New adolescent & young adult hospice opens in Manly

April 3, 2023

Our Hospital Chaplaincy & Pastoral Care team now extends its service to the new Adolescent & Young Adult Hospice in Manly.

CatholicCare provides Hospital Chaplaincy & Pastoral Care (HC&PC) services to seven hospitals, public and private, across our Diocese – in Wyong, Gosford, Hornsby, The San at Wahroonga, Royal North Shore, Mona Vale and and Northern Beaches. Indeed many generous parishioners and others contribute to this charitable work by donating to the appeal for our Pastoral Works Fund in the Diocese of Broken Bay each year.

Our HC&PC program marked its 10 year anniversary in 2022. It has five Lay Pastoral Care Practitioners (PCPs) and a designated Priest Chaplain for each of these hospitals. Program Practice Manager, Peter Brown, (who is also the PCP at Gosford Hospital) says “I am very proud that the program is flourishing, with the PCPs connecting with high numbers of patients, families/carers and hospital staff. Patient numbers have increased in recent years due to the hospitals expanding their facilities or being renovated.”

Denis O’Brien, our PCP on the Northern Beaches (Northern Sydney Local Health District), now also attends the  new Manly Adolescent & Young Adult Hospice (AYAH), an expansion of his duties at Northern Beaches and Mona Vale Hospitals.

Denis supports the generous participation of Lynette Johnson, Volunteer Coordinator of HC&PC in the Northern Beaches communities. Lynette has been volunteering in the hospitals for over 20 years. Lynette says “I am thrilled to see the new AYAH open in February as it completes the commitment made by leaders in the Local Health District to use the site of the old Manly Hospital in this way.”

Prior to AYAH opening in February, there have been very limited opportunities for young people in need of specialised care and most have to be cared for in adult nursing homes or in aged care facilities once they graduated from the locally, very famous, Bear Cottage for young children with high care needs.

The Manly AYAH is Australia’s first dedicated service for young people with life-limiting illness. The service is for 15 to 24-year-old patients and offers respite care, symptom management, end-of-life care, and care coordination support in the transition from children’s to adult services.’

Located on a portion of the former Manly Hospital site on the North Head headland, the AYAH provides holistic, specialised care for patients and their families. The facility is surrounded by national parks, bushland and environmental conservation areas, providing a natural and peaceful setting for young people and their families.

Denis said, “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to support young people and their families, including the dedicated staff, who attend AYAH. Contributing to such a unique project is a wonderful opportunity. The organisational climate is already at a high point and all concerned want the project to exceed expectations for the young people and their caring families and friends.”

The AYAH is planning for a special focus on Community Engagement as it will need the support of volunteers to liaise with management in order to have this new program reach its full potential as a fabulous place of care for its patients and their families.

Denis said “I’m sure that our CatholicCare colleagues and school neighbours of AYAH, will love to be involved given their generous service to many causes over their long history in the district. There are many beneficial outcomes for patients, their families and volunteers themselves to step into another’s life and experiences.” He added “We are also hoping to establish an AYAH Community Choir (with a way cooler name, help us out here!). We know music promotes healing and excitement in all the holistic ways we seek to share at AYAH.”

For more information about our HC&PC program please call 1800 324 924 or click here.


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