUT MORE http://www.samarasaidappeal.org/our-hospitals/

The good news is that I can finally confirm that we now have our own bank accounts, we are also now registered with HMRC for gift aid, and we now have a new online giving platform which does not charge any admin fees to process donations or claim gift aid for us. I have also updated the giving forms on the website, so all forms should now direct payments to our new accounts with Reliance Bank.

If you would like to organise a fundraising event in support of our projects, you can visit our pages on BT Mydonate through the giving page on our website, also from our medical aid pages and our orphans and widows page. If you are are keen to raise support for one of these specific causes you can create your own fundraising page directly from these pages. If you already have a page set up through Everyday Hero, this will remain live until your event has finished.

Thank you for your support.

Love

Samara

Clifden Heritage site reimagined as valuable Green Space

 

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Clifden, while situated in a uniquely rich area of mountainous landscape and unspoilt coastline, lacks much in the way of green space at it’s centre. Viewed from above, the site at Christ Church stands out as an exception. It is a heritage site because of the historical significance of the church building which dates from the 1850’s. The church and graveyard are linked from three directions to the heart of the town and the location also benefits from height as it overlooks the central square and follows a birds eye view right down to the quay. The green space surrounds the church on all sides but extends significantly at the rear of the building into a sloping grassy area which settles into a broad wooded plane at it’s perimeter.

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Last year, Christ Church received funding for a grave mapping project, allowing the graves ( some of which are very old ) to be identified. This is now complete and a new phase of preservation and development for the site is now in progress. This is an inclusive venture which began as the brain child of Sandra Shattock of Clifden Tidy Towns in partnership with Canon Stan Evans. The vision behind the project is the preservation of this unique place while also allowing it to be opened up to the community of Clifden. The plan includes the promotion of wildlife through sympathetic landscaping and planting as well as a nature trail, a peace garden and an outdoor classroom. All weather furniture has already been sourced for the ‘classroom’ and it is hoped that the space will be used by local teachers and school children as well as for hosting cultural and heritage events during the year. Community involvement is integral to this project, so that the people of Clifden will enjoy this site as much as our visitors, hopefully using it to partake in walks and talks or simply to take time out to enjoy the natural surroundings.

Marie Louise Heffernan from Aster Environmental Consultants has been invited to coordinate the project in partnership with Canon Stan Evans and Clifden Tidy Towns. It is hoped that the space will be as beneficial as possible for the diverse groups and individuals that make up our community in Clifden. If you have any ideas on how you would like this space to be enhanced, you may contact Marie Louise at aster4info@gmail.com. All ideas are welcome and each submission will be considered carefully as part of the final project.

Debbie Watkins