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Happy birthday to our home in Nambour

A Red Cross centre that offers a comfortable and welcoming home base for people experiencing traumatic medical events is celebrating its seventh birthday this week.

Wednesday May 4, 2016

Friendly Red Cross volunteers Jim Leslie and Gwen Malone are live-in caretakers at the much-loved centre.

The Red Cross Wellbeing and Accommodation Centre in Nambour is one of six Wellbeing Centres Red Cross operates in sites adjoining major public hospitals in regional Queensland cities. The centres provide affordable accommodation for patients or their families receiving treatment at the hospital.

The 20-room Nambour centre sleeps up to 40 people, and has common rooms and kitchens so guests can make themselves at home.

Chris Ashton, who runs the Nambour and Toowoomba centres, says everyone who uses the centre really appreciates the service.

"More than 5,000 people from all over Australia have stayed with us over the past seven years as have a number of overseas guests. It is a real credit to the dozens of volunteers who have helped us to provide a supportive environment for patients and families dealing with a medical crisis."

Guests can include a new mum with a baby in intensive care, a family saying goodbye to a loved one, a cancer patient receiving outpatient treatment or a family of a car accident victim.

"We are here to provide quality emergency medical accommodation in a really supportive environment for people who are experiencing life and death events. Our Red Cross people do an amazing job supporting our guests' wellbeing by providing a listening ear, psychological first aid and connections to information, services and activities," says Chris.

The centre also is a hub for other Red Cross services in the local community, including those supporting isolated older people and families.

Guests staying at the centre can either pay $60 a night (or $80 for a double room) or if they are eligible for the Queensland Government Patient Transport Service there is no cost.

The centre was built seven years ago by generous contractors and local construction group RCQ. It is operated 24 hours a day by Australian Red Cross volunteers and continues to be supported by the Reed Charity Foundation, Wishlist and local Rotary Clubs.

For more information or to book accommodation contact 07 5441 1049,