Work begins on Hummingbird House in Australia

Work begins on Hummingbird House in Australia

Feb 20, 2015
Above - John Hummelstad (right), Chairman of Queensland Kids visiting the Treehouse pictured with EACH Trustee Will Self (left)

QKHHWednesday 18 February was a historic day for children’s palliative care in Australia as work began on Hummingbird House; a joint initiative of Wesley Mission Brisbane and Queensland Kids. 

There are only two children’s hospices in the whole of Australia for a population of 23 million, compared with the 49 children’s hospices for the 63 million people living in the UK. Hummingbird House will provide vital palliative care and respite support to Queensland families with children affected by life-threatening conditions.

EACH are twinned with Queensland Kids and have supported the start-up phase of Hummingbird House and will continue to offer advice on organisational structure and the development of their model of care, staff training and charity shop strategy.

The relationship began when Queensland Kids co-founders Paul and Gabrielle Quilliam visited EACH in October 2013 and discussions about a twinning project began in March 2014. Since then, EACH has provided various support for Queensland Kids as they work towards establishing Hummingbird House as the only children’s hospice in Queensland. 

There’s also a Royal link between the two charities. The Duchess of Cambridge is EACH Royal Patron and during the Duke and Duchess’ tour of Australia and New Zealand last year, The Duchess met with Paul and Gabrielle, to talk about children’s palliative care provision and the new Hummingbird House hospice. 

Paul Quilliam, Hummingbird House General manager, said “At any one time in Queensland approximately 3,700 families live with, love and support a child with a life-limiting condition. These families experience significant pressures. They desperately need a break, a place to go where their children will be cared for, where they can reconnect as a couple and as a family and where, when the time comes, they will have a supportive environment to say goodbye to their child; they need Hummingbird House.”

Construction of Hummingbird House is expected to be complete by the end of the 2015 and will include a heated indoor pool, unique wheelchair accessible outdoor tree house and swing, orchard and sensory garden. The hospice will be able to accommodate up to eight children and five families at a time. 

We’ll look forward to seeing the developments of Hummingbird House and will keep you updated with progress!

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  • EACH helps us to create lovely memories and has played an important part in all of our lives, not just Lucy’s. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • EACH has helped us keep Stanley’s memory alive. And allows us to look to the future Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • It’s been a great opportunity to meet other parents in a similar situation, something that doesn't really happen anywhere else. Helen, William’s mum
  • I can’t imagine what it would have been like. Nobody should have to, every family should be offered the support we were, and are still getting Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • We arrived at the hospice feeling scared and alone. We had so many questions – they answered them all and more. Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • Renee loves going to The Treehouse, but it’s great that care staff are also able to visit us at home too. Stacy, Renee’s mum
  • EACH supports families when they’re at their absolute lowest, helping them to come to terms with their child’s illness, losing them and beyond Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • EACH helped us with coping mechanisms and special ways of remembering Stanley. Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • When we first heard about the hospice we were apprehensive because we didn’t know what to expect. When we got there we realised it was a lovely place where Renee would be well looked after, and we would be able to have a much-needed break. Stacy, Renee’s mum
  • I didn’t realise hope was a gift until I became a mum. My little boy taught me many things and that was one of them Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • I really love going to the hospice. I’ve made friends there and get to do loads of fun stuff. Renee
  • We are also supported by the 24/7 True Colours nurses and it’s so reassuring knowing we can call on them whenever we need support or advice Helen, William’s mum
  • Children like Lucy don’t get the opportunity to go to sleepovers or to their friends for tea, so the interaction she has at the hospice is priceless. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • The play specialists are excellent and I also get inspiration from the activities they organise. Heather, Lucy’s mum

The Treehouse

St. Augustine’s Gardens,
Ipswich, IP3 8NS


Church Lane, Milton,
Cambridge, CB24 6AB

The Nook

Pigot Lane, Framingham Earl
Norfolk, NR14 7PX