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Gail Austen OAM guest speaker at Blue Care Donor Appreciation Luncheon

Brisbane entrepreneur and community advocate, Gail Austen OAM, today recognised the wonderful support that donors give Blue Care – one of Australia’s leading providers of community health and residential aged care.

Ms Austen was the guest speaker and television personality Lexy Hamilton-Smith was the emcee at the Blue Care Donor Appreciation Luncheon, which recognises and thanks donors for their contribution to the not-for-profit organisation.

At the luncheon, held at Brisbane’s Royal on the Park, Ms Austen said she had seen Blue Care’s work in the community first-hand and was touched by the care and compassion shown by Blue Care staff.

“Blue Care’s nurses gave my elderly neighbours independence and confidence to live out their lives at home – a service and support system both they and I treasured,” she said.

“The luncheon is a small way of thanking supporters whose help is vital in ensuring the continuity of Blue Care’s services which make a difference to the lives of so many people.”

Blue Care started as the Blue Nursing Service in 1953 with just one nurse in Brisbane and has grown into a leading provider of community health and residential aged care, helping more than 12,500 people every day.

Blue Care Planned Giving Officer Heather Rhead said the organisation’s services include nursing, allied health, personal care, domestic assistance, respite and social support.

“Services are offered in people’s homes and in Blue Care centres, clinics, residential aged care facilities and retirement living services across Queensland and northern New South Wales,” she said.

“Blue Care supporters understand what it means to care for those members of our community who are frail aged or live with a disability or chronic disease and we are grateful for their support.”

Ms Rhead said like many other charities, Blue Care depended on income from donations and bequests.

“Our services are subsidised by the Australian and State Governments, however, as the costs of caring are substantially more than the funds provided, we rely heavily on financial support from the community and a dedicated team of volunteers,” she said.

“Donations help so many people as they allow Blue Care to continue providing the level of care our clients have come to expect.

“Most people who remember Blue Care in their Will have the highest regard for the professional and compassionate care they or someone they knew received and they want to see that dedicated service continue in their community.”

Over the next few years, Blue Care has a significant state-wide capital works program comprising more than 70 projects across the residential, community and retirement living streams.

“Our donors can be proud of the fact they have contributed to these homes which will make a fundamental difference to the lives of many Queenslanders for years to come,” Ms Rhead said.

Blue Care’s services are part of more than 260 centres in Queensland and northern New South Wales. The organisation’s staff and volunteers provide care for more than 100,000 Queenslanders every year.