Gold Coast children will receive an extra helping hand through their surgical journeys thanks to a $334,000 funding boost to expand an innovative support program.
Childrens Hospital Foundation Queensland and Gold Coast Hospital Foundation have received grant funding that will help expand the invaluable Child Life Therapy Program being deliverd at Gold Coast Unisversity Hospital. The funding is a result of a Greater Charitable Foundations commitment of $900,000 in grants this year to help deliver crucial services to those in need across regional NSW and South East Queensland.
The Child Life Therapy program supports young children and their families in their hospital journey by helping counteract fear and distress that is often associated with medical procedures. It includes pre-theatre support, distraction therapy (play, arts and crafts, puzzles), tours and ward orientation, and social emotional support for parents and patients, to put children at ease, and reduce family anxiety around the hospital experience.
The children’s perioperative team at the Gold Coast Hopsital has piloted and established a part-time Child Life Therapy Service since 2016 with the funding support of the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation. With the Greater Charitable Foundations funding injection, the program will be expanded to a full-time service for the next three years. There is also future potential to expand the develop the program to other hospitals across the state.
Gold Coast Hospital Foundation CEO, Kim Sutton, said “we are so happy to be able to work with the Children’s Hospital Foundation Qld and Greater Charitable Foundation to test and hopefully replicate this important service across QLD. Distraction therapy and medical play activities that support the child’s social developmental and emotional wellbeing are so important for helping children overcome their anxiety and move smoothly through their surgical journey”.
Rosie Simpson, CEO of Children’s Hospital Foundation QLD, said she looked forward to seeing the Greater Charitable Foundations funding make a difference for sick and injured kids under going surgery and other prcoedures at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
“The Child Life Therapy Service fills an important void in the experience of children undergoing treatment in hospital and their families. We know surgery and procedures can be a scary and often overwhelmning experience for young patients, and this service addresses this head on, helping to counteract the fears and anxiety and correct misconceptions,” said Rosie.
‘The Children’s Hospital Foundation is delighted to be able to join forces with the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation to enhance this invaluable program for Gold Coast Children – and potentially children across Queensland.”
Greater Charitable Foundation’s total contribution to community groups has now reached $8 million since 2011 and this year marks a significant milestone in terms of the Foundation’s footprint, expanding further north with financial support also offered to OzHarvest’s NEST initiative to be rolled out across the Gold Coast region.