Inspired by the courage of people living with the incredibly painful skin disease EB, fuel retailer Applegreen has chosen Debra Ireland as charity partners for a second two-year term.

Debra Ireland’s Head of Fundraising Judith Gilsenan and Conor Lucey, Head of Applegreen’s Retail Operations in Ireland.

“Having met our EB patients and heard their stories, Applegreen has really taken Debra Ireland to its heart and has been central to our annual EB awareness campaign,” said Debra Ireland Head of Fundraising Judith Gilsenan.

There is no known cure for EB and the only treatment is constant painful bandaging of the skin.

For those with severe EB, 80% of their body can be covered in open wounds and they have to be bandaged almost from head to toe to protect them from everyday life.

The skin charity praised the fundraising efforts of the staff at Applegreen’s 115 outlets around the country.

“We have had an extraordinary partnership, staff have jumped out of planes, taken on hellish mountain challenges and even walked over hot coals to help raise funds,” said Judith.

“The fact that Applegreen has an outlet in every county in Ireland has also been hugely beneficial in helping us raise awareness of this rare but incredibly painful and distressing genetic skin condition.

“Applegreen’s support has funded Debra’s community care programmes including a home nurse for those badly affected by EB, as well as a patient support worker who provides day-to-day help for patients and their families.

“It means a lot to our EB patients to go into an Applegreen anywhere in the country and see Debra Ireland and EB being highlighted.”

Conor Lucey, Head of Applegreen’s Retail Operations in Ireland, said the organisation is looking forward to having Debra Ireland on board as a charity partner for a second time.

“Since 2009 we are delighted to have reached a milestone of €2 million raised for our charity partners,” said Conor.

“One cent from every till transaction goes to our charity fund and that is at no additional cost to the customer.

“Our one cent contributions have raised over €1 million to date with the balance coming from national service station events, corporate events and donations.”