Hospice bids farewell to director Trish Gillies

Sunshine Coast Hospice held its a community report back meeting at the Hospice office last Thursday to report back on issues that they have dealt with, in terms of their standing as an organisation, about their finances and other things they did to raise funds till this far.

LAST REPORT: at the Sunshine Coast Hospice annual report held at the Hospice office last Thursday were, from left, hospice administrator Angela Hibbert, Janine Peinke and director Trish Gillies Picture: NTOMBI MSUTU

The annual report was presented to the audience by Terry Harris, who first welcomed and thanked everyone for making it to the meeting. A candle was lit to remember all those who have passed on.

“The opportunity to reflect on another year in the life of Grahamstown and Sunshine Coast Hospice is cause for reflection, amazement, and overwhelming gratitude. The quality of palliative care and services provided by our passionate staff and volunteers, the excellence in our administrative function and the astonishing feats and fundraising makes it all possible,” Harris said.

“Our continued partnerships with national and international funders, including the department of health, Foundation for Professional Development (FDP), USAID through the University of Research Council and the National Lotteries Commission, have brought challenging workloads but many targets met with wide outreach and vital resources. I want to make a special mention of our generous partner, Haven Hospice in Florida USA, for their ongoing support over many years,” he said.

Among the things raised in the annual report were projects that they have incorporated with the department of health in the strategic policy of testing and treating. The projects have been target-driven, with 1,000 HIV tests done and 120 TB patients supported monthly.

Director Trish Gillies in her report touched on these projects and how proud they are of how the organisation has grown over the past number of years.

“We have responded to the changing needs in health care. In spite of tough economy we have done well. As chairperson of the Eastern Province Hospice Association I am very aware of the tough reality smaller hospices are facing, many of which have reduced their services and staff, and face possible closure. We are enormously grateful for the opportunities we have been afforded over the past year,” Gillies said.

Hospice administrator Angela Hibbert said that as a team they have been stretched to adjust to a different landscape at their hospice over the past two years, with the introduction of new projects.

“These projects, adopted in support of health, have offered our organisation a measure of financial aid in the absence of available funding for hospice care and have assisted us in building capacity with worthwhile opportunities availed in training and skills development. We have seen challenges for the opportunities they present and individual team members have demonstrated growth and professional development as they have assumed key responsibilities on the project,” Hibbert said.

Before the closing of the report back meeting they announced that Gillies would be leaving Hospice in October.

BY NTOMBENTSHA MSUTU

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