Mount Gambier MP congratulates charity

Wednesday March 27, 2024

MEMBER for Mount Gambier Troy Bell has recognised the work of local businessperson Gail Richards.

Mr Bell acknowledges Ms Richards' success in fundraising for palliative care services in the region.

Recently, Ms Richards' hosted the biennial Key2Kindness Charity Ball which raised more than $120,000 since 2021.

Mr Bell noted the need within the community for a standalone palliative care facility, something which Ms Richards' fundraising efforts has been able to raise $20,000 prompting a feasibility study.

"Over the past two years, Gail and I have engaged in numerous discussions regarding the necessity of a standalone hospice facility," Mr Bell said.

"We have convened meetings with our local health network and the health minister to explore options for a feasibility study.

"However, up until a couple of weeks ago, we had not been able to secure government funding for this feasibility study." Mr Bell said it was this which prompted Ms Richards' focus for this year's charity ball.

He also noted the works of Diane Wright who attended the charity ball as a guest speaker and also established hospice facilities in Colac and Geelong.

"She spoke to the crowd about the importance of what a hospice facility can do for the community, patients and their families as they go through their end-of-life journey," Mr Bell said.

"She was also able to illustrate the size of the community does not define the viability of having a hospice facility.

"Diane's message was well received and the night achieved the goal of raising $20,000 for the feasibility study as well as a further $25,000 for the In Home Hospice Care services." He said the Mount Gambier/Berrin community showed it was "ready to support" the hospice facility.

"I look forward to further discussions and working with the health minister and the current government on how a state government can assist in making this happen," Mr Bell said.

"I congratulate Gail Richards and her team at Key 2 Sale on their efforts in hosting such a successful charity ball and thank them for their continued advocacy for bringing greater palliative care services to our region."