For someone who natters away on twitter a lot, I’m actually not very good at this Social Media ‘thing’ and have never actively tried to attract followers. Today I am, though not for me LOL!

All charities need support though most of us have one that is close to your heart for a particular reason. I’m not asking you for cash or to change allegiance, all I’m asking for is a simple follow of @SCCHospice and for those of you who have already, thank you very much. For those that haven’t yet, please do and I will tell you why...

As many of you know, my dad died from Mesothelioma back in 2007. It is a terrible disease, made worse by the fact that it is caused by asbestos and for many like my father who was exposed to it as a young builders apprentice, you never even had the chance to protect yourself. As you can imagine the final weeks in particular are devastating. These final weeks are made worse for both the patient and their families if you are forced to be spending them in a hospital.

For many reasons, it is not always possible to have a loved one die at home, yet in Australia we don’t exactly have a much of a hospice movement. In fact, many times I have had to explain the difference between a Hospital and a Hospice ARGH!

We didn’t have a Hospice here for my dad. This meant a roster for family and friends to visit and say goodbye, trying to only have a few in the room at a time, making sure we respected other patients, the hospitals visiting hours and more. Every time dad’s breathing changed we would panic, yet it was hard to find a nurse as obviously they were busy, and I don’t blame them, obviously those that they know will be leaving the hospital on their own two feet have priority over a patient who is about die, but for us, it just made a shitty situation even worse.

State of Origin time really hit home for us. We have always watched that with Dad, it has always been a ‘special’ event for us. We did have a TV but had to keep it down quietly, could only have a few of us there with him, there was no celebration as such. I know it sounds lame, but, for us, being able to really enjoy that last Origin with dad would have mattered. IF we had the Hospice we now have, that would have been possible.

After dad died my mum happened to see that two palliative care nurses were trying to get a Hospice started here. My whole family got on board. We may not have been able to have the benefit that a Hospice gives to families, but we could help ensure that others could.

Years later we now have the Sunshine Hospice. It is a lovely ex-B&B, staffed with palliative experts, so you can ask all those questions that loved ones want to ask, also staffed with volunteers who are always happy to have a cuppa with you. Our Hospice facility, Katie Rose, even has a pool too in its beautiful grounds, and for a mum who is dying, to sit by a pool and watch her children splash around on their visit and show mummy the new stroke they learned at swimming lessons is just priceless.

The motto of Sunshine Hospice is “Every Moment Matters”.

You know what. It really does and not just for the person dying, but for their families. The chance to visit in a homely, not sterile atmosphere, matters. The chance to have those final celebrations together – for example Katie Rose has had some great Melbourne Cups & Christmas Parties for both the guests and their families to enjoy – matters. The professional support from Palliative Care Nurses matters. The support of volunteers who understand what you and your family are going through, matters.

Our Hospice gets next to no funding from the Government and in shaky economic times it is getting harder to raise funds to keep going and supplying this service for free to the Community as it should be. To keep operating we rely on fundraisers and donations, thankfully having some wonderful volunteers who work very hard on these fundraisers. Like most charities we are always looking at new ways to get more funding and having a higher profile really matters if we want to get more Corporate Sponsorship.

This is where I’m hitting you up for support, not cash, but LIKING and/or FOLLOWING us on Social media.

To be perfectly frank, it is hard to get support. As we don’t have events where we can feature cute kiddies or adorable puppies so media are not that interested in profiling a charity where they can’t get those great feel good images. To double down on the sponsorship hardship, many people and companies just really don’t like to be associated with or even discuss ‘dying’. Don’t even start me on how frustrating that is :(

So we are hoping to increase our Social Media profiles as a way to increase the profile of the Sunshine Hospice and endeavour to encourage more Corporate Sponsorship. All I’m asking you to do is LIKE our Hospice on Facebook if that is the Social Media of choice for you or FOLLOW us on Twitter if like me, that is your chatty Social Media of choice? Easy Peasy...

Of course, if you can share & encourage all your social media mates to also like & follow the Sunshine Hospice too, well you would be deadset legends!

End of life really does matter. You can’t change the fact that you may be dying but you can make the experience better, more calming, supportive, caring and just not as regimented for all with the support of a Hospice. Hundreds of people keep this facility open and operating, with your support we can also get thousands liking and following us on Social Media and that would be really really appreciated :)

Cheers & thank you,
PS. I’m not officially part of the Sunshine Hospice, just a supporter who personally fully comprehends how much they matter. If you would like to know more about our Hospice, please visit their website though note it is currently going through a revamp at the moment.


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