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Geoff’s story – My new role as the NUM of the AYAH and why I’ve decided to raise funds for this life-changing facility

By August 1, 2022June 1st, 2023No Comments

Geoff Yates has been a nurse ever since he left school more than 25 years ago. With a background as an ICU nurse, Geoff has thoroughly enjoyed the challenges and joys of nursing throughout his career, but is most excited about his latest appointment within the NSLHD.

In July 2022, Geoff started his new position as the Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) of the Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice (AYAH) in Manly. Currently based at Mona Vale Hospital while construction of the AYAH is finalised, Geoff said he is excited about the community buzz surrounding the project.

Geoff Yates

Geoff said, “I have already met many people who have been so supportive and equally enthusiastic about the AYAH and what it will mean for improving the quality of life for the patients in our care”.

The AYAH has been in development for several years and now we are starting to see the hard work pay off from many people involved, including generous philanthropists like Kay Van Norton Poche, as well as clinicians, community groups, politicians, advocates, architects, builders and more.

“I’m thrilled to be in this new role. As a nurse, you don’t often get the opportunity to be involved in something from the start, so it’s a great privilege,” said Geoff.

The AYAH is due to open later in 2022 and will be Australia’s first temporary home for young adults with life-limiting illnesses and their families.  This one-of-a-kind facility will serve young people from across the state.

Geoff’s manager, Kyla Smith, the Director of Nursing at Mona Vale Hospital, is also keen to have Geoff on board as part of the local team.

“Geoff brings such a positive energy and enthusiasm to the team and with his passion and drive comes many good ideas for the AYAH,” Kyla said.

Knowing that the AYAH will require the ongoing support from the community from a fundraising and awareness perspective, Geoff has decided to participate in the City2Surf and raise money for the AYAH. Geoff has set up a fundraising page to encourage people to donate via the NORTH Foundation, the official charity partner of the AYAH.

“Our patients, their families and our service deserve the best we can provide for them so I thought something good could come from me doing the 14km running challenge.”

Geoff at the gym in training for the City2Surf

The last time Geoff ran the City2Surf was more than ten years ago, before he and his wife had three children.

Geoff said, “I’m definitely not as fit as I used to be, but this is a chance for me to improve my own physical and mental health, knowing that every step I take will be to help raise vital funds and awareness.”

Speaking about the work involved in starting up a new facility, Geoff said he is ready to take on any new challenges and is excited to be at the helm supporting his colleagues.

“Creating and nurturing our teams are my primary focus. I want to ensure that the team I work with are valued, respected and empowered from the very beginning, so we can deliver positive outcomes for our patients, families and carers” said Geoff.

Geoff and the team are currently recruiting for staff at the AYAH, and he says it’s especially exciting to see the talent and interest of the people we will need to help create excellence from day one. He also recently did a site visit of the AYAH and was proud to witness the hive of activity there.

“The roof is now on and the internal fit out is happening at a terrific pace so soon we’ll see the essential items like beds and equipment coming in!” said Geoff.

To support Geoff and his City2Surf fundraiser for the Manly AYAH, please click here.

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