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Charity digs deep

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Charity digs deep

Construction has started on Wishlist’s latest ambitious project – an accommodation centre in Birtinya.

After years of planning, a Sunshine Coast health charity is marking a significant milestone with shovels hitting the ground on a major project.

A recent turning of the sod marks the beginning of construction at Wishlist Centre in Birtinya – a unique and ambitious project, designed to support patients and their families.

Backed by Wishlist charity, the centre – at Bright Place opposite Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) – will provide affordable transitionary accommodation and distinctive services to help patients and families during their health journey.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe says the $14 million project will “up the ante” for supportive environments dedicated to patients who need ongoing treatment at SCUH.

“The sod turn is a major milestone for a project that we have been working on for the past five years,” Ms Rowe says.

“Wishlist Centre will be a warm, supportive and stimulating environment with each of the four levels delivering a different service or activity to provide physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological support for patients and their families.

“Through collaboration and engagement, we identified the need for more low-cost accommodation to complement our existing Reed House and Wishlist House and while doing so learned that services to improve the mental health and wellbeing of our community were also required.”

In a major win for local construction, Maroochydore-based Hutchinson Builders has been awarded the design and construction contract for the four-level facility.

Hutchinson Builders is Australia’s largest privately owned building company, and chairman Scott Hutchinson says the local team is proud to work with Wishlist to bring this project to life.

“Hutchies are delighted to be associated with Wishlist Centre,” Mr Hutchinson says.

“We love to help with these projects, and we are proud to be continuing our work on the Sunshine Coast.

“Wishlist Centre will play a pivotal role in supporting the region’s communities in times of need.”

The project is expected to employ up to 170 contractors on site, and indirectly create about 60 full-time roles.

Wishlist Centre will offer 18 spacious and light-filled rooms, with single, family, and interconnecting rooms and a podium level with communal spaces for guests to use, including kitchen and laundry facilities, along with break-out spaces for community activities and therapy services to support the patients and their families.

The facility is supported by a $12 million federal government grant made possible with the support of federal member for Fisher Andrew Wallace.

“Wishlist Centre forms the missing piece in the puzzle in delivering a truly world-class health hub in our community and fills an urgent gap in health provision on the Sunshine Coast by providing low-cost accommodation for patients of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and in particular their families,” he says.

Stage one is expected to open mid-2022, with Wishlist now fundraising for an additional $2 million to ensure once open, the facility meets the needs of patients and their families.

To support Wishlist’s $2 million by 2022 fundraising appeal, visit wishlistcentre.org.au.

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