Convoy funds Childrens ward redevelopment with 1 million dollars
After the 2018 i98FM Illawarra Convoy’s record breaking 2 million dollar fundraising achievement, the Illawarra Community Foundation proudly presented Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District with a 1 million dollar commitment for stage one of the redevelopment of the Wollongong Hospital Children’s Ward
Stage 1 of the redevelopment project is the largest in the overall planned redevelopment which will take place over the next few years. The work involves realignment of the main corridor outside the children’s ward to increase the footprint and allow the Hospital to create a new family room where parents will be able to take a break, have a drink and something to eat.
“We are trying to take a holistic approach to caring for our patients and also ‘care for the carers’ who have a child in hospital by providing spaces to help reduce anxiety and stress,” says Dr Susie Piper, Paediatrician and ISLHD Co-Director Kids and Families. “We are so excited and grateful for this donation which will help us achieve our vision to redevelop the Children’s Ward over a number of years and stages…this being a most important and significant first step.”
Today’s donation is on top of the $250,000 generously contributed from the Illawarra Community Foundation in 2017 which enabled the Children’s Ward to relocate the Illawarra Hospital School and make way for a new ward entrance, reception and clinic space. The Foundation has also supported the hospital with a new humidicrib, cough assist device, electric cars for day surgery and continues to directly support many families affected by potentially life threatening medical conditions, who are unfortunately often regular patients in the children’s ward.
“This support from the foundation and the Illawarra community means we can improve our facilities and reduce some of the stress on families when their child is unwell.” says Dr. Susie Piper. “We also see firsthand how much the direct funding provided by the Illawarra Community Foundation assists families who are
really struggling, and would like to thank them and the community who support Convoy for making this possible.”
Approximately 3,500 children per year are admitted to the ward and several thousand go through the Paediatric Assessment Unit and Paediatric Outpatient clinics.
“This is an extremely important facility for the treatment of children in the region and we are proud to support stage one of the project” says Convoy Manager, Mark Rigby. “The upgrade will benefit any child in the Illawarra that has to attend the ward due to illness, and will allow their families and carers’ needs to also be met with better facilities so they can focus on the care of their child.”
Additionally, a $250,000 investment from the NSW Government earlier this year as part of paediatric amenity upgrades to eight paediatric services across the state will allow the children’s ward to deliver improvements to family facilities during Stage 1 of the redevelopment.
It’s anticipated that construction of Stage 1 will begin in early 2019 and be completed by the end of the year.
Funding information for families and individuals affected by potentially life threatening medical conditions is available on the www.illawarraconvoy.com.au website.