The 50 for 50 Challenge

Who’s with us?

Dear Friends!

We have a problem. A serious problem.

We also have an opportunity. A serious opportunity.


The problem

Each year Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI) applies to the HSE for National Lottery Funding (NLF), and each year we receive enough of a contribution from different areas of the country to sustain our exceptional respite and recreation programme.

Unfortunately, in 2017 our allocation was slashed by some HSE offices, leaving us with a deficit of around €50,000.

As soon as it was clear that this situation was unfolding our CEO, Tom Scott, wrote to the HSE, copying in the Minister for Health, the Minister for Disabilities, the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and various TDs in the affected areas, asking why this funding had been reduced so dramatically.

The answer given by the HSE was that there had been an increase in the number of applications from agencies supporting older people. It was also made clear to us that because NLF is never certain, the decisions would not be changed.

Why does this matter so much?

For many of our service users and members, the respite service we provide is the only break the person with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus receives in a year. The Board and staff of SBHI are committed to doing all we can to ensure that the life-enhancing respite programme for people of all ages continues in 2018.

But this requires drastic action.

So how will we achieve this? Enter… the opportunity

2018 marks the 50th Anniversary for SBHI. This is a big year and we are setting a big fundraising target - €50,000!!! Hence, The 50 for 50 Challenge!!!

There are already various events planned during the year, especially with Stephen Martin and his Marathon Man to Ironman Challenge programme. Please see – for more on this. This is in addition to ultra-athlete and SBHI Patron, Shane Finn, preparing for Shane Finn’s Race Across America in 2019! Please see: for more information.

However, we will only succeed if YOU to get involved with The 50 for 50 Challenge. To hit this ambitious target and ensure that our unique respite programme is sustained – regardless of the radical reduction in funding from the State – we need as many people as possible, like you, to do whatever you can to fundraise and help us hit €50,000.

To show that we truly are in this together, SBHI CEO, Tom Scott, will be challenging himself and has entered two separate sponsored events in October 2018 – the Great Fjord Swim (3.9km in Mayo) and the Dublin City Marathon. Tom has never swam or ran this far before, and it will be a true test of endurance as we look to smash our fundraising target!

How to get involved…

So, if you are fired up to do some essential fundraising this year and help sustain our services, we need to hear from you! Let us know what your idea is and we will support you to realise the full potential of your event.

Click the links below for the latest LIVE updates from Tom:




Just email: Or call: 01 457 2329

The 50 for 50 Challenge

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