A Visit To Hummingbird House

A visit to Hummingbird House.

A visit to Hummingbird House.

Every year a good friend of mine, Liz, hosts a fundraising lunch at her home with the proceeds going to different charities.  While every single charity has been deserving, this year pulled a bit stronger on my heartstrings. You see this year, Liz has chosen Hummingbird House to receive the funds raised.

What is Hummingbird House

I can hear you say Who or what is Hummingbird House. Well they are Queensland’s only purpose-built, nature inspired Respite/Hospise centre exclusively for children from 0 – 18years old.

It features eight medical support beds with “all the support of a fully functioning private health facility” and five family ­accommodation units for entire families to stay close by.

Hummingbird House Mission Statement

TO PROVIDE BEST PRACTICE SHORT BREAK STAYS AND CARE AT THE END OF LIFE FOR CHILDREN WITH A LIFE-LIMITING CONDITION AND THEIR FAMILIES, AND TO HELP FAMILIES DISCOVER MOMENTS AND CREATE MEMORIES TO LAST A LIFETIME.
Hummingbird House

Hummingbird House

Just read that mission statement again.  Could you ever imagine needing a place that provides this care. Sadly around 3700 Queensland families are going through this struggle now.

Visiting Hummingbird House

Hummingbird House invited Liz down to see first hand what they provide and she asked if I would like to go with her.

We arrived at Chermside and found our way to the front entrance of hummingbird House. I was feeling a little apprehensive, we were about to enter into a respite/hospice for children. It’s unimaginable to think how a parent of a sick child or the child would be feel.

The welcoming front door with cut out hummingbird. Photo Hummingbird House.

The welcoming front door with cut out hummingbird. Photo Hummingbird House.

The front door was large and welcoming and had a massive hummingbird cut out in it.  We were met in the light filled and inviting foyer by Tamara, a lovely young lady who was there to take us on a tour.

The wagon for luggage. Photo Hummingbird House.

The wagon for luggage. Photo Hummingbird House.

Tamara explained that it was important that the first impression for the young patients wasn’t scary. It is actually quite calming. There are two large red pull along wagons that the kids can put their luggage on and take to their private room.

Rooms are transformed for each Child

Decor appropriate for the child. photo Hummingbird House.

Decor appropriate for the child. photo Hummingbird House.

The beautiful rooms are deliberately kept plain and neutral. This is so when a new guest arrives it can be transformed into age appropriate decor or themed to what that child loves. (fairy, super hero).

 

Every turn Revealed A new Wonder

Sensory rich room. photo Hummingbird House.

Sensory rich room. photo Hummingbird House.

We set off with Tamara to see the rest of Hummingbird House. Let me tell you it was AMAZING!!!  Every turn revealed a new wonder.  It seemed to me that everything these special children could possibly need or want was provided for them.

 

The backyard. photo Hummingbird House

The backyard. photo Hummingbird House

Sensory rich bathroom and bath. photo Hummingbird House.

Sensory rich bathroom and bath. photo Hummingbird House.

Everywhere we went we were taken by the beautiful decor. A lot of thought and love went into  this place. Apparently as well as professionals, parents of sick children were asked what they thought would be important and would like to see included in the purpose built house.

The Dining Room

Dining Room. photo Hummingbird House

Dining Room. photo Hummingbird House

There is a full time chef that prepares good home styled meals for families to share around the dining table. It is a place for families to relax and reconnect over a delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“Hummingbird House is a place where kids can be kids, families can reconnect, and precious memories can be created.”

Art and play room. photo Hummingbird House.

Art and play room. photo Hummingbird House.

One and half hours later and we had been through the whole building. To be honest there were times that I felt overwhelmed by the thought of what these children and parents of Hummingbird House must face everyday. But for them to have a safe, supported and loving haven must be a great comfort for them.

 

The Inspiring co-Founders

Paul and Gabrielle Quilliam, Hummingbird House founders. Photo: Claudia Baxter

Paul and Gabrielle Quilliam, Hummingbird House founders. Photo: Claudia Baxter

After caring for a foster child with a life-limiting illness, founders Paul and Gabrielle Quilliam recognised a need to support families with children with complex medical needs. Gabrielle is hoping to be a part of Liz’s fundraising lunch where she will share her inspirational story.

 

$3 million a year running costs

Hummingbird Love

Hummingbird Love,

This extraordinary place costs over $3 million a year to run as a free service for Queensland families. All of the proceeds of Liz’s lunch will go to Hummingbird House. After our visit to Hummingbird House I was inspired to create this artwork, ‘Hummingbird Love’ and have given it to Liz to auction at the lunch. I hope there is a great deal of enthusiastic bidding.

 

 

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