Announcement: CheckUP and Arrow Energy Brighter Futures program join forces to CheerUP kids after ear surgery in rural and remote Queensland communities

4 April 2019

 CheckUP are pleased to announce a new partnership following the awarding of a Brighter Futures Grant by Arrow Energy. The grant will provide funding to develop My CheerUP Packs for all children and young people in rural/remote Queensland who are undergoing surgery for the management of ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions.

CheckUP’s Hear Better Program aims to improve access to surgery by funding a fast-tracked and culturally appropriate pathway to ear surgical services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, prioritising those people living in rural and remote locations.

Travelling away from their family and community, particularly to receive surgery, can be a highly stressful experience for patients and families. For children this can be a distressing time, hence the My CheerUP Pack initiative was created. Children who need healthcare the most, will receive it and thanks to Arrow Energy, the experience will be made as pleasant as possible.

CheckUP CEO, Ann Maree Liddy, said that these care packs are designed to alleviate fear associated with surgery, ensure patients feel welcome in hospital and to provide a pleasant distraction to reduce boredom and encourage rest and recuperation.

My CheerUP packs will come in a special calico backpack and contain an information and activity booklet for parents and children about keeping their ears healthy, a snuggly toy, colouring in pencils, a book, bubbles, a handball, and a range of other items.

Ear health related hearing loss can lead to many adverse outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly for children who are performing poorly at school and drop out early. Language development depends heavily on hearing and therefore, this same group of children often fall behind in this area too. Later in life, this can often lead to increased unemployment. Further, there is a strong link between early onset hearing impairment and increased entry into the justice system.

ENT surgery will directly address the root cause of these adverse social and educational outcomes. It is well established that children who otherwise have a high chance of performing poorly will gain improved cognitive ability, auditory processing skills, attention, behaviour, speech and language. The opportunity of success later in life becomes a real possibility. All children will have a follow-up appointment to ensure their surgery has been successful and that their hearing condition has improved.

If your organisation wishes to donate items to My CheerUP Packs, please contact CheckUP on 07 3105 8300.