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Brisbane community backs up Hummingbird House

People hugging each other

By April Murphy

On the 29th of October, Hummingbird House, an organisation that provides home-based services to children with life-limiting conditions, launched a 12-hour donation appeal.

“LIFT UP”, as the name suggests, was based on the fundraising proposal to raise $150,000.

Counting on the generosity of the local community, including schools and business, Hummingbird House was not only able to reach their goal but managed to raise a whopping $182,746 in donations.

Substantial donations come through CUA and Friends, Smartline and Inspire Health Services. Contributions came in at anywhere from $5 to an enormous $70,000 from the Chief and Chieftains of the McLaren Clan.

Hummingbird House state that right now, there are over 5,000 Queensland families loving and caring for a child with a life limiting-condition. Sadly, this means that their child is not expected to reach 18 years of age.

The emotional, physical and financial struggle for these families can be overwhelming. And the opportunity for them to stay connected—to their partners, other children, family and friends—almost impossible, as they navigate their new role of 24-7 carer.

Hummingbird House Nurse Practitioner Kelly Oldham, in charge of the new program Hummingbird House at Home, said many families want to be in their communities with their children.

“Over the past four years, our hospice has been a home-away-from-home for more than 300 families, but we want to provide families the option of at-home care, no matter where they live in Queensland, we want to provide them with choice and options,” Ms Oldham said.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will support the everyday operation of its Brisbane-based hospice and fund the launch of a unique at-home program, that will extend its reach beyond the south-east corridor of the state, to the rest of Queensland.

General Manager Dr Fiona Hawthorne said it cost nearly $5 million a year to operate the Brisbane centre, which provided medically supported short break stays, family support services, physical and creative therapies, and end-of-life and after death care.

“You can’t underestimate how important it is to give these families a break from hospitals and bring them together in a home-like environment where they can do simple things like get a good night’s sleep, knowing their child is getting the best medical care,” she said.

“At Hummingbird House, families can reconnect, kids can be kids, and lifetime memories are made.”

Hummingbird House is a joint initiative of Hummingbird House Foundation and Wesley Mission Queensland.

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