Greater support by rebuilding Very Special Kids Hospice

A life-changing upgrade to provide greater services, greater support and greater security well into the future.

To ensure we can continue to provide the highest level of care and support for children with life-threatening conditions and their families now and into the future, Very Special Kids has decided to rebuild and grow our children’s hospice. The need for support, respite and end-of-life care has never been greater.

Thanks to a significant $7.5 million Commonwealth grant from the Federal Government, we are in a position to make our vision become a reality by providing better support to children with complex medical needs well into the future.

The grant will help build a world-class hospice with state-of-the-art and best practice clinical facilities to better support children of every age, size, nationality and functional capability. The facility will offer more specialised services for children as well as a semi-private space for adolescents to better service their maturity and desire for independence.

As the number of families accessing the hospice for end-of-life care increases, their needs will be met by expanding the private area for end-of-life care, both pre and post death. It will allow for greater privacy, respecting a family’s final wishes for their child.

As part of the project scope, we are currently reviewing and researching the interim model of care for children and families we support during the project rebuild. The project is not expected to begin until late 2020 and our number one priority will always be to ensure children and families receive the support they need.

Without significant funding from the Federal Government, this project could never happen, as well as the generous ongoing support of Chain Reaction Challenge Foundation, new partner Victoria Racing Club and our community of loyal supporters who help us make an impact year after year.

We are grateful to be in a position where we can evaluate and improve our services, and this project represents the single most important service improvement in the entire history of the hospice.  It will have a significant and long term impact on the future of Very Special Kids.

Although this generous government funding has secured the first phase of the hospice redevelopment, our focus continues to be on how we can support the children and families currently in our care.

Over the past 23 years, these moments have been made:

  • Provided specialist medical care and symptom management to thousands of children with complex care needs and terminal illnesses.
  • In our first year of the hospice we had less than 40 families access the facility. Today we care for over 900 families.
  • Grow our team to 56 hospice volunteers, 27 nurses, 20 personal care workers, 4 on-call doctors and 1 Chief Medical Officer
  • Thousands of one on one and group art and music therapy sessions, creating joy, special memories and priceless keepsakes

Our hope for the future of the hospice:

  • Introduce new medical technologies and improve the level of clinical care
  • Provide discreet adolescent spaces to better accommodate their maturity
  • Better support children with behavioural complexities
  • Enhance end-of-life care to respect families final wishes
  • Increasing therapies provided to children during their stay
  • Ensure the hospice is fit for purpose for the next 20 years

We are thankful to all of our supporters in helping grow the hospice and allowing us to make a significant investment towards the future of Very Special Kids, enabling more support for families and their children.