NI Children’s Hospice celebrates 21 Years of Care with Garden Party

19 May 2022

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council hosted a special Garden Party today [Friday 6th May] to celebrate 21 years of care at Horizon House, the In-Patient Unit within Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.  

The event was co-hosted by the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Council, Councillor Billy Webb, and Northern Ireland Hospice Chief Executive, Heather Weir. Families cared for by Hospice over the last 21 years, supporters, donors, nurses and volunteers came together for an afternoon of fun, food and music at Antrim Castle Gardens.

Horizon House first opened its doors in 2001 and has continued to provide specialist palliative care for children and their families living across Northern Ireland ever since.   

In a speech to those assembled guests at the Garden Party, Chief Executive Heather Weir said: Looking out to the horizon fills hearts with hope and promise. Today we continue to look to our Horizon, while also remembering and celebrating the amazing children and families who we have been privileged to support over the years. 

“We are so grateful for the continued support of the Mayor and the Council for hosting this wonderful event so we may mark this special milestone. It is also a wonderful connection to have the Mayor, Councillor Webb, a past trustee and Chairman for Hospice and one of our Vice Presidents, to be involved in the celebrations.

“A large part of this celebration is to recognize the amazing work that has been carried out over the last 21 years at Horizon House. Every day our team cares for local babies, children and young people living with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses as well as supporting their entire family.

“However, it is important for me to mention that we could not provide this specialist care without the support we receive from the local community and businesses, our volunteers, as well as our funding body, the Department of Health. With their support and generosity, we can be there to help local children and families when they need us most.”

Antrim and Newtownabbey Mayor, Councillor, said: “NI Children’s Hospice is one of my chosen charities for my term and I am delighted to be able to sponsor this event.  

“It is a privilege to lend my support to such an amazing charity that provides vital services in our community.I have the honour of representing all the people of the Borough in paying tribute to the two decades of specialist palliative care delivered by Hospice.”

As part of the 21 Years of Care celebrations and their ongoing support of NI Hospice, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council is also one of the sponsors of this summer’s feel-good event, Elmer’s Big Belfast Trail.  

The free, family-friendly art event will see popular children’s character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant brought to life with a herd of uniquely-designed elephant sculptures positioned in key landmarks, streets, and open spaces throughout the city for ten weeks. To find out more visit