10 May 2015

Pending the upcoming Run Sunshine Coast (RSC) event Sunday 17 May, majority of my words spoken in the Wishlist office are about promotion of the run and how I can encourage people to register.

My spiel includes reminding individuals that 100% of registration fees go DIRECTLY to Wishlist to grow the Child Development Service (CDS). But what exactly does ‘grow the Child Development Service’ mean? On Tuesday 27 May, after spending a few hours at CDS, I got to see firsthand the magic that happens behind the doors at Wises Road.

My role at Wishlist involves a lot of interviewing (CDS families as of late) and through that I believed I had a wealth of knowledge to plug the importance of registering for Run Sunshine Coast. I would tell people that RSC funding is providing better facilities, better equipment and more staffing (all of which is true) and that your contribution would be helping those children in need (again, true).

But what I wasn’t telling them was how Anna McClure spent the first six months of her life on her back due to cardio operations and now at the age of 11 months, the wonderful ladies at CDS are week-after-week teaching Anna to roll over in order to eventually – in time – get her walking.

I was also failing to tell you that when four-year-old Abbey didn’t begin crawling due to low muscle tone, her activities were limited for her age and worried about how she would have the stamina to begin school, her parents turned to CDS for help. Through various activities, full reports and follow-ups, Abbey’s parents were sent home with all the tools they needed to help their child.

As I’m not a parent, I can’t begin to imagine the heartache it must bring to see your child struggling for whatever reason and you feeling helpless. But as an advocate of Run Sunshine Coast, I CAN stress the importance of the Child Development Service and how I’ve experienced firsthand, the joy it brings these parents to see their children thriving.

So what does it mean to ‘grow the Child Development Service?’

Firstly, it means that since Christmas 2014, the CDS has relocated to their new premises at Wises Road Maroochydore complete with numerous rooms for therapy, new toys and magazines for children and parents respectively and new equipment used to teach the children.

It means there is more staff available therefore children aged six-eight are now eligible to be assessed whereas previously the cut-off was six-years-old.

It also means parents and children don’t have to travel to Nambour Hospital and face the difficulties of parking and accessing the old service. The new location rids of that ‘hospital’ feel and allows children to be assessed in a safe and playful environment.

The Child Development Service is a multidisciplinary service that has a range of staff from different professions including psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, dieticians, speech therapists and pedeatricians. Continued funding will allow the service to be ramped up over the next few years until relocated to its permanent home in 2017 at Caloundra Hospital. At that time, the service will be in a position to meet the needs of 8 to 13 year olds.

- By Jessie Neumann (Wishlist's Communications Officer)

This is why your registrations are so important so we can continue to GROW the Child Development Service. Register for the 2015 Run Sunshine Coast here: http://sunshinecoast.runaustralia.com.au/[caption id="attachment_470" align="alignleft" width="300"]The 'tiny tots' class at the Child Development Service The 'tiny tots' class at the Child Development Service[/caption]

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