Lions club project – ‘Elsie’s Retreat’ – brings first ever palliative care unit to Gosford

The NSW Central Coast has its first dedicated in-patient palliative care unit, thanks to the dedicated members of The Lions Club of Wyoming East Gosford Centennial. 

Having identified the need for a dedicated palliative care unit almost 12 years ago, the Elsie’s Project began when much-loved Central Coast resident, Elsie Green, was diagnosed with breast cancer. At just 51 years of age, Elsie was not able to secure a hospice bed and sadly lost her battle with cancer while living in a nursing home. Elsie was passionate about the need for a dedicated palliative care unit, and her friends at the Lions Club promised they would do their best to make it happen.  

The club spent eight years campaigning, fundraising and rallying support from the community before the NSW government finally allocated a space to make their dream a reality – the former maternity ward at Gosford Hospital.  

As well as their own fundraising and community donations of approximately $300,000, the club received a $130,000 grant from the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF).  

The unit officially opened in April 2021, with 10 patient beds (with the ability to expand to 14), sofa beds for family/carers, two large family rooms, a lounge area with kitchenette facilities, a children’s area and an outdoor deck. Eslie’s Retreat was opened by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and local MP Adam Crouch.