East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) is joining forces with an Australian children’s charity to help improve the provision of children’s palliative care in the country.
EACH, which provides care and support to life-threatened children, young people and their families across East Anglia is one of 49 children’s hospices in the UK which serves a population of 63 million people.
In stark comparison, Australia only has two children’s hospices to serve a population of 23 million people. EACH is now working with Australian children’s charity Queensland Kids (QK) as it embarks on a project to build a children’s hospice called Hummingbird House.
Today, Tuesday 12 August 2014, John Hummelstad, Chairman of Queensland Kids met with Will Self, EACH Trustee and Camilla Haycock, EACH Fundraising Development Manager at The Treehouse in Ipswich to discuss the twinning agreement and to cement the partnership.
The relationship began when Queensland Kids co-founders Gabrielle and Paul Quilliam visited EACH in October last year and discussions about a twinning project began in March 2014. Since then, EACH has provided various support for Queensland Kids as they work towards establishing Hummingbird House as the only children’s hospice in Queensland.
The Duchess of Cambridge is EACH Royal Patron and during the Duke and Duchess’ tour of Australia and New Zealand The Duchess met with Paul and Gabrielle, to talk about children’s palliative care provision and the new Hummingbird House hospice.
EACH will be supporting the start-up phase of Hummingbird House, offering advice on organisational structure and the development of their model of care, staff training and charity shop strategy.
EACH will work with Queensland Kids to help strengthen the Australian culture of paediatric palliative care. In the long term, this relationship aims to benefit both organisations through knowledge sharing, joint research opportunities, architectural collaboration, visitations and staff exchange and social media collaboration.
Will Self said: “EACH is delighted to be working with Queensland Kids to help strengthen the Australian culture of paediatric palliative care and to help with the creation of Hummingbird House.
“The UK is at the forefront of children’s palliative care and it’s wonderful to be able to share our knowledge and expertise to ensure life-threatened children, young people and their families in Australia receive the best possible care and support when they need it most.”
John Hummelstad said: “We’re delighted to be embarking in the twinning partnership with EACH. This new international partnership will see Hummingbird House benefit from the real world knowledge, skills and experience of one of the world’s leading paediatric palliative care hospices.
“We aspire to create a similar children’s hospice in Queensland, and having the EACH team on board to advise, support and challenge us, particularly throughout the start-up phase will ensure the best possible outcomes for the families who will stay at Hummingbird House.”
Joan Marston, International Children’s Palliative Care Network Chief Executive, said: “Children with palliative care needs will be the beneficiaries of this exciting partnership between EACH and Queensland Kids, and this will help to raise awareness and stimulate programme development not only in Queensland but in the Asia-Pacific Region, where the need is very high but services are few. The ICPCN both congratulates and thanks Queensland Kids and EACH for their commitment to sharing knowledge, vision and enthusiasm to improve the care of children facing life-limiting illnesses.”