Moira surgery staff to run for Charlene

Staff at the doctors surgery in Moira
Staff at the doctors surgery in Moira

Staff at the Doctor’s Surgery in Moira will be running the Belfast Marathon on Monday, for Dollingstown girl Charlene Barr who passed away, four years ago.

Charlene, 20, who suffered from Cystic Fibrosis, died while waiting for a lung transplant.

Charlene set up ‘Charlene’s Project’ in 2009 with the aim of setting up Hidden Treasure Primary School for the children of Maya in Africa.

It was set up after she received the devastating news that she needed a transplant.

She made the decision to fundraise and build a school in Uganda after she paid a visit to the district of Maya and discovered the Hidden Treasures primary school which was one small room made of mud and sticks.

Her aim with an initial fundraising target was to build a bigger and better school for the kids

Sadly, Charlene died in October 2010 before building work began on the African school project she created.

The surgery has continued to raise funds for Charlene’s Project which works in Uganda in educational, health promotion, sports and humanitarian projects.

“It is incredible to see Hidden Treasure Primary School which was just a small wooden shack housing 60 or so vulnerable children in 2009, now a thriving school with almost 300 children, in new buildings and with a borehole bringing clean water to the school and local community, all provided through money raised by those who supported Charlene’s vision,” said her father Dr Dickie Barr who works at Moira Surgery.

Dickie who has recently returned from Uganda continued, “We are so grateful to the staff of Moira surgery for their amazing support and fundraising efforts.

“Surgery staff, patients, family and friends have been so incredibly supportive and all that is being raised will make such a difference in the two school communities Charlene’s Project supports.”

This June, a team of over 40 including teachers and health professionals will be working in Hidden Treasure and in the more rural Kahara Primary School with a special emphasis on health promotional programmes, especially focusing on maternal and child health, where maternal death during childbirth and deaths under 5 from measles and malaria are not uncommon.

Dr McKelvey who will be running one of the legs of the Marathon commented, “There has been such a great response from our patients and we are so pleased that our efforts will make a difference through Charlene’s Project in Uganda.”

Recently, Charlene’s Project travelled around Ireland collecting half a ton of hockey sticks, balls and kit for Uganda.

The Barr family have been travelling around picking up donations at events like the Irish Senior Cup final, the All-Ireland schoolgirls championships and the Irish Hockey League. For more information on Charlene’s Project available at and