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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Rockhampton welcomes region’s first community hospice

Rockhampton Regional Council has welcomed the region’s first community palliative care facility, as the Fitzroy Community Hospice (FCH) prepares to open its doors to patients in coming weeks.

Mayor, Tony Williams and Councillors this week toured the new facility, which has been funded entirely through the generosity of local businesses, stakeholders, and individuals committed to providing palliative care to those in need.

“In recognition of the crucial role the Hospice will play in bridging a significant healthcare gap within the community, Rockhampton Regional Council also demonstrated its full support for the project, waiving 100% of the Hospice’s infrastructure charges and other fee assistance measures,” the Mayor said.

He extended his congratulations to the FCH board and volunteers for their tireless efforts in establishing the new facility.

“The Fitzroy Hospice is not merely a healthcare facility, it symbolises a commitment to supporting and caring for individuals and their families during one of life’s most challenging moments,” Mayor Williams said.

“I absolutely take my hat off to our 2024 Australian Citizens of the Year, Steve and Debbie Richards, who ignited the idea as well as the Fitzroy Hospice board, volunteers and public who have backed this project from the get-go.

“The final outcome is a state-of-the-art facility and the true measure of success lies in the profound impact it will soon have on the lives of those in our community who are most in need of its services.  

“The Fitzroy Hospice is the first community Hospice north of Hervey Bay, which is why Council decided to waive 100% of infrastructure charges, and other reduced fees to allow the Hospice to divert these funds back into the project.”

The Fitzroy Hospice was also the beneficiary of funds raised at the Mayor’s Carols by Candlelight concerts late last year, totalling more than $9,000.

The Hospice delivers an 11 bed state-of-the-art palliative facility, allowing for those with life-limiting conditions to spend less time in hospital and receive care in a peaceful environment with personalised support.  

Fitzroy Community Hospice CEO, Beth Thomas said the build commenced in January 2023, with the facility completed and keys handed over in February this year.

“Many local community individuals and organisations have donated money and time to help get the Hospice to the stage we are now,” Ms Thomas said.

“It has been a labour of love with many hours of volunteers helping to landscape the gardens and paint fences as well as the donation of funds and materials to get this work done – thank you so much to all for your generosity.

“We were on a quest for excellence with the board and I, visiting hospice facilities within both Australia and the UK, and we are extremely proud to be delivering what is truly a world class facility right here in Rockhampton.” 

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