Shoppers keep Queensland’s only children’s hospice humming

From tomorrow, shoppers across the state can help support some of the 5,000 Queensland children with life-limiting conditions as part of Coles’ fundraising appeal for Queensland’s only children’s hospice, Hummingbird House.

Until 13 October, customers can purchase specially designed $2 donation cards at Coles stores across the state, featuring colourful artwork by children and families who have been guests of Hummingbird House.

COVID-19 has been a heavy burden for families with children that have life-limiting conditions, with many unable to leave their homes due to the risks associated with living with an immunocompromised child. For many, Hummingbird House has been one of the few safe spaces to visit since the start of the pandemic.

Tennille Graham — mother of 15-year-old Hummingbird House guest Abbey, who designed one of Coles’ donation cards this year — said the hospice has been one of the only places for her and her family to get away from the chaos and re-coup since the pandemic began.

“Due to Abbey’s condition and her compromised immune system, Hummingbird House is the only place we’ve been able to go since the pandemic took off in March. We’re incredibly thankful for Coles’ fundraising to continue providing a safe space for families like ours, in a time where we’ve never felt so isolated,” she said.

“Hummingbird House is a place where we can feel safe as a family, where everyone makes sure our emotional needs are met as well ensuring Abbey receives the medical and therapeutic care she needs.”

Hummingbird House General Manager Dr Fiona Hawthorne said Coles’ fundraising is critical to the expansion of current services at the hospice to support more families in need — especially in their own homes.

“We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support from Coles and its customers as it allows us to expand the services we offer, and keep families connected to our support during this time of unprecedented isolation for our guests,” she said.

“We’re currently developing our ‘Hummingbird House at Home’ program, which will allow us to support families across Queensland within their own communities, in their own homes. We are also offering virtual morning teas, virtual art therapy and virtual music therapy sessions to ensure our families feel supported even if they’re unable to visit Hummingbird House in person.”

Since opening in October 2016, Hummingbird House has provided a ‘home away from home’ for nearly 250 guests and their families to reconnect and make memories to last a lifetime, at no cost to them.

Coles Queensland General Manager Jerry Farrell said the Hummingbird House appeal is one that continues to remain close to the hearts of team members and customers across the state.

“During these times, it has never been more crucial to show our support for the children at Hummingbird House and their families to show them that they aren’t alone,” he said

“I encourage Coles shoppers across Queensland to get behind this important cause and to build on the funds we’ve already raised for Hummingbird House over the last four years.

All funds raised will go towards helping Hummingbird House continue to provide family support services, physical and creative therapies, and care at the end of life, and after death for children with life-limiting conditions, and their families.

Abbey and her family at Hummingbird House

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