Regional cancer patients given a life-line

Sony Foundation launches ‘You Can Stay’ national accommodation support program for regional youth cancer patients with Quest Apartment Hotels

Quest Apartment Hotels has partnered with the Sony Foundation to launch You Can Stay - a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed to support young Australians aged 15-25 diagnosed with cancer.

Around one third of young people affected by cancer live in regional or rural areas, and the average cost a youth cancer patient and their family pays for accommodation in the city to access life-saving treatment is $70001.

Typically diagnosed with rare cancers of the blood, brain, bone and soft tissue requiring intense treatment in city hospitals, young patients from the country are disproportionately burdened by the costs of cancer2 simply by living out of metropolitan areas and their age.

To fill a gap in affordable accommodation for teenagers and young adult cancer patients from regional areas, Sony Foundation Australia, the charity backed by the Sony group of companies, has partnered with Quest Apartment Hotels to launch the charitable accommodation program, ‘You Can Stay’.

Available to all cancer patients nationally aged 15 – 25 who live 100km3 or more from their treating hospital, You Can Stay will provide free accommodation in a Quest Apartment Hotel, while life-saving cancer treatment is sought.

The length of stay is not capped and is available to both in-patients and out-patients and their family members, with options of 1- and 2-bedroom apartments, at no cost to the patient or their families.

The scheme also accepts patients on a clinical trial, which State Government Patient Travel and Accommodation Subsidy Schemes typically do not support.4

In early 2020, Sony Foundation and Quest started placing patients in emergency accommodation at no cost to the patients. To date, 15 patients nationally with over 750 nights paid for in charitable funding have been provided.

David Mansfield, Chief Operating Officer of Quest Apartment Hotels said when they were first approached by Sony Foundation, they were taken aback by the issue of a shortage of accommodation options for teenagers and young adults with cancer in 2019.

“As Australia’s largest serviced apartment operator, we knew we could make an impact and were compelled to act. We know that when these guests come to us, it’s a terribly challenging time so we have implemented a tailored bookings process to make things easier and support their unique requirements. Today, we can proudly say Quest is only ever a phone call away.

“We would like to thank Sony Foundation for inviting us along on this important journey. We look forward to making a continued impact together through the You Can Stay initiative and seeing that no young person fighting cancer goes without a place to call home, for a day, week, month, or even year at a time.”

Sophie Ryan, CEO of Sony Foundation Australia said, “You Can Stay is needed now more than ever during this pandemic to ensure cancer patients are able to access cancer treatment in the city in safe surroundings. We predict approximately 250 regional patients nationally aged 15 – 25 years will need between 8,000 -10,000 nights of accommodation over the next 12 months which Sony Foundation is committed to funding.

“We are incredibly grateful for our partner Quest, and all our donors who acknowledge the disparity between country and city services for cancer patients and are committed to helping us fill this gap through a business minded, philanthropic solution.”

Other program partners include cancer charity, Tour de Cure, Sony Electronics and Varian provide funding, services, products and voluntary support. Sony Electronics sends a welcome pack to each patient that checks in to Quest with wireless headphones* to help block out the clinical surrounds of hospital to help lower stress.5

-ends-

1) Based on patient data from You Can Stay program of average number of nights and cost per night

2) ‘The economic cost of cancer in adolescents and young adults’. January 2018. Report by Deloitte.

3) For full patient eligibility here

4) States that do not offer a subsidy if on a clinical trial include; NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA

5) The 2018 Sony Sound Report revealed that when faced with disruptive noises, Australians say that their common reactions include increased irritability and increased stress levels. These results are from a survey conducted by YouGov Galaxy via their online omnibus in October 2018. The omnibus was completed by 1,027 Australians aged 18 years and older distributed throughout Australia. 


FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Madeleine Maher
Marketing & Communications Manager
Quest Apartment Hotels
Level 21, 390 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004
Tel: +61 3 8699 1500  Mob: +61 439 002 693
www.questapartments.com.au

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