path to sustainability 

By Christopher John, Chief Executive Officer 

As our organisation rises from one of the most challenging years in its history, we are taking a deep dive into its purpose, the reason for its existence, and planning a sustainable path forward 

It has never been more important to evaluate what really matters to us, and to act decisively for a sustainable future. Each of us have the opportunity to truly focus and deliver on what matters for our clients.   

Through a strategic direction planning process we’ve been taking stock of all our infrastructure and running calculations on what we will need as the Sunshine Coast population expands and demand for Bloomhill’s services increase. Staff, volunteers and the Board are reflecting on Bloomhill’s history, listening to people touched by cancer and who we are helping right now, and working out how we can most effectively grow. 

We recently surveyed our staff and volunteers, and it is clear that passion runs deep in all our people for delivering Bloomhill’s unique form of cancer care. We want to see a future where, despite increasing rates of cancer and demand for our help, we never have to turn a person away.   

I’m pleased to share that the Board held its initial meeting around the strategic direction of the organisation in February. It was more than your average meeting… it was a weekend retreat, and involved rigorous analysis, workshopping and problem solving. We have also held planning sessions with staff and are now seeking to consult wider with our clients, volunteers, donors and community members as we further refine our future direction. We look forward to engaging with you in this process. 

As we move forward, we will continue to be open and share our progress.  

Being brave so we can be bold 

By Michael Wise, Chair of Bloomhill Board  

Through the current strategic planning process, we at Bloomhill are refining our way of thinking about why we are here and how we do what we do. 

Individuals at all levels of the organisation and clients are now involved in shaping our future: the process is about engagement from the ground up. Externally we also seek to engage donors, sponsors and the general community - anyone with an interest in those touched by cancer. 

It’s very exciting, and I’m grateful to see so many people embrace this opportunity to provide input. 

We need them – we need them to be brave and bold, so we as the Board can be challenged to be bold. 

We seek to be more connected than ever with people touched by cancer – their needs, wants and hopes. 

I’m inspired by this process because ultimately it means Bloomhill will not only be able to continue supporting our clients into the future, but we’ll help more people, and we will do it better than ever before. 

I am personally invigorated by this process of listening and engagement and I have a great level of hope and belief in the potential outcomes.  

Ultimately, we are confident that this will make us an even better organisation. 

Together we can take Bloomhill’s effectiveness to a new level, where our service delivery is further enhanced and underpinned by financial sustainability. 

On behalf of the Board I’d like to thank each and every supporter of Bloomhill for your past and continuing support; it’s our encouragement and motivation as we go through this process of review. 

Welcome to new staff and congratulations on Bowel Care Nurse position 

Drumroll please.... 

A new nurse started at Bloomhill last week! Welcome Mel Farr.  We’ll talk to Mel for a story in the next e-News, but we want to share how excited we are to have her working with us.   

The talented Kirsty Ferguson is now working two days per week as our Bowel Care Nurse, thanks to a partnership between Bloomhill and Bowel Cancer Australia. She started on 9 February. Congratulations Kirsty! The role will help local people with bowel cancer achieve better outcomes, including of course Bloomhill clients. Read more here.

A warm welcome also to counsellor Meike Zielinski, who has been taking sessions with Bloomhill clients since December last year.  Meike is a mental health credentialed occupational therapist and arts therapist. She has more than 25 years clinical experience in the field of health and wellbeing, and has provided counselling and mental health support for a diverse range of clients for the past 15 years. Read more about Meike here.

We would like to introduce Sue Phillips, who is currently filling the position of Volunteer Services Admin Officer on a temporary casual basis, after Val Dreghorn retired in February  

We also welcome the new volunteers who have joined Bloomhill. We have been inundated with inquiries recently 

Volunteer news and Op-shop Distribution Centre’s new location 

A powerful message of resilience and hope from cancer survivor and volunteer Joe Surace was a highlight of the volunteer induction day held in February.  

“It was awesome to hear Joe’s survival story, just so incredible to hear how far he’d come and how Bloomhill had helped him,” new volunteer Lulu Custance said.  

Lulu began volunteering in the café last August, and said the induction day was fascinating as it showed her the wider scope of Bloomhill. 

“What it does for clients is great, I had no idea.”  

All volunteers are encouraged to do the induction. If you have not attended one yet, look out for your invitation to this fun and useful day.  

In other volunteer news, we are currently planning a magazine for volunteers that will be published quarterly, and welcome any suggestions for content volunteers would like to see included.  

We are also planning celebrations for National Volunteering Week (May 17-21) and will keep volunteers updated with progress on this.  

Please note the Op-Shop Distribution Centre is now located at 11 Kelly Court, Maroochydore. Donations will be received between 9am and 1pm weekdays, with all other donations collected by the truck or van. The distribution centre is not open to the public, although garage sales are planned to take place three or four times per year. 

Volunteers excelled to assist with the relocation of the distribution centre within a very tight timeframeWell done to the DC team, and all involved! 

We would like to thank each and every one of our 450-strong volunteer workforce - we are grateful to receive your donation of time, brains and brawn. It is invaluable to us and to our wonderful cause.   

Pictured below is Shelley Williams, Russell Lindsay (Distribution Centre Manager), Kerry Shirra, Glenn Batey, and Robert Wiesenthal.

Help us support people with cancer when they need it most 

Hundreds of people are currently receiving help from Bloomhill, and we are immensely proud to be there for them. For some, they find us just after being diagnosed. For others, it’s months into treatment. Others are in remission and adjusting to life as a cancer survivor. Some are in their final months of life.  

We want to keep helping these extraordinary people. We are deeply committed to being there for them, and the more we do this work the more committed we become. We help through nursing and allied health services, group wellness sessions, support groups, counselling and therapies.  

Our nurses are guides who help a person with cancer make sense of their diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan. They also discuss services and therapies that may helpproviding information and explanationsand assisting clients sign up for evidence-based support from allied health professionals located on-site at our beautiful wellness sanctuary in Buderim. 

With a 1 in 2.1 chance of being diagnosed with cancer by age 80 years old, the confronting truth is that you, your loved ones or your neighbours will be impacted by cancer in your lifetime.  

Bloomhill now has a program allowing donors to pledge ongoing support in any amount. For just $50 per month, we can provide free nursing support to a client for an entire year. 

Please help us continue our work. Become a monthly donor through our Chrysalis program today. You can donate any amount, and every dollar counts.