Belfast Telegraph

Rory McIlroy's foundation donates £1m to local children's cancer charity

By Claire Williamson

He's already well-known for his big heart.

And Holywood golfer Rory McIlroy is keeping his charitable deeds close to home after his foundation donated £1 million to a children's cancer charity in Northern Ireland.

The two-time Major golf champion set up the Rory Foundation in 2013 with the aim of supporting children's charities from around the world and to give youngsters a helping hand.

The Rory Foundation has now committed £1m to the Cancer Fund for Children over a period of four years to support the running of its respite home Daisy Lodge.

The charity provides practical and emotional support for children and young people diagnosed with cancer.

The top golfer has had a close association with the charity since he visited its new therapeutic short break centre in Newcastle, Co Down, to meet the children and teenagers it supports.

Explaining his decision to donate the £1m, the sports star said: "The Rory Foundation sets out to give children a helping hand. It's that simple."

He said he was very moved by his visit to Daisy Lodge.

"I was overwhelmed by the honesty, courage and warmth of the children and teenagers there and immediately made the decision the enhance my support of the charity," he said.

The family facility, which opened last month, is the first of its kind in the UK and Ireland and will be providing free short breaks for up to 500 families affected by cancer every year.

It has been built in the style of a mountain lodge.

The Cancer Fund for Children aims to set a global standard in the provision of a therapeutic centre dedicated to families nursing a child with cancer by providing a much-needed chance to relax and recuperate away from the gruelling routine of hospital visits and stress.

Chief executive of the Cancer Fund for Children, Gillian Creevy, said: "Rory's commitment to our work over the last 18 months has been so much appreciated.

"Despite his time being so valuable and demands on him so great, he managed to create opportunities to meet children living with cancer – and every time he does, he leaves behind young people with their spirits and self-esteem well and truly lifted.

"This wonderful donation will help us provide short breaks to many families and young people whose lives have been shattered by a childhood cancer diagnosis."

Cancer Fund for Children's team of specialists will be on hand to provide one-to-one support and an expanded range of therapeutic and complementary treatments for families.

Daisy Lodge includes six double family suites, four therapy rooms, a range of age-appropriate play areas, two communal lounge areas, a large open dining space, specialist kitchen facilities, a cinema and safe outdoor play areas.

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