The Beach House is open!

After eight years of planning and with the support of so many in the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation’s community, last month we celebrated the opening of our ‘Laklinyeri’ Beach House and had the absolute pleasure of welcoming the first families to stay.

WCH Foundation CEO Jane Scotcher reflects on welcoming the first two families to the Beach House, the wonderful community who made the House a reality and the official opening events.

Welcoming the Halfpenny and Prosser families

In July, we welcomed both the Halfpenny family and the Prosser family to the Beach House.

Their feedback was outstanding, and I am delighted to share some of their words with you.

Jessika Halfpenny, the nine-year-old daughter of Wayne and Emma, said, “I like the Beach House because my brother and I get to play outside in the cubby house. It is nice to relax and play with my family.”

Jessika Halfpenny, the nine-year-old daughter of Wayne and Emma, said, “I like the Beach House because my brother and I get to play outside in the cubby house. It is nice to relax and play with my family.”

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Jessika and her brother Jakob enjoying time in the cubby house. Photo credit: Kate Elmes Photography.

Remiko Prosser and her daughter Allira invited family and friends, including Allira’s best friend Harper, to the Beach House.

Remiko said, “Our weekend getaway with Allira at the Beach House was beyond our wildest dreams. We absolutely loved that the Beach House allowed us to spend stress free quality time together not only as a family but also with extended family and friends. For the first time ever at 10 years of age Allira got to experience a sleep over with her bestie, a special memory we will all cherish.”

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Allira and Harper were all smiles at the Beach House. Photo credit: Kate Elmes Photography.

Celebrating the extraordinary home

Throughout the Beach House project, it has been a pleasure to see how honoured and excited everyone is to be involved with this extraordinary home.

Some highlights include witnessing the pride felt by Paul and Marisa Bellardino of Bella Build & Design the day they handed the House over to our Chairman Nick Begakis AO and myself, the pride of the Victor Harbor community who have welcomed us with open arms and countless inspirational South Australians who through their generosity made this dream a reality.

Across the weekend of July 20 and 21, multiple events were held to celebrate the opening of Beach House and acknowledge many of the wonderful people involved. It was such a special weekend, with over 400 people visiting the Beach House, and one that I will personally hold as a highlight of my time as CEO of the Foundation. You could palpably feel the sense of achievement and warmth in the room – it was outstanding.

One of the beautiful moments from the weekend was when a quote by Ella Stratton, a member of the Beach House’s Project Advisory Group, was shared.

Ella and Jarrod’s son, Hunter passed away at the age of 12, after being cared for by the Hospital’s Palliative Care Service. On visiting the completed Beach House in late-June with fellow founding families, Ella reflected on being involved in the project with these words.

“We were lucky enough to have had holidays to create memories and photos with Hunter, which are the most precious things we have now Hunter has gone. To know families can have those same opportunities to spend quality time together in such a beautiful, purpose-built space is so heart-warming. There is so much love and heartfelt emotion in the Beach House. I feel a few angels around who would be very happy.”

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WCH Foundation Chairman Dr Nick Begakis AO, His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC and WCH Foundation CEO Jane Scotcher at the official opening of the Beach House on Saturday 20 July. Photo credit: Andrew Beveridge. 

Acknowledging our community

Thank you Sara Fleming, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner at the WCH, for your vision of the Beach House, which is genuinely family focussed, and our founding families who never gave up over the years when the project slowed and so bravely shared their knowledge and experience.

Thank you to the Women’s and Children’s Health Network for trusting us with this very special project.

The Beach House is a gift from the people of South Australia for the families who will stay at the home. The Beach House highlights how much our state cares about these families and the willingness to support them when they need it most.

From the stories we have heard and the smiles seen on the faces of our first families, the Beach House is already having the impact we envisioned. This is a wonderful outcome; I cannot thank everyone who contributed enough for your interest and support.

For more information on the Beach House and how you can support the ongoing program, visit our Beach House page.

 

 

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