Go Dry this July

May 25, 2022

Northern Health Foundation is once again taking part in Dry July, to raise vital funds for people affected by cancer.

This year, the Foundation is raising money to refurbish the outdoor area in Ward 3 at Northern Hospital Epping, that’ll soon become the Palliative Care Unit (PCU). Currently, our PCU is at Epping Gardens.

Julius Quiring, Nurse Unit Manager, Palliative Care Unit, said the move to Northern Hospital Epping will improve the care provided to the patients.

“We will have capacity to accommodate families knowing that we will have two family areas and a big courtyard,” he said.

“Doctor coverage will be 24 hours and there will be more of an allied health presence. There will also be no delay in admitting patients from other wards.”

Up to 70 per cent of our palliative care patients are affected by cancer, the majority being lung, colorectal and breast cancer. With the money raised from the Dry July campaign, the outdoor space will be turned into a beautiful garden oasis for families to enjoy with their loved ones, who are in end of life care.

This week is also National Palliative Care Week, which seeks awareness about the rights of all Australians to access high quality palliative care when and where they need it.

“Palliative patients mostly feel isolated in their rooms, which leads to reduced motivation, lower mood and reduced self-confidence. However, having another area provides another room to view and be comforted by,” Julius said.

“Sitting outdoors provides the perfect environment to contemplate and reflect on life. Families can stay longer with the patient if there is another place where they could go instead of staying in the patient’s room the whole time.”

A refurbished garden would also lead to outdoor activities like gardening and arts and crafts.

“Outdoor entertainment is always less restricted than indoors,” Julius said.

“For patients with a life limiting illness, it’s often the small things that make a big difference. If we can improve the unit by adding a refurbished garden that could be used for relaxation and entertainment, then I’ll be ecstatic to know that both our donors and the palliative care team will be able to contribute even in the smallest way to make a difference to every patient who will be admitted at the PCU.”

2022 is the third year Northern Health has taken part in Dry July. Last year, 23 individuals – staff members, our partners, one of our cancer patients and her daughter, collectively raised a massive grand total of $31,199. The funds raised went towards the purchase of another car for the NOAH@Home program, which provides oncology and haematology patients the opportunity to receive certain chemotherapy or supportive treatments in the comfort of their own homes.

Northern Health wants to help more cancer patients in the northern community, by raising between $30,000 and $40,000 this Dry July. But we can only achieve this with your help.

Join our Northern Health Foundation Dry July team today to help us reach our goal. There will be more information provided this week, with a step by step guide on how to join.

If you would like to generate a bit of healthy workplace competition between departments, you can create your own team by emailing northernhealthfoundation@nh.org.au to get started.

There will also be prizes up for grabs for participants or teams who raise the most money.

Margaret Rivette, Fundraising Campaigns Officer, encouraged anyone to join the Northern Health Foundation Dry July team.

“Dry July is ultimately about coming together to raise money for people affected by cancer. We can only give back what we put in, so we encourage everyone to participate to make this event as successful as possible,” she said.

“The PCU can really benefit from this campaign and make those last moments truly special for patients and their families. There are over 6,300 staff at Northern Health and if everyone donated just $1, imagine where it could take us.”

“Many of us have been touched by cancer in one way or another and Dry July is just a small way we can give back. By participating, we are raising the much-needed funds to improve our health service for patients and to ensure peace of mind for their family members who know their loved ones are in the best care possible at Northern Health.”

Dry July is a fundraiser that encourages people to go alcohol-free in July to raise funds for people affected by cancer. By joining our Northern Health Foundation team, not only are you helping cancer and palliative care patients, but there are great health benefits for giving up alcohol for a month, including better sleep, more energy and no hangovers. Alternatively, you can decide what you give up and for how long.

To join our team, click here.