Securing the future of Very Special Kids

The long-term future of Very Special Kids children’s hospice in Malvern has been secured, with funding from the Federal and Victorian governments facilitating a transfer of ownership of the property to Very Special Kids.

Today Very Special Kids formally announced the property purchase with special guests Hon Greg Hunt MP, Federal Minister for Health and Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Federal Member for Higgins at Very Special Kids Hospice in Malvern.

To mark this momentous occasion, children staying at Very Special Kids hospice were presented with a giant cardboard key and had the opportunity to engage in interactive art therapy by painting on the key, along with government representatives joining in.

Following on from the $4 million of capital funding pledged by Commonwealth Government in June 2015, the Victorian Minister for Health The Hon. Jill Hennessy MP announced a further $2.75 million in funding in the Victorian Budget 2015/16.

Very Special Kids has leased the Malvern property from the Victorian Government since 1995 through an annual rental payment. The funding from the federal and state government essentially gifts ownership of the property to Very Special Kids.

Chairman Peter Polson said he is delighted the capital funding will secure the long-term future of Very Special Kids Hospice.

“It’s a very pleasing result after two years of negotiations with both levels of government. After receiving a critical funding pledge from the Commonwealth Government in 2015, the announcement that Victoria’s Minister for Health has pledged support is the final piece in the puzzle to safeguard this critically important children’s service.”

Since becoming the Member for Higgins in 2009, Kelly O’Dwyer has been working with Very Special Kids to secure this Government funding and her efforts have played a large role.

“Very Special Kids does the work of angels, supporting families and their children with life-threatening illnesses. I am so thrilled that $4 million of federal funding has helped to secure the purchase of Very Special Kids’ Malvern home.

Although the allocation of government money has secured the future of Very Special Kids and allows our charity to plan for the long-term, it has no impact on the ongoing operational funding required. The challenge still remains for Very Special Kids to generate fundraising of more than $5.5 million each year to maintain current service levels.

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