August 26, 2016
by Kaitlyn Estens
A motivated group of volunteers are hoping to raise $20,000 to establish a designated space for palliative care at Coonabarabran Health Service.
The fund-raising initiative, Palliative 4 People, has been spearheaded by local real estate agent, Jane McWhirter, who sadly lost her husband, Mark, to cancer late last year.
However, Mrs McWhirter was quick to point out the charity wasn’t about her.
“This is about a group of caring individuals who want to improve palliative care services in the community, as it affects a lot of people,” Mrs McWhirter said.
“My experience has just made me want to give back to the community that helped me.”
Having set a goal of $20,000, the group proposes to use the donated funds to upgrade a ward at Coonabarabran Health Service and purchase appropriate equipment for the room.
“It is very important to have a space for families and friends to visit a person with a terminal illness or end-of-life experience, and it needs to be private and family-orientated,” she said.
“At present, this is not the situation at our local hospital.”
Any additional funds will be used to help train a palliative nurse for the area, as well as purchase artwork for the hospital.
Mrs McWhirter said the response from Coonabarabran Health Service and the local health district had been excellent.
“The new health services manager, Sue Berry, is very supportive and has offered to help us with advice on what is needed to refurbish a room at the local hospital and how we should go about doing it.
“We’ve also had positive feedback from health professionals, carers and the public.
“We are now hoping to get Binnaway and Baradine involved.
“If anyone would like to contribute or join our group they are most welcome.”
The group has already received a number of significant donations, including a recent cheque presentation of $1000 on behalf of the Purlewaugh CWA branch,” Mrs McWhirter said.
“Our group’s aim is to get the community involved in raising funds in their own way.
“It doesn’t matter how much or how little, we just want community involvement.”
Mrs McWhirter said it was vital people understood that all money raised would go the Coonabarabran Cancer Support Group and would remain in the community.
“We want to get the community excited about a function and get them thinking that we can actually save or attract services to town if we all want to do that.
“If we all sit back and do nothing, then the powers that be will just keep taking things away.”
Palliative 4 People’s fund-raising efforts will culminate with ‘The Event’, on Saturday, 19 November at the Coonabarabran Town Hall.
The Event will showcase a variety of talent from across the shire, who will perform on the night before a panel of local judges, vying for the title of ‘Best Act’ and ‘Biggest and Best Fund-raisers’.
To date, six acts have been confirmed, with a further six required.
“We don’t care what theactis,aslongasitis entertaining, and we don’t care how you do it, just do it...and have fun doing it!”
Tickets for The Event will go on sale in early September.
Donations to the Palliative 4 People ward refurbishment project can be made to the following bank account:
Account name: Coonabarabran Cancer Support Group
Bank: CBABSB: 062-524
Account number: 10147807
All monies are tax deductible. If you require a receipt, then please request that at time of deposit.
For further information on Palliative 4 People, contact Jane McWhirter on 0428 422 255.
Treasurer for Purlewaugh CWA, Kerrie Ward (right), presents a donation to Jane McWhirter, Coonabarabran Cancer Support Group member and coordinator of Palliative 4 People.
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