Thousands of Sunshine Coast cancer patients will soon have access to additional wellness facilities at Bloomhill Cancer Care, thanks to a $570,000 Flagship Grant plus a $130,000 interest-free loan from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Bloomhill, which provides specialised support to people living on the Sunshine Coast, west to Kilcoy, north to Gympie and south to Burpengary will undergo a major expansion to meet growing demand for its services.

The $570,000 grant will help fund construction of a new two-storey therapy wing in Buderim providing eight additional multi-functional rooms for assessments and individual therapies. The bottom floor will accommodate a functional medical gymnasium and when additional funding is secured, will be further developed to include a commercial gymnasium, hydrotherapy pool and multi-functional group activity centre.

Improvements to the site’s entrance will also be made and 40 additional parking spaces developed to improve access and safety as well as enable regular fresh produce and artisan markets to be held on site. This will provide an opportunity for Bloomhill to create additional income streams within its social enterprise business to fund more patient services.

Bloomhill Cancer Care Chief Executive Officer Chris Franck said the grant had come at an opportune time in Bloomhill’s journey, with the organisation set to double its client base in the next ten years.

“We currently support around 1,228 clients going through immensely difficult times in their lives, and this number is likely to increase to 4,000 clients by 2030,” Mr Franck said.

Also, Hand Heart Pocket will provide Bloomhill with a $130,000 interest-free loan to build the infrastructure to relocate its distribution centre, which supports its Op shop social enterprise business, onsite. This is expected to save the organisation $60,000 per year in leasing expenses, increase the profitability of its social enterprise and free up funding to deliver more patient services.

“Working with Hand Heart Pocket has helped us to grow as an organisation and has prompted us to think differently about how we will achieve our long-term goals in a sustainable way.

“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity and are well positioned to grab hold of it with both hands. The support we have received from Hand Heart Pocket really is a hand up.”

Bloomhill Cancer Care patron Raelene Boyle AM MBE, Australian Olympian and cancer survivor, has been involved with Bloomhill for two decades. She said the funding would have an enormous impact on the lives of cancer patients in the region.

“Bloomhill has helped thousands of people with cancer to live well, and now even more families will have access to this support and a better quality of life,” Ms Boyle said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the grant was an extension of the grassroots support that the organisation provided over many years in conjunction with the Sunshine Coast Masonic Lodges.

“Our flagship grants help charitable organisations meet large areas of unmet need so that they can provide more positive outcomes to the community. This support will allow Bloomhill Cancer Care to enhance the lives of people living with cancer and their families in the region for many years to come.

“Alleviating suffering and empowering people to live a better life is a core value of Hand Heart Pocket and we’re incredibly proud to be able to provide this support to Bloomhill Cancer Care on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland.”

Photo: Representatives of the Sunshine Coast Freemasons along with Bloomhill Cancer Care Chief Executive Officer Chris Franck, Bloomhill Board Chair Michelle McGrath, Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, Bloomhill Client Daphne Nasir, Bloomhill Patron and cancer survivor Raelene Boyle AM MBE and Bloomhill Immediate Past Chair Michael Hurley.