23 Sep 2020 | News

New program for children of families impacted by cancer

The impact of a parent, grandparent or sibling going through cancer treatment is significant on children in a family, in fact, the entire family is affected.

Yet there is currently no dedicated program available across the Sunshine Coast that supports children of parents and guardians with cancer. A community-health gap that aligns strongly with Bloomhill Cancer Care’s mission.

At Bloomhill, in partnership with the Buderim Foundation and local business Stream Financial, are looking to kick start a nationally unique community-health service on the Sunshine Coast.

One that offers FREE, supportive care tailored to assist families with younger children – particularly aged 6-12 years – to help them navigate this complex and emotional journey.

The Buderim Foundation have kick started the project, awarding $7991 through their Community Grant program. Bloomhill was one of 20 amazing community groups and not for profits who were supported this year.

Grant funds will be used to purchase equipment, library resources and consumables needed to establish a Family Cancer Care and Play Therapy program at Bloomhill’s Wellness Centre in Buderim.

Picture giant outdoor games to play in the Bloomhill gardens. A fully stocked library of children and family educational resources. And Arts and craft materials to explore emotions through creative art and play therapy.

“Engaging in individual or group play therapy allows children to experience a sense of control and participate in positive and fun interactions with peers and facilitators,” explains Trish Wilson, clinical services manager at Bloomhill.

“All which help develop insights and skills into managing difficult or challenging thoughts, feelings and relationships.”

Part of the funds will also go towards a school holiday ‘kids connect’ program designed to allow children facing similar situations to share fun and experiences together.

Parents will gain significantly from this program, from both the respite over school holidays (often challenging times when a parent or sibling is having chemotherapy or other treatment), as well as the relief from the psychological support of their child.

“Thank you to the Grants Committee at the Buderim Foundation and all of its amazing donors who have set the wheels in motion for this amazing initiative.”

Local Sunshine Coast business Stream Financial has recently announced it will “take the baton” and help Bloomhill raise funds for the next stage of the project which will see an additional $8,000 committed to the project.

The goal – to establish a dedicated part-time counsellor who can offer FREE family and children’s counselling, including grief and bereavement for those faced with terminal diagnosis in the family.

“All of us at Stream Financial know first-hand the impact of cancer can have on staff and family members. Which is why we are so passionate about supporting Bloomhill – an amazing and trusted local cancer care charity,” said Janis Glassop, Client Services Manager at Stream Financial.

“I invite all like-minded businesses who are committed to caring for children whose family have been impacted by cancer to help us sponsor this new counselling position for the next three years.”

A fun and vibrant mural depicting butterflies, wildlife and tropical Bloomhill gardens will take pride and place in Bloomhill’s Client Therapy garden to commemorate the launch of the program.

“Local artist Mark Barnas is donating his time to create a bespoke and vibrant mural specifically for this project,” Ms Wilson said.

“With each panel of the mural up for sponsorship to showcase those businesses who come on board.”

If you’d like to help see this project reach its next milestone, please contact Janis Glassop at Stream Financial or Sarah Wetton at Bloomhill Cancer Care.

Sarah Wetton: 0419564772 / sarah.wetton@bloomhill.com.au
Janis Glassop: 0448 511 866 / Janis@streamfinancial.com.au

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