Long road worthwhile for a vital service

Helen and Leonie Wanklyn.
Helen and Leonie Wanklyn.

THE Eyre Peninsula Home Hospice service is another example of Eyre Peninsula people seeing a gap in services and taking the initiative to fill that gap.

From small things big things can grow.

Port Lincoln man Mike Leech originally initiated the project more than four years ago, inspired by his own experiences caring for his wife Cynthia at home.

He donated $5000 to start the home hospice fund because while support was provided by palliative care nurses during the day, he found it difficult to cope at times during the night and at weekends.

Mr Leech believed he would have had more quality time with his wife if he had access to 24-hour, seven day a week palliative care services.

The service was something former Member for Flinders Liz Penfold was also passionate about, taking Mr Leech’s idea and running with it; persevering to attract funding when many others would have given up.

Many other people have also come on board along the way to play their part in the home hospice service’s journey and all their contributions – of time, effort and money - have helped getting the service to where it is today.

In today’s Port Lincoln Times the Wanklyn family (pictured) has generously spoken about their experience with the service and there are others who have already benefited from the service before it is even officially underway.

Imagine the potential as the service grows, to help not only people in Port Lincoln, but as Mrs Penfold envisioned, people all over Eyre Peninsula and eventually maybe other regional areas in South Australia.

Local families have already benefited from this wonderful service throughout the trial period and many more will continue to do so into the future.

No one wants to be in the situation where they would need this service but unfortunately that’s not a choice we get to make and when faced with palliative care options for ourselves or a loved one, staying at home in familiar surroundings is often more appealing than the alternatives, especially since time together is limited.

We may live a long way from many of the services people in larger metropolitan areas take for granted but it is great to see what is possible when local people refuse to accept no for an answer, instead of sitting back and waiting for services to come to them.