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21 Barclay Street, Heywood, VIC, 3304

A special room

A PALLIATIVE care room, designed to bring a quiet and comfortable environment for end-of-life care, is the newest facility added to Heywood Rural Health.

The official opening on Wednesday was attended by Local hero of the 2017 Australian of the year Awards and Peter’s Project Foundation founder Vicki Jellie said the Peter’s Project Foundation was glad to contribute $13,800 to the palliative care room upgrades.

“The Peter’s Project Foundation as you know, we work with the community over many years to raise funds for a regional cancer centre that was built in Warrnambool and was opened in 2016,”she said.

“From there, we had people continuing to donate money to the foundation.

“So, we continue on and every year, we put out a letter of offer to all the health services in the region to see if there’s something we can help with.

“Every dollar that’s been given to the Peter’s Project Foundation has stayed in our community and supports the whole region.

“We will do that every year, and every now and then there might be something that you might need, that is cancer related, but might help lots of other people as well.”

Heywood’s Auntie Janice Lovett introduced the new name of the care room as ‘Yana ngathuk-a wurn I,’ (Dhauwurd Wurruung language) meaning ‘I’m going home.’

“I think that the name of this unit can also be adopted by other religious, cultural and spiritual beliefs, meaning that all communities that are on their own journey can be in comfort knowing they are in a safe place,” she said.

Heywood Rural Health palliative care room project manager Lauren Newman, said COVID-19 had really restricted the project in terms of allowing tradespeople to come onsite and purchasing equipment, but despite that, the room was delightful.

“It’s a very well positioned room because we’ve got an entrance from the outside.

“People can come with their families to gather and have a space and be beside the person using the room.”

The style of the room had been changed dramatically in aim to fit a home-like feel and level of comfort for the person staying.

“Very ultra-modern compared to what we had in that room,” Ms Newman said.

“Now the ensuite looks amazing, we’ve modernised that with a beautiful base and it’s all wheel chair accessible.

“We’ve got some lovely chairs with extended legs for the families of people, so when they come, they could sit comfortably beside the person.

“I’ve always wanted the colours to be soft and very friendly.

“So, it’s very important to get the colour scheme right in terms of making it a restful environment.”

Three people have used the room so far and were able to be comfortable while accompanied by their families.