Waveney takes the reins for Bellingen UHAAug 31, 2023
Bellingen Hospital and Pink Auxiliary has donated more than $18,000 worth of medical equipment to Bellinger River District Hospital thanks to the hard work of its volunteers and the support of the community.
At the group’s annual general meeting this week, outgoing president Deb Anderson revealed the amazing fundraising effort, driven by raffle ticket sales and profit from the popular UHA café, Mary’s Tea House.
In the past year, the volunteers donated a patient sit-to-standing aid valued at $2100, fleece comfort throws costing $691 and a bladder scanner costing $15,442.20.
Mrs Anderson said the year had also seen an increase in volunteer membership from 35 to 44, which she attributed to the enthusiastic efforts of Waveney Ayscough, a recent finalist in the Mid North Coast Local Health District Volunteer of the Year Award. The additional volunteers have resulted in longer opening hours for the café.
After eight years at the helm, Mrs Anderson stepped away from the presidency to fulfil the branch secretary role, and Yvonne Thomas retired as branch treasurer after a remarkable 17 years in the role.
Ms Ayscough was elected 2023-24 president and Carol Gibson is the new treasurer.
Patron Nancy Hobson thanked both women for their outstanding service to the Bellingen community and its hospital.
“Yvonne has given sterling service to the auxiliary and everybody here, your friends, are saying ‘thank you’ for your extraordinary effort,” Mrs Hobson said.
“No organisation can function without good leadership and in Deb we have had someone who is the glue holding us all together.”
The meeting was also an opportunity to acknowledge a decade of service from two volunteers – retiring branch secretary Jo Bathgate and Violet Preston, who received their 10-year service badges from United Hospital Auxiliaries of NSW North Eastern Regional Representative Dee Hunter.
Another volunteer, Margaret White, received a special mention for her efforts in organising fundraisers such as the UHA street stalls and raffles.