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24 Feb 2016

Ballarat Hospice Care Inc, a unique organisation, respected and valued by the greater Ballarat community, has been providing home-based community palliative care for over 32 years.

As Ballarat and the surrounding districts have grown in population, so, too, has our service. To address the diversity of our patients’ complex needs as they manage their life-limiting illnesses, we have expanded the range of our service into the community.

We have achieved our number one priority to provide a home-based community palliative care service at no cost to our patients through judicious planning, fiscal responsibility, employment of committed and specialist staff and the amazing support of trained volunteers.

A life-limiting illness knows no borders. It can affect people of all ages and we recognise that it is a very individual and personal experience, which we respect. While many of our patients are diagnosed with cancers, there are many other diseases that equally can have overwhelming consequences on the lives of patients and their carers. Patients can access our palliative care services for several months or maybe just a few days, depending on their individual needs. Our support programs include nursing, social work, bereavement counselling for siblings and parents and, while grief, loss and death are a reality of living, the death of a child for most is unbearable.

Our staff, acknowledged as experts in the field of palliative care and specialist nursing, also deliver education to health professionals, carers, family members and volunteers. As our patients range from young children, through to elderly people, all requiring our specialist knowledge and care, it’s vital that we continue our education program to all organisations providing a broad range of home-based community services.

We don’t have suitable spaces to provide for concurrent education, bereavement and support programs, which play such an important role in our palliative care services

And our current premises are certainly not adequate for our staff, patients, carers and families needing privacy as they commence a very personal journey of understanding, acceptance and care.

More people are choosing to use Ballarat Hospice when they are faced with a life-limiting illness. Our aim is to enable 100% of people choosing home-based palliative care to receive that care – at home.
These are the facts:
• In 2006 we had 70 concurrent patients
• This year we have double that number
• Patients often present with increasing complexity of needs
• We have expanded our staffing hours to work with the increase in patient numbers
• We provide clinical support to other health professionals
• Our equipment loan service, which is at no cost to patients, has expanded and we have funded a dedicated position to manage this role but struggle with space to clean and store this vital resource
• We have appointed a manager of volunteers who manages over 100 active volunteers who provide administrative support, fundraising opportunities, patient support and the running of two op shops
• Current donations support 20% of our operating costs in direct service delivery
• Research shows that 80% of people prefer to die at home across the state – only 27% achieve this. Within the Ballarat and surrounding area, we have been able to support 40% of people on our program achieve their wish to die at home
• We care for patients and carers holistically with a “make it happen” attitude.

• We have contracted to purchase land in Sturt Street West Ballarat. The seller has offered extremely generous conditions agreeing on a deposit of 10% with the balance being paid in 12 months. This high exposure position is approximately one acre with front- and side-street entry, allowing enough space to build a purpose built multi-functional building that will cater for an expanded home-based palliative care service
• We plan to offer more educational programs to health professionals and carers
• To continue to develop as a leader in home-based palliative care in order to mentor and support health professionals statewide
• Explore opportunities for the development of other related services that could be delivered by Ballarat Hospice Care Inc.

The Committee of Management of Ballarat Hospice Care Inc. recognised some time ago that the organisation needed to relocate and grow or cease to exist. This decision led them to plan a professional capital-building campaign that can attract support from community, corporate and government sectors.
The first stage of the capital-building campaign aims at raising $1M to fund the purchase of land. The second stage will be the establishment of a fundraising campaign towards the construction of a purpose-built multipurpose building to house Ballarat Hospice Care Inc. now and into the future.

Government support has been sought with advice being given to Ballarat Hospice Care Inc. that a bipartisan approach will be taken by politicians in seeking government support towards funding the building construction.

Our aim is to seek support from the whole community through an initial awareness campaign and by holding events, seeking sponsorship and donations from local organisations and making grant applications to philanthropic trusts. We are confident that through these actions this campaign will be highly successful. The many families who have relied on support from Ballarat Hospice Care Inc. are now willing to support the capital-building campaign.

A series of capital-building campaign launches are currently being planned, with the first to be held at 11 am on 17 February 2016 in the Trench Room, Ballarat Town Hall, with the support of Ballarat Mayor Cr Des Hudson.

This event gives us the opportunity to reveal our plans to the many supporters who have been with Ballarat Hospice Care Inc for many years.

Our corporate launch will be an opportunity to speak to our current and potential corporate supporters and will be held during April. Substantial corporate support has already been offered and discussions for more corporate involvement are currently underway.

We are also planning a medical launch, inviting all local health service providers and practitioners including GPs, pharmacists, allied health practitioners, oncologists, pathologists and other medical-related services. This gives us the opportunity to speak in medical terms to those who already refer their patients to Ballarat Hospice Care Inc.

Other launches / discussions will be held over the next few months, with media support to ensure that the message about this much-needed capital-building campaign is broadcast to the widest-possible community.

If you would like to help or for further information, please contact:

Gloria Turner
Ballarat Hospice Care Inc.
Fundraising consultant
P: 0407 555 542