Mary McAleese – President of Ireland 1997-2011
Mary McAleese, who served as Ireland’s eighth President from 1997 to 2011, personally met both Saoirse and Liam, and invited the Heffernan family to the Aras to celebrate Liam’s second birthday. Mrs McAleese is a keen supporter of the planned Liam’s Lodge. “This fantastic project will be a sanctuary from the daily challenges of life which affect the whole family unit, particularly for those whose children have severely debilitating and life limiting conditions. I am sure Liam’s Lodge will open up space for much needed joy, hope, friendship, comfort and happy memories, and will be a balm in troubled lives.”
Tomas O Se- Kerry Sportsperson
Football legend, Tomás Ó Sé is a five-time All-Ireland winner and five-time All Star winner. He was a member of the Kerry senior team from 1998 until retiring in 2013 and also achieved acclaim with Cork Club Nemo Rangers. Tomas is an Analyst with RTE Sport on the Sunday Game live and a journalist for The Irish Independent Newspaper. He hosts the popular podcast Comhrá Le Tomás’.
Tomás has known Mary and Tony Heffernan for many years and was inspired by their mission. He is truly passionate about helping the charity’s King and Queen Bees and raising awareness of the cause and is a familiar face at BUMBLEance events.
Jennifer Zamparelli – TV and Radio Presenter
In August 2019, Jennifer discovered BUMBLEance through social media and invited Tony Heffernan to speak as part of the Mullet Mix on her 2FM show. She immediately got onboard with keeping the BUMBLEance wheels turning by texting Fuel to 50300 and urging her listeners to do the same! She is excited to become a member of the BEE team as she recognises the important role that this free service plays in the lives of many families across 32 counties. “It is such an important thing that BUMBLEance does and I am delighted to lend my support to this worthy cause. They do amazing work helping sick children and their families all across the island of Ireland and I am delighted to be able to help. These children are little kings and queens so deserve to travel like the kings and queens. I am so proud to support this vital service for children that is greatly appreciated and much needed’
Sean O Shea – Kerry Senior Footballer
Sean is currently studying in University College Cork and a member of the Kerry senior football team.
‘I was delighted when I was asked to be an ambassador for BUMBLEance. I have known both Tony and Mary for many years and I have seen the incredible work they put in to provide an ambulance service for sick children all over the country and I am more than happy to help out in any way I can.’
BUMBLEance, Co-Founder Mary Heffernan said: ‘We are thrilled to have Sean as an Ambassador for BUMBLEance. Sean has shown he’s a winner on the pitch and I have no doubt having him on our Bee-Team will prove to be a winning combination also. Being from the same home town of Kenmare I have known Sean and his family for years and am very grateful that he has seen the work we do and wants to help make life better for the sick children of Ireland. Together we can and will make positive life impacts for sick children’.
Dylan McGrath – Celebrity Chef
Award winning and celebrity chef Dylan McGrath is proud to be an Ambassador for BUMBLEance: Children’s National Ambulance Service. He passionately leant his support to the BBQ 4 BUMBLEance campaign in 2020 by asking the public to fire up their BBQs and get involved. He set mouths watering by donating a number of delicious recipes which are still available on our site here. He also appeared on Ireland:AM with charity Co-Founder Tony Heffernan to help spread the BUMBLEance message.
Shannon Keenan – Irish Youtuber and Presenter
Shannon Keenan is an Irish YouTuber and presenter with RTE. She currently presents two shows on RTE Pulse every Thursday (from 4-6 pm) and Friday (from 12-2 pm), as well as presenting That Friday Feeling on RTE Jr (Fridays from 3-4.30 pm). In addition to this, she does children’s entertainment with ART Party, which recently raised €12,000 through community charity bingo for Crumlin’s Children’s Hospital and Bumbleance. Shannon is delighted to be on board!
Nadia Power- Irish Athlete
‘I have heard nothing but great things about BUMBLEance and am delighted to be an ambassador. Ensuring sick children are comfortable and kept smiling while travelling for treatment is a unique and wonderful way of easing pressure on their families and helping to make life better for the children involved. I look forward to continuing to support this brilliant cause.’
Miriam O’Callaghan- Broadcaster
Mother-of-eight Miriam O’Callaghan is one of Ireland’s best-loved broadcasters, and has officially launched several new BUMBLEances. Miriam has met many of the BUMBLEance users, and she is very supportive of the difference that BUMBLEances make every day to the lives of sick children throughout every county in Ireland. “To have a child with a rare or genetic disease is incredibly difficult. I am really looking forward to Liam’s Lodge becoming available for families across Ireland.”
Jamie Carragher – Liverpool Legend & Founder of the 23 Foundation
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher played for Premier League club Liverpool for 17 years. Currently a soccer pundit with Sky Sports, Jamie is the founder of the 23 Foundation (23 was the number on his shirt) which provides the youth of Merseyside with the means to make a difference in society. Jamie says that partnering with the Saoirse Foundation was a natural thing to do. “Being part of a team and achieving something together is very satisfying. I know that without the help of my team and the teams with which I grew up with, I would not have become the individual I am today. I want to help as many children as possible to have a better life.”
English and sociology graduate Nuala worked for AA Roadwatch before joining the National Broadcaster. She writes for the Irish Independent on the vagaries of our ever-changeable weather. Nuala supports several charities including the Alzheimer’s Society, whom she represented on Charity You’re a Star; Cystic Fibrosis, for whom she ran the mini-marathon; the Special Olympics; Carers Week; and the Irish Cancer Society, for whom she removed her makeup on live television. Nuala is delighted lend her support to Tony and Mary’s inspiring initiative.
Journalist, author, TV presenter and presenter of The Last Word on Today FM, Matt is one of Ireland’s highest-profile media personalities. “I was deeply honoured to be asked by Tony and Mary to assist in the incredible efforts to make life better for sick Irish children and their parents. Anyone who has met the Heffernan’s cannot fail to be impressed by their compassion, their passion and their selfless work. It is a privilege to do anything I can to help promote BUMBLEance and Liam’s Lodge. Whatever we can do, we should.”
Personal trainer Gerry Duffy is a motivational speaker and writer, whose accomplishments include running 32 marathons in 32 days. He won the 2011 Deca Ironman event in the UK, an event described as the toughest ten-day endurance challenge in the world. Gerry firmly believes that human beings can do far more than we give ourselves credit for, and is keen to lead by example. Gerry has raised funds for several charities, he writes a column in the Irish Independent’s Fit supplement, and he is the author of He Who Dares, Runs.
Willie Casey is an Irish professional boxer from Co. Limerick who won his nickname “Big Bang” for his aggressive and powerful boxing style. He won the Prizefighter series in May 2010 in the super bantamweight division, and was named Boxer of the Year at the Irish National Boxing Awards in 2011. Willie’s meteoric rise to the head of the queue for a shot at the interim WBA super-bantamweight title defied all boxing convention. Willie has been raising awareness for Battens Disease since 2010.