Gold Coast University Hospital gets a little TLC of its own


Australian children’s charity TLC for Kids, together with a team of ten volunteers from local supplier Bunnings Warehouse, are banding together on Thursday November 23 to revamp the Gold Coast University Hospital’s Newborn Care Unit outdoor terrace.

The collaborative project – brought about by the hospital’s neonatal and special care nurses who wanted an enhanced outdoor space for patients, families and staff to enjoy – will include a children’s play area, a refurbished outdoor seating area with newly installed medical oxygen and air outlets for babies’ dependent on respiratory support, an outdoor umbrella to provide some shade over the courtyard and new plants and freshly painted garden beds.

Gold Coast University Hospital Special Care Nursery Nurse Unit Manager Margot Van Drimmelen said: “Our idea to refurbish the courtyard was about building on the hard work that takes place within the Newborn Care Unit’s Special Care Nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“We want our babies and their families to have access to the outdoors as part of their recovery process, and couldn’t think of a more pleasant and relaxing place to do that in,” she said.

The Newborn Care Unit currently has 33 cots and since Gold Coast University Hospital opened in September 2013, the unit’s dedicated staff have provided care to 4735 babies.

Once complete, the intimate open-air atrium will be revealed in an official plaque unveiling with hospital staff and all volunteers on Wednesday November 29.

Ms Van Drimmelen said the project was made possible through the generosity and support of community members, local business and assistance from long-time charity partner TLC for Kids.

“We’d like to thank the patients and families, community members and local businesses who have rallied in support to make this project a reality, particularly TLC for Kids and Bunnings Warehouse who this wouldn’t have been possible without,” Ms Van Drimmelen said.

Having worked alongside the hospital for the past two years, TLC for Kids have responded to 29 Rapid TLC requests – the fastest referral system of its kind in Australia that sees healthcare professionals contact them to request free emotional and practical support for sick children and their families in need – and are a proud charity partner of the hospital.

“If it wasn’t for the kindness and contribution of everyone involved, especially Bunnings Warehouse Southport who we first contacted about this project, we wouldn’t have had a role to play. Thanks to Bunnings Warehouse Southport, we now have nine Bunnings stores volunteering their time and resources, as well as local suppliers like Dulux and Searles, to the project. It is a privilege that we could all be a part of this transformation,” said TLC for Kids CEO and Founder, Tim Conolan.

Media are invited to attend the day of the makeover at 11.30am on Thursday November 23 and/or the official unveiling of the completed courtyard at 11am on Wednesday November 29 at Gold Coast University Hospital. Interviews are available with TLC for Kids or Gold Coast Health spokespeople.

About TLC for Kids

TLC for Kids is dedicated to giving practical and emotional support to sick kids and their families across Australia. As soon as the team receive a request or referral from a healthcare professional, they work swiftly to meet the needs of those people who so desperately need the help. The charity is unique in that it operates immediately and inclusively, with extremely short turn-around times and no restrictive criteria.

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