Launched by The Saoirse Foundation in 2013, BUMBLEance, The Children’s National Ambulance Service, is the world’s first state-of-the-art ambulance service specifically designed and tailored exclusively for children. BUMBLEance was the brainchild of Mary and Tony Heffernan, who experienced the struggle of caring for sick children when their own critically ill children, Saoirse and Liam, spent so much time on the road going to and from hospital appointments.
We recently met Liam and Mary at the Munster Wedding Expo and they told us all about BUMBLEance. We were really touched by their story and feel that it's one that might resonate with some of our readers.
Hi Tony and Mary. Thanks for chatting with us. Tell us what services do you offer patients?
We provide a National service for critically ill & seriously injured children who NEED ambulance transportation:
We facilitate up to two parents/carers to travel with their sick child.
How are you funded?
We are heavily reliant on the good will and generosity of the public and of course our Corporate Sponsors and we are always on the lookout for more. We do apply for Grants as and when they become available however these can be hard to win.
Tell us about the wedding favours that BUMBLEance offer.
We know that most couples will treat their guests to some special gifts on their wedding day. If you're seeking an alternative to your run-of-the-mill wedding favours, BUMBLEance offer beautiful wedding favour cards. These cards are specially designed, and we sell these from our Head Office and on our website. We would ask that a Bride & Groom choose to donate to us in lieu of having favours on their tables for their guests at their weddings and to spread the word.
In return, couples will receive a thank you letter from BUMBLEance because that is the most important thing to us – to say a heartfelt thanks to people for their support. They also get to know that they are helping families all over Ireland and relieving some of the stresses that are in involved with taking a seriously ill child backwards and forwards for appointments that be hundreds of miles away from their homes.
On occasion the trip that a child makes may be their last trip – we call that an “Angel Trip” where they go home to spend the rest of their time with their families and make final memories – that is priceless for families.
What other ways can our readers help BUMBLEance to fundraise?
We are open to all types of fundraising ideas from bag packs to coffee mornings, to sponsored walks/runs. People can organise Karaoke/Race Nights, Quizzes. Golf Classics/ Sponsored Silences for school children or “GO without your phone for a day.” We also have our Text Line to 50300 where you can text the word Fuel for €2 and we will receive €1.80 of each donation.
Whatever is organised we can assist with and provide all the necessary fundraising materials – just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you any big plans for 2019?
We have exciting plans for 2019 as we are just about to launch BUMBLEance 9 & 10 and our new Chemo Cab.
We are delighted to announce that BUMBLEance No 9 is for the Cork Region alone and we are so grateful for everyone who has helped us so far to get to this point.
We have lots of different events also planned for 2019 and we will keep everyone posted and if you see the BUMBLEance on your travels – give us a beep and a thumbs up but most of all don’t forget to donate!
Best of luck with it Tony, Mary and team! If any of our readers would like to order wedding favour cards from BUMBLEance or organise a fundraiser, you can do so here.