The Children’s Health Foundation has announced a $7 million fundraising campaign to provide a “home away from home” for families getting treatment at the North Island Hospital in Campbell River.
The 10-bedroom home, named the Q̓ʷalayu House (pronounced kwuh-lie-you), would house families and expectant mothers, largely from the west and northern regions of Vancouver Island, who need a place to stay while accessing the adjacent North Island Hospital and nearby health care services.
According to the Children’s Health Foundation, the name of the house mixes both English and the traditional language of the home’s host community on the shared territories of the We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum First Nations. The foundation says Q̓ʷalayu is “s an endearing term used by Elders when they speak of babies and children as their reason for being. First Nations groups, Elders, and a traditional language group were involved in the naming process.”
The foundation made the announcement about the fundraiser at the future site of the home, which is a large parcel of land adjacent to the hospital. The parcel of land was provided by Island Health as a long-term licence.
According to the foundation, the home was inspired by Jeneece Place, where families can stay while their children receive health care in Victoria.
“Jeneece Place was an incredible resource for my family when we needed it. Long travel days and expensive hotels put huge strains on families in addition to all of the health care concerns they face. This new home will relieve some of those large pressures for families living on the North Island so they can focus on their kids,” Doug McCorquodale, a Port Hardy father whose daughter, Abigail, stayed at Jeneece Place. McCorquodale is also now a board director with Children’s Health Foundation.
An anonymous donor has contributed $3 million. Alan Lowe, the project’s lead architect, has committed $90,000. The foundation said raising $7 million would help them build the home, fully equip the facility and fund the first five years of operating costs.
Lowe was also the lead architect for Jeneece Place as well as downtown Victoria’s mental health hub, Foundry Victoria. WestUrban Developments of Campbell River has been named the project’s construction manager.