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a group of older women standing together in a garden area

(From left to right) Puppy Lola with Merridy Huxley, Margaret White, North Eastern Regional Representative Dee Hunter, President Deb Anderson, Patron Nancy Hobson, Life Member Irene Chesterman, Treasurer Yvonne Thomas and Gwen Vickers.

Bellingen UHA’s massive year in support of patients

Aug 15, 2022

Bellingen Hospital and Pink Auxiliary has just 35 members but that didn’t stop the volunteers from donating more than $75,000 in equipment to Bellinger River District Hospital in the past year.

The massive donation, which included $55,227 for a theatre table, a $4,250 wheelchair, $2100 for a Sara Stedy patient lifter, $13,192 in vital signs monitors and $300 in fleecy comfort throws, was tabled at the branch’s recent annual general meeting.

The volunteer-run café, Mary’s Tea House, provided most of the funds, but the donation was also boosted by a Mother’s Day Raffle and recycling bottles.

President Deb Anderson will serve her eighth and final year in the role, hoping to mentor one of her team to step into the position at the next AGM.

Her dedicated off-sider, Yvonne Thomas, will also serve her last year as Treasurer having filled the executive committee position for the past 17 years.

Nancy Hobson, a volunteer for more than 40 years and United Hospital Auxiliaries of NSW Life Member, continues as branch patron.

Not prepared to rest on their laurels, the volunteers have now turned their attention to the 2022-23 financial year, busily working toward a $17,000 target for a bladder scanner. They also recently donated another Sara Stedy patient lifter to the hospital.

“Once again, I cannot praise the efforts of our volunteers enough,” Ms Anderson said.

“I extend a warm welcome to our new volunteers, and thank everyone for their time, baking and bottling, rostering, accounting, ticket selling, cheerfulness and friendship.”

Special guest Dee Hunter, the UHA’s North Eastern Regional Representative, also praised the branch for its remarkable resilience, cohesion and determination during what has been a challenging year.

“I couldn’t be prouder of your achievements this year,” Ms Hunter said.

“You continue to make a remarkable contribution to our local hospital and the health and welfare of our community.”

Two members were awarded 10-year service certificates – Teresa McKinnon and Jo Bathgate.

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