Great Lakes Hospice is in need of help

For more than 30 years Great Lakes Hospice Palliative Care has been providing care and support to members of the community who have a terminal illness, and and their families.

But, the tables have turned, and the not-for-profit group is seeking assistance which will enable it to continue providing residents of the Great Lakes with valuable palliative care.

Earlier this month the  group was given notice it would have to vacate its Boona Street, Forster storage facility by November 23.

The rented factory site stores hundreds of palliative care aids – wheel chairs, walkers, mobile chairs, mattresses, oxygen concentrators,  boxes of equipment, crutches, shower chairs to name a few – special equipment loaned to provide greater comfort at home.

“We have hundreds and hundreds of items,” Great Lakes Hospice Palliative Care president, Deidre Stokes said.

“The equipment gives people a better quality of life and enables them to stay at home,” she said.

The group is facing a two-fold dilemma; finding premises large enough to accommodate its growing manifest of life enhancing equipment, and a site which is  affordable for the charity.

Since learning of its fate earlier this month the group has only managed to find a handful of locations, but at more that double the rent its is now paying, and in need of vital maintenance.

“We also need somewhere secure and accessible to store our equipment,” Mrs Stokes said.

Great Lakes Hospice Palliative Care was established in the late 1980s to provide support for people in need of 24 hour palliative care through the small hospice facility Laurel Cottage, Forster.

However, lack of funding forced the closure and sale of the building, and taking the charity in  a new direction.

Money from the sale of the building was invested into the community to provide  a range of services which enabled people to stay, and die in their own home.

Receiving no government funding, the charity is solely reliant on its hard working auxiliary which raises monies though a monthly garage sale, fashion parade, raffles, charity days and a trivia night.

The charity also provides additional services including assistance with personal care, domestic assistance and cover the costs of medications, social work, podiatry and physiotherapy visits  for those who need financial assistance.