A major funding win is helping Warrnambool’s hospice-in-the-home program expand its reach across the south-west.
Warrnambool and District Community Hospice received more than $680,000 in state government funding, which president Eric Fairbank said would not only secure the organisation’s financial future, but also help it to grow.
“It allows for expanding, for us to go further into the district,” Dr Fairbank said. “We can set up our future.”
The funding could also help the organisation buy a car and upgrade its Hospice House facility at Deakin University to give patients and families a more suitable place to visit.
Dr Fairbank said the government backing was a huge vote of confidence in the free hospice at home model, the first of its kind in the state and probably the nation.
Warrnambool hospice uses trained volunteers to fill gaps in existing services and help families care for their terminally-ill loved ones to allow them to die at home.
“It is nice to receive such a vote of confidence in the service we provide, and it will give us some breathing space to ensure our future financial sustainability,” Dr Fairbank said.
“We have set up a workplace giving scheme, but it is only in its early days at this stage.”
Warrnambool’s hospice model is also continuing to gain wider recognition and is being considered for its ability to be replicated in other regions.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy said Warrnambool hospice was among six previously unfunded organisations to share in the government funding for its work in end of life care.
“We know that many people who are terminally ill want to die at home – close to family and loved ones. This funding will give people in the region the support they need to be cared for at home,” Ms Hennessy said of the support.
“These local services help people make the most of every moment as their life draws to an end.”