Ceduna's upgraded palliative care unit opens after community fundraising

The Ceduna community is invited to celebrate the opening of the upgraded palliative care unit at Ceduna District Health Service next week.

Instigated by Janet Evans, fundraising efforts have taken place over the past year, with $31,000 raised through various events, auctions, raffles and community donations to refurbish the unit.

Ms Evans said awareness of the need to do something for the palliative care unit started when she had heard from some clients about how the palliative care room provided no space for family support.

“I thought this was disappointing, considering we had a new hospital and this area had been overlooked,” she said.

“I have experienced first-hand and knew of difficulties family face at this time, I had experienced this time in our old hospital, where the facility at that time was fantastic and we were very grateful for the area and the care we experienced at Ceduna Hospital.

“I decided in August 2017 to see if I could start-up a fundraising effort to raise funds for the palliative care unit to help improve the facility.”

She said there were discussions with the hospital’s director of nursing Andrew Lane for a more permanent fixture on the balcony which would extend the room and provide vital space within the unit.

Upgrades included new doors and gyprock walls to replace screens, which would provide extra room for the palliative care unit and could be used in all weather conditions.

Ms Evans said she started raising community awareness for the need to fundraise for the palliative care unit via social media and that there was an eager response to support the project.

Donations were made by a number of individuals and community groups, such as $8000 from the Ceduna Cancer Group, Rainbow Warriors who raised $1200, Crossways Lutheran School art class who raised $179, the Village Ladies who donated $200, Shear Envy Hair Studio which donated $412, in addition to numerous cash donations.

Ms Evans said Ken McCarthy and Kerrie Harrison also provided help with a Primary Health Network grant of $5000.

There were also fundraising events held throughout Ceduna and the surrounding communities, including happy hour at the Ceduna Foreshore Hotel by Jodie Martin which raised $1200, Jo Hillas’ fun run at Oysterfest 2017 which raised $310, the Charra Hall farmers Christmas event hosted by Hayley Nicholls and friends which raised $710, the twilight open garden hosted by Leanne Marks which raised $2380, and Nanette Chandler and Smoky Bay ladies’ walks which raised $266.

There was an online auction which included goods donated by various community members which raised $1995, plus a raffle which raised $1978.

With the unit upgrades completed the room was then furnished with new items, including a modular lounge, a large art piece and new television.

“I thank everyone for their support of the project and felt it was easier to raise funds when everyone connected the need for our community and benefit us all,” Ms Evans said.

The upgraded palliative care unit will be open to the community on Friday, November 16 at 2pm.

Ms Evans said everybody was invited to come along and see how the unit was looking following the fundraising efforts.