One of the coast’s most impressive charity collaborations will celebrate 7 years of service to the Sunshine Coast community on Friday, ahead of National Volunteer Week that starts on Sunday.
Reed Charity House was built in 2009 as an emergency medical accommodation service for patients of Nambour Hospital, their families and their carers.
Built by generous contractors and local construction group RCQ, the 20-room facility operates 24 hours a day by Australian Red Cross volunteers and continues to be supported by the Reed Charity Foundation, Wishlist and local Rotary Clubs.
Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said the state-of-the-art facility has been extremely well supported.
“Reed Charity House – named after Wishlist patron Harry Reed – has filled a void that was desperately needed in our community,” Ms Rowe said.
“It’s imperative that families have the option to remain close to their loved ones during a time of illness or injury when they are most in need of encouragement and support,” she said.
Australian Red Cross Wellbeing Officer Chris Ashton has managed the accommodation center since the transition into the Red Cross Wellbeing Model.
“Within a few short years of operation Red Cross we saw a need for the House to provide more than just a bed,” Mr Ashton said.
“We now refer to the whole campus as the Red Cross Nambour Wellbeing and Accommodation Centre, incorporating Reed Charity House, and this concept provides more of a holistic approach to care and support for our guests,” he said.
“A major part of this is to provide psychological first aid because being able to be a pair of ears for someone in distress can help them immensely with their crises.”
Other support can range from identifying the need for basic necessities such food and clothing and referring to appropriate local services such as St Vincent de Paul, transport to appointments or transport hubs. Regular wellbeing checks are also offered as well as social wellbeing activities such as a regular art group.
“More than 5,000 people from all over Australia have stayed with us over the past seven years as have a number of overseas guests and it is a real credit to the dozens of volunteers who have helped us to provide a supportive environment for patients and families dealing with a medical crisis.”
Mr Ashton said guests can include a new mum with a baby in NICU, a family saying goodbye to a loved one, a cancer patient receiving outpatient treatment or a family of a car accident victim.
“Since starting my role I have been amazed and very proud of the compassionate dedication and commitment of the many volunteers who deliver our service within such a challenging environment,” he said.
An open day will be held at the facility to celebrate the 7th Anniversary this FRIDAY the 6th of May.
Tours will run from 11am until 2pm and a light lunch will be provided.
“We’d love all volunteers past and present to join us for lunch and birthday cake, and anyone else who may wish to become a volunteer or would purely like the opportunity to take a look at our fabulous facility,” Mr Ashton said.
Reed Charity House is located next to the Nambour Hospital at 31 Hospital Rd, Nambour.