We returned in early January refreshed and excited for the year ahead. It has been great to have clients and our health practitioners back at the wellness centre, our little oasis of calm and healing.

Bloomhill’s counselling and support services seem to be increasingly important for people at the moment, with the social isolation COVID has brought on. A lot of people with families overseas or interstate have had an extra burden when dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

Welcome Meike and congratulations Kirsty

I’d love to welcome our new counsellor Meike Zeilenski who started in November last year.

She has worked in mental health for many years and has background as an Occupational Therapist and qualified Creative Arts Therapist, so her skills and experience will be especially valuable for our young Bloomhill clients who may need just a little extra support in dealing with their worries and concerns when a parent has cancer. Meike will complement our multidisciplinary team wonderfully and is at the wellness centre on Mondays and Thursdays.

Care Clinical Nurse Kirsty Ferguson is taking on a special new role from the 4th February as a specialist bowel cancer nurse. In this role, Kirsty will be providing individualised care for clients with bowel cancer, helping them to manage post treatment symptoms and improve their well-being. She will also do some educational and awareness raising work to aid prevention.

Christmas spirit

Looking back on the festive season just gone, I have to say an absolute highlight was Santa visiting Bloomhill children and delivering gifts. It was wonderful to be able to finish the year on such a positive note. We had a very special Christmas evening celebration with clients and their children - a very big thank you to Santa, and to Jaz Realty and Mooloolaba Lions who provided gifts for 26 children who were all delighted. Santa managed particularly well in the heat, and the food volunteers had prepared for the children was devoured in a flash. Thank you also to everyone who made that private festive event a success.

Protecting clients from COVID-19

We are still very aware of the ongoing threat of COVID-19 in our community. We’ve seen the outbreaks in Brisbane and further south, and we realise we have a vulnerable population here. We’re following all the recommendations by Queensland Health, and we’re confident our clients feel safe in all the decisions we’re making around the restrictions here at the wellness centre.

Everyone entering the centre needs to answer screening questions at reception. Please enter via the front door if your mobility allows. Please also sanitise your hands on arrival and regularly through your visit, and keep at least 1.5 metres away from each other.

If you arrive in a group, you do still need to keep this distance unless you are all from the same household. A practical way of estimating the correct distance is to each hold your arms out like you’re about to do a star jump. The distance between you should be about 1.5 metres. Shoppers and volunteers at op-shops also need to follow these practices. We hope it won’t be for too much longer but for now we must remain vigilant - it is the only way to protect our vulnerable clients and do our bit to stop the virus spreading.