Freemasons underpin end of life care program

Agenerous donation has given surety to a local care program for people who are approaching their end of life.

Freemasons have committed to more than $90,000 over three years to In Home Hospice Care enabling it to expand its community care program in Mount Gambier.

The successful service, supported by trained volunteers, was established in 2020 through a State Government Palliative Care grant however since the government funding ended in November last year, the service has relied on a $60,000 grant from a local business to continue until July.

The new funding partnership with Freemasonry will enable In Home Hospice Care to establish a Grief, Loss and Bereavement Care Program to support its volunteers, staff and the community who are experiencing end-of-life issues.

A cheque presentation took place in the Civic Centre last week where representatives of Masonic Charities – the benevolent arm of The Grand Lodge of Freemasons SA & NT- presented In Home Hospice Care with the first of three cheques for $30,000.

In Home Hospice Care is a free service, providing people who are dying and would prefer to die in their home environment the option of compassionate care with the support of their family, carers, and friends.

Research shows that although 70% of Australians want to die at home or in a home-like environment surrounded by family and friends, currently in South Australia only 13% do so.

The Mount Gambier In Home Hospice Care service has a total of 35 community members volunteering within the organisation to provide the free service.

In Home Hospice Care chairperson Maureen Klintberg said the Freemasons’ support was vital to its future development.

“This project will enable our community to be better informed, more aware and better able to cope with the loss of loved ones, by providing them with a caring support network of like-minded people,” she said.

“On behalf of our board and volunteers we are extremely grateful to the Masonic Charities trust of SA & NT for their generosity and understanding of needs within communities.

“This contribution is an important factor in the growth of conditional and passionate care programs within not only Mount Gambier but throughout the Limestone Coast region.

“We recognise the dedicated work that is undertaken to build the funds that have made possible this wonderful donation to In Home Hospice Care.

“Together we cannot change the outcome, but we can affect the journey.”

Grand Master of Freemasons SA & NT David Booker said it was pleasing to support the well-being and resilience of volunteers who were the backbone of successful community service organisations.

“The importance of helping build a strong network to support volunteers and staff while they go through the end-of-life journey with clients, families and carers cannot be underestimated,” Mr Booker said.

“It is rewarding for Freemasons to be able to help build a strong community support network that fills in the gaps of existing palliative care services and builds a compassionate Mount Gambier program that operates as part of a broader public health approach in assisting people at end-of-life.”

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