Laois van driver Philip Stewart who turns 60 this week, with wife Janet.
A Laois van driver is delivering very special support for his local community hospital, by asking for donations instead of gifts for a big roundy birthday this week.
Courier Philip Stewart from The Rock, Mountmellick, will turn a youthful 60 this Wednesday, August 11.
He has opened an online fundraiser for the HSE's St Vincent's Community Nursing Unit in Mountmellick, which has some 80 long term residents, most of them elderly.
Philip told the Leinster Express why he is refusing gifts and asking instead for help for the hospital.
"We have a long connection with the hospital. My grandmother Isabella Whitford spent her last days there in the 1970s, and then my mother in the 1990s, and father in the 2000s. There's a huge amount of people who have had a similar association with them. They do a lot for families around Laois, and people maybe don't really appreciate them enough.
"I don't want presents, I'd rather the few bob be put towards the hospital. I'm not stuck for money, I don't want people scratching their heads trying to think what to get for me, and I think people are happy to give to a good cause instead," kindhearted Philip said.
"Without this wonderful gem in our community, which I sometimes feel we take for granted, I do not know what we as a family would have done, and many families like ours. In recent years, they opened a new unit, especially for the care of patients with dementia. Support from the community for this unit is always welcome, be it financial or otherwise," Philip says on his fundraiser page.
He will donate the money to the Friends of St Vincents, who will ensure every penny will be spent for the benefit and enjoyment of the residents.
Philip hopes to celebrates his birthday quietly at home in The Rock with his wife, dog groomer Janet Stewart who is recovering from a recent fall, and their family and friends.
"If I get €1,000 for the hospital I'll be happy," he said.
He is well on the way, with €760 donated already by Monday morning August 9. Donate to his fundraiser on Gofundme here.
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