Orange Order Grand Master Edward Stevenson and Siofra Healy, Director of Income Generation with the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, show their appreciation after over £17,000 was raised for the local charity. The Loyal Institution chose the Children’s Hospice as its charity partner for the Ulster Covenant celebrations and family fun day at Stormont last year. Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.

THE Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has raised over £17,000 for a local children’s charity, following a major Loyal Order parade last year.

Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice was chosen by the Institution to be the main benefactor of the Ulster Covenant centenary celebrations in Belfast on September 29.

As well as collecting funds from the huge crowds which descended on the Stormont estate, many individual lodges across the Province contributed to the overall total by organising separate fundraising ventures.

The money raised will pay for Children’s Hospice community nurses who provide specialist care to children and young people in their own homes, across Northern Ireland.

Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, said it was “humbling” for the Institution to help the many young people and their families who depend on hospice services.

He said: “It is both a privilege and an honour for the Orange Institution to support such a worthwhile cause.

“As well as commemorating a seminal event in the history of the British Isles, those in attendance at our memorable Ulster Covenant celebrations, and brethren through other fundraising initiatives, have left a lasting legacy to many families who depend on hospice care within the community.”

He added: “Children’s Hospice community nurses provide a vital and invaluable service, offering practical and emotional support for children and young people availing of hospice services. We hope this large donation will go a long way in helping Children’s Hospice to continue providing their special services.”

Director of Income Generation with the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, Siofra Healy, said: “Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice has to raise £2.5 million every year through public donations and fundraising events. We couldn’t do it without the ongoing support from all communities across Northern Ireland, and for that we are extremely thankful.”