As we enter the beginning of October, I realise it is only a month away from the True Colours Long Lunch fundraiser on 1 November, Melbourne Cup Day. It is always a major event that many people enjoy and it is our main fundraiser of the year.
There is a lot of preparation that goes into this event, and the Friends of True Colours work hard to make sure the day goes according to plan. Diane O’Sullivan has coordinated this event over a number of years, a brain child initially of Annah Stretton. This year, Pam Lugton has coordinated the event with the support of Heidi Robinson and the Friends of True Colours after Diane has stepped back due to family commitments.
There are many people who contribute to making this day a success, and those that attend on the day are treated to a fun afternoon where the food is divine and the wine flows freely. There is live music and stand-up comedy, ‘fashion in the field’, an auction and of course the ‘Calcutta’, creating a delightfully exuberant afternoon set in the beautiful venue of Narrows Landing. While everyone is enjoying the day, the funds raised go directly to supporting families who have a child or young person with a serious illness.
For True Colours to be able to provide care and support to families there is an absolute need to fund and resource the organisation.
I have such gratitude for those people that continue to support us in different ways. It makes such a difference to our service. Every little bit counts!
If you have not yet heard of the True Colours Long Lunch and would like to come you can get the details off our website, or contact Joyce at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Money raised at this event will help provide essential funding for such things as the after-hours on-call work of the nurse specialist, visiting families in rural areas, telephone accounts (as many of our counselling sessions are done via phone, particularly in rural regions), electricity costs (to keep the place consistently warm for those children who have chronic lung disease). These are only some of the things that are targeted for funding from this event.
As much as possible we and our health colleagues aim to keep seriously ill children and young people in their homes. At times hospital is the best place, at other times it adds further stress to families already feeling isolated and overwhelmed.
Over the years families have become more technologically competent and now there are many procedures carried out in the home rather than in hospital. Parents attend to complex feeding issues, tracheostomies, oxygen, physiotherapy, and at times CPAP respirations assistance. There are many more things undertaken at home, but perhaps this gives an indication of what parents manage when there is a sick child or young person in the family.
As treatments become more advanced, we too must keep up to date, and the challenge will always be to gain sufficient funding and resources to continue to offer families a gold standard service. The only way we can do this is working together, building partnerships within families, businesses and organisations. It makes for a tremendous team effort!