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four women leaning on an operating theatre bed

Celebrating their 10-year service awards with a $55,000 donation to Bellinger River District Hospital are Violet Preston, Del Slattery and President Deb Anderson, who are pictured with a very happy Operating Theatre Nurse Unit Manager, Jo Cook. The Stryker bed is fully automated and can be adjusted for height, incline and tilt.

Bellingen’s sensational support for patients

Aug 13, 2021

“What a year we’ve had” is how Bellingen United Hospital Auxiliary President Deb Anderson started her address to members at the branch’s Annual General Meeting.

COVID-19 precautions cancelled last year’s AGM, members couldn’t volunteer at Bellingen Health Campus, and Mary’s Tea House, which is the branch’s main fundraiser, closed for six months.

Despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic, this remarkable group of hospital volunteers managed to donate a $55,000 operating theatre bed that will vastly improve patient welfare.

The extraordinary donation was a highlight of the 2020-21 year, followed closely by the reopening of Mary’s Tea House thanks to COVID-safe training for branch members.

“Volunteers are still scarce,” Deb Anderson said, “but we are able to trade three days a week and we remain very popular with staff and visitors.

“I extend congratulations and thanks to all volunteers for their amazing efforts, diligence with our COVID-safe plan in Mary’s Tea House, baking and bottling, rostering, accounting and cheerfulness.

“We have certainly been through some different and difficult times.”

Bellinger River District Hospital Operating Theatre Nurse Unit Manager Jo Cook was among a small gathering of volunteers and staff members to celebrate and acknowledge the work of the Bellingen UHA at the close of the annual general meeting.

“We can’t thank you enough for providing us with this new operating theatre bed. It does everything… can be remotely adjusted to any position and can even tilt sideways. It is a superb piece of technology and a welcome replacement for our old theatre bed,” Ms Cook said.

Her sentiments were echoed by Executive Officer/Director of Nursing Ray Green, who also paid tribute to the tireless efforts of the volunteers.

The Annual General Meeting also recognised 15-year service  awards for Margaret White and Yvonne Thomas and 10-year service awards for Violet Preston, Del Slattery and Deb Anderson.

Deb was also re-elected President in a show of support for the woman who has expertly led the branch for the past  seven years. Her Vice-president is Pam Lane, Treasurer Yvonne Thomas, Secretary Jo Bathgate and the branch’s Life Member, Nancy Hobson, holds the honour of Patron.

Anyone wanting to join the volunteers and make new friends while supporting their local hospital, can phone Deb on 0409 311 349.

To view more photos from the group’s Annual General Meeting, please click on the image below and scroll through the photos.

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