Food for the Soul Wins Prestigious International Gourmand Award



Qualification for Gourmand Best in the World Competition

for Best Cuisine Charity Fund-raising in Europe


Food for the Soul the cookbook published by Bluebird Care and written by Celebrity Chef Gary O’Hanlon has today been named cookbook of the year in Ireland for Best Cuisine Charity Fundraising in Europe, in the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, widely regarded as the Oscars of the cookbook world.


The cookbook was published in August 2014 and proceeds from the sale of it go to Active Retirement Ireland who have 24,500 members nationwide. The winner in each country will compete against winners in the same category in other countries for The Best in the World. The results will be announced on Tuesday June 9, 2015 at the annual Awards event, which takes place in Yantai, China, on the Wine Bay beach. Yantai is a 75 minutes flight southeast of Beijing.

Edouard Cointreau, President and Founder of the Gourmand Awards, says: “Charity cookbooks are very important. Besides raising much-needed and useful funds, they also help to build teams, and save recipes that are culinary history treasures.

“These books can make a big difference, thanks to the dedication of the editors. Ireland has a long tradition of charity cookbooks, ranking often as the best in the world.”

Director of Operations with Bluebird Care, Eddie O’Toole says, “We are absolutely thrilled with this award. This is not our first corporate social responsibility award and in fact we are known for our unique charity campaigns. Gary has been our food ambassador for the past 18 months and is a strong advocate for older people and people living alone. We will continue to roll our free Food for the Soul cookery demonstrations around the country in 2015 and we invite everyone to come along to taste Gary’s award-winning recipes.”

Gary O’Hanlon is head chef at Viewmount House but also a multi-award winner for his cooking. He says to win an international award for his writing is just as exciting. “I can’t tell you how much this means to me. This book was dedicated to Rose Cunningham, my longest and oldest customer who sadly passed away last week at the age of 93, and she features on the front cover and in one of my recipes. So I’d like to dedicate this award to her. Rose and older people in our society are very important to us and that’s why Bluebird Care and I have teamed up with Active Retirement Ireland on this cookbook.”

Food for the Soul can be purchased online here for €10 plus postage and packaging.

Food For the Soul Cookery Demo Comes to Drogheda

FFTS Demo Promo Image

Join TV3’s The Restaurant celebrity Chef Gary O’Hanlon cook recipes from our cookbook Food for the Soul at our upcoming FREE cookery demo in Drogheda on March 9th from 7-9pm.

Food for the Soul is a collection of Gary’s favourite home-cooked recipes, each of which has a personal back-story. Monies raised from the cookbook will go to our charity partners Active Retirement Ireland, who have 24,500 members across Ireland.

The event will take place in the D Hotel in Drogheda from 7pm until 9pm. The event is free and everyone is welcome to come.

Book your place here 

Bluebird Care Wexford on South East Radio

The Director of Bluebird Care in Wexford, Michael Corcoran was interviewed recently about his first year in business. Michael and his team have extended the brand of Bluebird Care to the South East where they work with people of all ages and all abilities ensuring that they remain at home. He spoke to South East radio.


Listen to Michael’s interview on Alan Corcoran’s Morning Mix Show on South East Radio.

Listen to Michael being interviewed by Karl Kitzpatrick on the Business Matters Show on South East Radio.

First Ever National Epilepsy Day

The first ever international Epilepsy Day takes place in less than a month, on February 9th. This is a great opportunity to raise public awareness of this often misunderstood condition. Bluebird Care is supporting this campaign by getting involved online and throughout the country in our local offices. We are calling on you to get involved too!

Epilepsy Ireland will be running a TV and radio advertising campaign, featuring Ireland Rugby head coach Joe Schmidt to highlight seizure first-aid and we’re also planning to raise awareness of epilepsy in the media and on social media. There will also be events taking place around the country and hopefully one or two other announcements as well!

We can all play a part in raising awareness of epilepsy. To make the first ever #epilepsyday a big success, they need your help! Please read on to find out more about six ways you can get involved right now!


Get in touch with Epilepsy Ireland at with any comments or questions.

Take part in the Epilepsy & Sport Survey
We all know the health benefits of taking part in sports and physical activities, but to help with our awareness raising efforts for International Epilepsy Day, Epilepsy Ireland would like to find out a little more about the relationship that people with epilepsy in Ireland (adults and children) have with sports and exercise. Do you take part in sports or activities? Have you ever been advised not to? Have you ever been prevented from doing so? Does epilepsy hold you back from taking part? Let us know by taking our short (10-minute) survey. Its open to adults and parents of children with epilepsy and its totally anonymous.

Speakers Corner- have your say on #epilepsyday – last chance!
Epilepsy Ireland is inviting people with epilepsy and their family members to write a short article or send them a video piece to help raise awareness of epilepsy. The article or video can be about anything epilepsy-related that you feel the public needs to know about or understand better. It can be a personal experience, a short story or a bigger issue affecting everyone in Ireland… the choice is yours! They will highlight your article to a large public audience on International Epilepsy Day. This is your chance to be heard and get a message across to the public, but hurry, we’re closing for entries very soon.

#epilepsyday on social media
Social media will play a huge role worldwide in getting the epilepsy awareness message out to the public. On February 9th there will be a worldwide effort to get #epilepsyday to trend on twitter and other social media sites. Epilepsy Ireland is looking for all social media users to post a photo on the day using a sheet of paper to display the hashtag and your location. If you don’t use social media, you can send us your photos and we will post them for you! Be part of the worldwide social media effort – find out more here!

Seeking media volunteers – tell your story!
In order to gain momentum and raise awareness on #epilepsyday, we are looking for more media volunteers to help us in bringing epilepsy into the public eye. It is important to get the message out there and for people to tell their stories so that the public can gain a greater understanding of what it is like to live with epilepsy. We need people to come forward and talk about epilepsy publicly. We need people with all different types of experiences with epilepsy and in all parts of the country. All you have to do to volunteer is download and complete our media volunteer form found at the link here.

Saddle Up for Epilepsy Charity Cycle
New Year’s resolution to get active? Find out more about the first ever Saddle Up for Epilepsy cycle, a 40, 80 or 120km leisure event on Saturday 14th February in Co. Mayo to coincide with International Epilepsy Day and Rose Week. Sign up today! Entries cost just €40 and the first 200 entrants will receive a specially designed cycle jersey worth €50!

Become a Valentine’s Roses volunteer
You can help raise epilepsy awareness and funds for Epilepsy Ireland’s work this February by taking part in Epilepsy Ireland’s Valentine’s Rose Appeal. They need volunteers to sell roses at shopping centres across the country as well as at your school, college, place of work or club. Find out more about becoming a Rose volunteer.

Bluebird Care is supporting National Epilepsy Day – will you?

Play your part in raising awareness of epilepsy. Remember that you can stay right up to date on all that’s happening by following on Twitter (@epilepsyireland) and liking them on Facebook.

Contact Epilepsy Ireland
Click for Head Office details
Click for details on their nine regional offices
Click for the Specialist Nurse Helpline