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Aus celebrities pledge support for fundraising to cure homesickness

Australian celebrities and influencers including Nicole Kidman, Rose Byrne, Lee Lin Chin, Hamish Blake, G Flip, Mia Freedman, NRL sports teams and a range of well-loved brands have all pledged their support for a national fundraising initiative to help cure homesickness.

This fundraising initiative called Curing Homesickness is bringing children’s hospitals from across Australia together to get kids home from hospital sooner. Every year children account for one million admissions to hospitals in Australia, and the number is rising.

Dr. Michael Bowden, Head of Department, Psychological Medicine at Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network said, “Homesickness, or the distress of being away from home, is very real. Severe homesickness in children can lead to social and behavioural problems, anxiety and coping issues, and feelings of helplessness. Studies also show that severe homesickness symptoms only worsen in children the longer they are away from home. The cure for homesickness is home.”

Fifty per cent of children in hospital are reported to suffer from moderate to high levels of homesickness. By raising money to tackle it head on for the first time, the Curing Homesickness campaign will be helping every child in hospital, ensuring the very best equipment, research and services are available to get them back home sooner.

Nicola Stokes, CEO at Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation said, “We know that kids get homesick when they are in hospital, but homesickness isn’t always recognised as a serious complication or illness, and this is the first time it has been the focus of a fundraising campaign to address it.”

After developing the idea because their Foundation was exploring how to make more difference to the emotional wellbeing of sick kids, Stokes said that they are now raising funds for vital equipment, ground-breaking research and excellent clinical care.

“When I shared our idea with colleagues at other hospital foundations across Australia, they wanted to be involved and they immediately offered to collaborate with us to deliver national impact for every child and every community,” she said.

The campaign launch will focus on a short film about a young girl in hospital named Ali, who misses her mum’s “Sause”, as it reminds her of being at home with her family. Featuring celebrity cameos and demonstrating the power of social media, it is hoped that life will imitate art with all of Australia helping spread the message about curing homesickness.

Stokes added, “There’s something about the campaign that really seems to resonate with everyone, and that’s how Coles got involved. Coles is a generous and longstanding supporter of our Foundation and when we invited them to come on board, they went above and beyond! They not only created a unique product of Mum’s Sause, they made sure it tasted just like mum’s cooking with no added sugar and no artificial nasties and even tested it with some patients and their mums, who gave it the thumbs up!”

Brands involved in the campaign include Coles, The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand, eBay, Assembly Label, Hyundai and Pasta Pantry.

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