It took a dedicated team of 200 volunteers more than three years of toiling across five op shops and now supporters of Sunshine Hospice are celebrating the purchase of land for a future community hospice.
A six-bedroom palliative-care facility is a huge step closer after Sunshine Hospice acquired the 6100-square metre property in Illuka Street in Buderim. An application for a material change of use is with the Sunshine Coast Council and, if approved, construction can begin on the facility, which will offer end-of-life care, respite care and counselling for families.
For Bev Barton, who has been an active participant in fundraising for a community hospice since 2006, the milestone is a huge step forward. It follows the disappointment of seeing the former Katie Rose Cottage at Doonan close three years ago due to lack of funding and the landlord wishing to sell the property.
“We have learned a lot from operating Katie Rose for five years and we have changed our model of care,” she says. “The Buderim hospice will be licenced as a private hospital and although it won’t look like a hospital, it will be fully accredited and by achieving this model, we should be able to tap into ongoing funding from government, Department of Veterans’ Affairs and private health funds – revenue streams previously excluded during our five years at Doonan.
“We also own this property, so we have certainty for the future.
“We are very much going to cater for the whole family with lovely lounge rooms where families can be together. We will incorporate a family room so that we can invite sick children from rural Queensland to have a holiday on the Coast and we can support them and their families with care from registered nurses while they make some precious memories here.”
Ms Barton says the idyllic setting will provide patients and their loved ones with a beautiful setting surrounded by native bushland where they can be at one with nature. Board members and volunteers have been making themselves available to neighbours in order to share information about their desired outcome for the site.
Sunshine Hospice Board chairman Frank Lewins says the land was purchased from Unitywater and the vision is to provide high-quality, residential palliative care.
Dr Lewins says it is important to counter misconceptions about hospices.
“A hospice is not a hospital, but rather a peaceful home away from home,” he says.
“Sunshine Hospice will be a quiet place: architecturally designed and surrounded by natural bushland and landscaped areas, providing a tranquil environment for patients.
“The hospice will care for a person’s physical, spiritual and psychological wellbeing, as well as supporting loved ones.
“Hospice care will be delivered free of charge to the patient,” he adds
“In a similar way to other hospices in Queensland, we will be sustained by a range of funding sources including our own community fundraising, private health funds, Department of Veterans’ Affairs and government.”
The Sunshine Hospice Board will now start a wide-ranging fundraising campaign to raise the $5 million or so needed for the construction and fitout of the building.
To find out how you can help, visit sunshinehospice.org.au.