Each month, we will showcase a different GO Salary client, with a focus on the fantastic work they perform daily. First up, it’s Very Special Kids!
Very Special Kids is Victoria’s leading specialists in holistic children’s palliative care, providing respite, family support and end-of-life care to children and young people with life-limiting conditions.
In 1984, two families were supporting each other through the trauma of their children’s terminal illnesses and recognised a need for help for other families like theirs. At the time, there was no appropriate support for families supporting a child with life-limiting conditions. As more people came together with this shared desire, the organisation Very Special Kids was established.
It was the steadfast vision of Very Special Kids’ first employee and Patron, Sister Margaret Noone AM, who recognised that there was a need for specialised palliative care and a home-away-from-home for children, both for respite and end-of-life care. The Very Special Kids hospice was then established in 1996, making it the first paediatric hospice opened in Australia and remaining the only children’s hospice in Victoria today.
Very Special Kids’ multidisciplinary experts support more than 850 families across Victoria through a range of professional, practical and emotional support services for the whole family from initial diagnosis to end of life care, and bereavement – for as long as they need. Very Special Kids’ holistic services include counselling, sibling support, bereavement support and community activities, as well as planned and emergency respite and end-of-life care.
Very Special Kids relies on the generosity of our community to allow us to continue providing our services free-of-charge. There is a calendar of fundraising events and initiatives, as well as several programs, including workplace giving, leaving a bequest and a regular giving program.
Very Special Kids aspires to raise awareness about the importance of specialist children’s palliative care, family support services and advocate for honest, open and empathetic conversations around childhood illness and death. We are working to make the world a better, more supportive and knowledgeable place for children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families.
You can learn more at vsk.org.au.