Billy and Ivan raise £76k for Hospice

Billy McGregor and Ivan Kennedy, with the help of staff and friends from the Hill Tavern in Carnmoney, have raised a staggering �76,096.82 for NI Hospice through various events over the past number of years. INNT 07-200-AM
Billy McGregor and Ivan Kennedy, with the help of staff and friends from the Hill Tavern in Carnmoney, have raised a staggering �76,096.82 for NI Hospice through various events over the past number of years. INNT 07-200-AM
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The Northern Ireland Hospice has thanked two Newtownabbey men who between them have raised more than £76,000 for the charity’s vital work.

Hill Tavern regular Billy McGregor has been a long term supporter of the Hospice, having started fundraising many years ago by gathering up pennies in collection boxes. Over the years he has held a number of events including sponsored cycles and Christmas raffles, raising in excess of £60,000.

Billy has also been a big supporter of Carnmoney man Ivan Kennedy and his annual Benidorm or Bust Banger Rally exploits.

Ivan’s whacky driving challenges from Northern Ireland to southern Spain and back over the past few years have raised £16,000 for the Hospice.

Between them the two men - with the help of family, friends and local businesses - have raised an astonishing total of £76,096.82 for the Hospice’s vital work.

Explaining why he’s supported Northern Ireland Hospice over the years, Billy said: “Everyone knows someone that is touched by a terminal illness. NI Hospice works with these patients and their families and we were happy to help in any way we could with the fundraising for the Somerton rebuild appeal.”

John Phillips, community fundraiser with NI Hospice, thanked Billy and Ivan for their ongoing fundraising efforts.

“We would like to thank them for supporting Northern Ireland Hospice and helping us to support local people with terminal illnesses and their families at what is a very difficult time in their lives. At this time we need public support more than ever. We could not realise our dream of rebuilding the NI Hospice without the support of local people and businesses like Billy, Ivan and the Hill Tavern.”

He added: “We are on track to receive the keys to the new Somerton Hospice in late 2015, but before this becomes a reality, we still need to raise £1.9m towards the £13m rebuild project. That is why fundraising like this is so important to us. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed for supporting their local hospice.”

When completed, the new hospice will provide 18 modern, single en-suite bedrooms, a day hospice, an outpatient clinic, physiotherapy and occupational therapy facilities, a dedicated education and research centre, special gardens for patients and families, a children’s and relatives area, as well as a sanctuary and many other areas all designed to bring care and comfort to hospice patients.

Anyone who would like to get involved in fundraising for NI Hospice should contact John Phillips on 07773 367287 or email john.phillips@nihospice.org for more information.