Quest Apartment Hotels’ new project to help young Aussies diagnosed with cancer

By Sarah Stowe | 18 Nov 2020 View comments

Quest Apartment Hotels is helping young Aussies diagnosed with cancer.

The hotel chain has joined forces with the Sony Foundation, the charitable arm of the Sony Group of companies in Australia, to provide free accommodation for cancer patients aged 15 – 25 who live 100km or more from their treating hospital, subject to eligibility.

Young patients living out of metropolitan areas are disproportionately burdened by the costs of cancer, according to a 2018 report by Deloitte.

In Australia about one third of young people affected by cancer live in regional or rural areas and their families face significant accommodation costs while they are undergoing treatment.

Patient data from the You Can Stay program based on average cost and number of nights suggests families pay on average $7000 to stay close to the hospitals.

In the You Can Stay program there’s no limit to the length of stay allowed, and the opportunity is available to both in-patients and out-patients and their family members. Quest Apartment Hotels will provide 1- and 2-bedroom apartments, at no cost to the patient or their families.

So far 15 patients nationally have been provided with more than 750 nights paid for in charitable funding.

David Mansfield, Quest Apartment Hotels COO, said the Sony Foundation approached the franchise chain in 2019 to help ease the accommodation problem.

“As Australia’s largest serviced apartment operator, we knew we could make an impact and were compelled to act,” he said.

“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 the pandemic has meant the You Can Stay program has never been more important 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.”