Monthly Archives: January 2015

‘Tis the season at Very Special Kids Glen Osmond Farm

The holiday season can be a challenging time of year for the families we support and this year many took the chance to get away from it all with a stay at Very Special Kids Glen Osmond Farm. Kheeran and Jini Dharmawardena and their children Ethan (10) and Anaya (16 months), escaped to the cottages in Woodend in December.

In 2012 the family lost their beloved daughter and sister Jade to an incurable brain tumor. The farm was a place they could reflect on the good memories they have, away from the hustle and bustle.

“Christmas is always an emotional time of year, and it gave us the chance to pause and come together as a family,” said Kheeran.

The family made the most of their stay, enjoying activities in the barn, cycling around the property, watching kangaroos, and visiting nearby Daylesford and the children’s playground at Woodend.

Jini said Ethan liked making friends with the other family staying there, who also had a sibling that passed away.

“At school Ethan’s the odd one out, but when he meets friends through Very Special Kids he’s himself and doesn’t need to hide anything,” she said.

Underwater magic at the hospice

The hospice bathroom has been transformed into a fun, playful and stimulating room featuring a submarine, a friendly stingray, brightly coloured fish, moving lights and a television. The makeover was made possible by SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium’s community program, Merlin’s Magic Wand.

On Thursday 8 January the opening of the bathroom was celebrated with a visit from SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium’s loveable mascot Sharkie, who joined the children in discovering the bathroom for the first time.

Very Special Kids also recently secured funding for a new specialised bath unit and shower trolley, allowing us to revamp the bathroom facilities for the first time since the hospice opened 18 years ago. Children can now enjoy an enchanting bathroom experience and up to date equipment.