Little Laois girl inspires fundraiser for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Ireland

Michelle Hogan


Michelle Hogan

Little Laois girl inspires fundraiser for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Ireland

Lucy Hutchinson with her montessori teacher Margaret Bergin.

A number of Laois businesses are holding a fundraising drive for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI) in honour of a little Abbeyleix girl, Lucy Hutchinson.

Five year old Lucy, who is a daughter of Maura and Aubrey Hutchinson, has Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

Lucy recently graduated from The Children’s House Montessori in Abbeyleix and a cake sale at the graduation led by the owner Margaret Bergin and staff was the beginning of a number of fundraisers for the Irish charity.

A bucket collection and raffle of a hamper worth €300 from Carraig Donn will take place at Laois Shopping Centre on Saturday, July 7 between 12pm and 5pm.

Lucy’s mother, Maura, said the family has linked in with the charity in the past but they are really preparing for when Lucy needs the charity's services in the future.

“We have linked in with the charity and gone to their AGM, we met other parents and Lucy has met other children with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. SBHI provide a family support worker to anyone who needs their services. The different branches also help toward funding any extra equipment where possible.

“We are thinking down the line for Lucy when she will need respite breaks in her teens,” she said.

To support the local fundraising effort, drop in to the raffle and bucket collection tomorrow in Carraig Donn at Laois Shopping Centre.

Lucy is excited to start primary school in Scoil Mhuire in Abbeyleix in September where her sister Lily is a pupil.

Margaret Bergin at The Children’s House in Abbeyleix has been the driving force behind the fundraisers. The Montessori does a fundraiser every year and this year chose Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Ireland because Lucy was graduating and moving on to big school.

Margaret and staff held a raffle and sourced prizes sponsored by businesses in Abbeyleix, Laois and even further afield kicking off the fundraiser. Lucy picked the winners out of the raffle herself and they are listed on The Children’s House Abbeyleix Facebook page.

As part of the fundraising drive, Williams’ Butchers in Abbeyleix held a barbeque day last weekend which attracted huge crowds and raised over €1200. This money will be divided between Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society.

All of these efforts, combined with the raffle tomorrow in Portlaoise will be added together and the money raised will be presented to SBHI later in summer.

According to the SBHI website, Spina bifida is a condition which affects about one in every 1000 children born per year in Ireland. Ireland has one of the highest incidences of spina bifida births in the world.

Spina bifida is the most common neural tube defect (NTD) which causes incomplete development of the spinal cord in the womb. 

Read more about spina bifida and hydrocephalus here.