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‘Incredibly generous’ donation leads to WA-first hub in Albany to support families of those in palliative care

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
Cancer Council WA's Great Southern Hub which was made possible by a generous donation by John Street in memory of his sister Joan (inset)
Camera IconCancer Council WA's Great Southern Hub which was made possible by a generous donation by John Street in memory of his sister Joan (inset) Credit: Liam Croy;Graham Ockleshaw

An “incredibly generous” donation to Cancer Council WA has enabled it to open a WA-first facility in Albany that will help families with loved ones in palliative care at Albany Community Hospice.

The new six-unit facility, known as the Great Southern Hub, was opened on Thursday and will provide accommodation for family, friends and carers of patients in the heart of the city.

The self-service units on Grey Street, which were formerly a bed and breakfast, range from one-bedroom studios to two-bedroom apartments capable of accommodating up to five people.

Cancer Council WA chief executive Ashley Reid.
Camera IconCancer Council WA chief executive Ashley Reid. Credit: Liam Croy/Albany Advertiser

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They have a relaxed environment with gardens and plenty of light to help create a welcoming space.

CCWA chief executive Ashley Reid said the accommodation would be offered to anyone with loved ones in care at the Albany hospice.

“Having a cancer diagnosis is hard for families — it’s often the most awful thing to go through,” he said.

Cancer Council WA's Great Southern Hub.
Camera IconCancer Council WA's Great Southern Hub. Credit: Liam Croy/Albany Advertiser

“Having a loved one in palliative care is very, very difficult, so anything we can do to ease that stress is important.

“Families often tell us that finding accommodation or not being able to afford to visit someone in palliative care is a significant part of that stress.”

The facility was made possible through a substantial bequest to the CCWA by Perth businessman John Street in memory of his sister Joan Street, who died of throat cancer.

John and Joan Street
Camera IconJohn and Joan Street Credit: Graham Ockleshaw

John and Joan’s mother also died of cancer.

Mr Reid said Mr Street was a hard-working individual who had wanted “lasting good” to be created with his money.

“John was very clear that he wanted the funds to go towards facilities for palliative care,” he said.

“It is thanks to the incredible generosity of John, and his sister Joan, that we able to officially open the Great Southern Hub in Albany today.

Cancer Council WA's Great Southern Hub.
Camera IconCancer Council WA's Great Southern Hub. Credit: Liam Croy/Albany Advertiser

“Without that very significant bequest we wouldn’t be able to provide this service.

“It’s incredibly generous and an amazing legacy for John Street and his family.”

Mr Reid said the hub would also provide services and programs to lessen the impact of cancer in the community, while raising awareness of the importance of cancer support.

Cancer Council WA's Great Southern Hub.
Camera IconCancer Council WA's Great Southern Hub. Credit: Liam Croy/Albany Advertiser

He said cancer patients in regional WA had poorer outcomes than those in Perth.

“We also know there is a significant number of cancer cases in the Great Southern — over 400 people a year diagnosed and over 130 people a year die of cancer,” he said.

“It’s a significant disease, it effects every family and we really want to reduce that cancer outcome inequity in the regions,” he said.

Cancer Council WA's Great Southern Hub.
Camera IconCancer Council WA's Great Southern Hub. Credit: Liam Croy/Albany Advertiser

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