The Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice (AYAH) in Manly has officially opened on the former Manly Hospital Site at North Head, with first patient Jamieson Leeson (21) having just enjoyed a fortnight at the respite facility. The first-of-its-kind facility continues to recruit some fantastic registered nurses to provide teenagers and young adults with life-limiting illness with respite care, symptom management and end-of-life care.
Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) Geoff Yates showed us around the facilities at the launch event. The facility sits towards the back of the former Manly Hospital site and has beautiful water views. Inside there are eight bedroom for patients, each with an ensuite and outdoor balcony. There are also two-family accommodation units and two carers’ lounges, a dedicate kitchen and dining room as well as a games room, media room, multisensory room, quiet room and sitting rooms.
The hospice will be important for young people who outgrow nearby Bear Cottage or who are diagnosed with life-limiting conditions as a young adult.
Its first patient, Jamieson Leeson, is one of those Bear Cottage residents to outgrow Bear Cottage and had her first stay at the facility in February.
“It is very important for young people needing hospice care, but also for those in situations like me that have grown out of Bear Cottage and need respite care where they can spend time with their family,” Ms Leeson explained.
“It is very important for young people needing hospice care, but also for those in situations like me that have grown out of Bear Cottage and need respite care where they can spend time with their family”
Jamieson, who is a Paralympian boccia player and currently studying a Bachelor of Economics at the University of New South Wales, said being a teenager or a young adult can be a tricky time in life.
“It is so great for people like me to have a place like this to meet others and be supported with their illness,” Ms Leeson said.
Standing out front of the building just after its completion, Manly MP James Griffin was overcome with emotion. In his time of government, this is his among his proudest moments, he said.
“Australia’s first Hospice for Young Adults is open and welcoming clients on the old Manly Hospital site. It is the project closest to my heart. It makes good on a promise I made five or so years ago, but more importantly, the positive impact it will have on people right across this state cannot be understated. It’s something we all got behind, and we can all be proud of.
He later added, “The Manly community have supported this project from the very beginning, and to welcome the first patient is incredibly special.”
“Meeting Jamieson, the very first patient to receive care at the Manly hospice, it has been wonderful to hear first-hand about her positive experience so far, as well as her involvement on the interview panel to recruit key members of staff.”
The AYAH development was supported by both NSW and Federal Government funding, as well as community donations. Manly residents Mrs Kay van Norton Poche and husband Mr Greg Poche provided sizeable donations for its construction. About $2 million a year will continue to be provided to the service for its operation.
Community and philanthropic support has also been crucial to the development of the AYAH and donations are received by the official charity of the health district, the NORTH Foundation.
Patients and their families stay at the AYAH free of charge so donations from the community can play an important role in enhancing the patient experience in the future.
You can donate to support the AYAH via https://northfoundation.org.au/ayah/
The hospice in pictures