Paradise Kids was founded by Deirdre Hanna and Rev Dr Ian Mavor as an extension of the services provided by the Hopewell Hospice and, while still a Division of the same charity, has developed its own unique identity. They developed an integral approach to address all aspects of the child: body, mind and spirit. All children grieve differently and may express anger, fear, guilt, repetitive behaviour and regression. These reactions are a normal response to loss of any kind. Paradise Kids offers art, movement, music, story-telling and safe anger management processes to allow children to grow positively through their loss rather than through repression of their feelings. Children work in groups with an individual trained grief counselling ‘buddy’. Paradise Kids is located at 88 Allied Drive Arundel, Qld. In 2008, Paradise Kids expanded its services with a centre at 44 Newdegate St, Greenslopes.
Starting in 1996, Paradise Kids groups were held in various places for the first few years until it became possible to rent a building in the Allied Drive Community Precinct at Arundel. This venue was then purchased from another charity to become the first Paradise Kids House.
For several years, the Support Services and Counselling Services were provided in that building, with some 270 children receiving the services of the Support Groups each year.
In 2005, the new Hopewell Hospice was opened adjacent to Paradise Kids House on the same site. Then, with generous support from members of the Gold Coast community, planning commenced to build a new venue for Paradise Kids on another adjoining vacant block, and this was completed late in 2008.
The new building contains seven counselling rooms, including family counselling and parent support; two children’s group support rooms; a large seminar room for training programs and workshops; four administration offices and a community lounge for tea, coffee and light snacks.
This then made it possible to renovate the older building to create the beautiful Paradise Kids Holiday House in order to provide accommodation to assist families with sick children from further afield, such as rural and remote areas, in order that they receive the help they need in difficult times. These families are able to enjoy a Gold Coast holiday – the beaches, the hinterland, the theme parks – all whilst still under the support and guidance of Paradise Kids.
Surrounded by beautifully landscaped grounds, the buildings have a friendly, welcoming atmosphere – encouraging relaxation and enjoyment, even though the realities may be painful.