Giving back to our communities and the charities that support them is a pivotal part of our Team ESG programme. In addition to our volunteering work, we ask our team to nominate the charities that have impacted their lives and we partner with them to support their causes and help them in whatever way we can.

This years chosen charities were The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, Ataxia Foundation Ireland and St. Francis Hospice.

This week, we were privileged to meet with the representatives from The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust (KBRT) and Ataxia Foundation Ireland (AFI), and our team got to hear first hand about the amazing work they do.

The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust. After witnessing a tragic hit and run accident which resulted in the loss of life of a friend, while abroad, one of our team came in contact with the trust. The Trust works to alleviate the financial hardship of bereaved families repatriating the body (bodies) of loved one(s) who have died abroad in sudden or tragic circumstances, back to Ireland. The Trust was founded by Colin and Eithne Bell, in memory of their son Kevin, who at just 26 years of age, was hit by a car in June 2013. The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust is the first call many people hit by random tragedy make. There are no staff and no salaries. The Bells see themselves simply as a family working to help other families. Siblings Brendan (Kevin’s twin brother), Conor, Ciara, Seán, Eamonn and Maeve are all involved, while friend Damian Ruddy is usually the first point of contact. The Trust is regularly praised for its urgency and compassion. Those behind it ask for nothing in return and yet families are quick to fundraise. No State financing has been sought and the trust has no plans to seek any. To date the Bells have assisted in over 1,500 repatriation cases.

“It’s Kevin’s legacy. It gives us a bit of comfort that some good has come out of his death. And we will continue to do it.”

Our second charity, the AFI, is the National Support Group for people affected by Friedreich’s Ataxia (The most common Genetic Ataxia) and up to 200 other Ataxia which provides its services on a voluntary basis offering vital support to its members. FA affects the central nervous system and is a progressive degenerative neurological condition. No one is aware that their children have FA until onset happens to one of their children and it means that more than one sibling can often be affected. Once onset happens, balance and coordination are affected leaving the person requiring the use of a wheelchair within a short period. Like the Trust above, the AFI receive no government funding, and the team receive no remuneration for their work.

Our final charity is the wonderful and local St. Francis Hospice which provides such invaluable, specialist palliative care service for the people of north Dublin city and county and surrounding counties. They are a voluntary organisation under the care of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and services include bereavement services and palliative care, occupational therapy, physiotherapy plus many more care services to individuals and families.

A huge thanks to Colin and Maureen for making the trip to our office and for giving us such a wonderful insight in to the trojan, selfless work they do.