The astonishing commitment of Mid North Coast hospital volunteers was celebrated at the United Hospital Auxiliaries of NSW’s recent North East Region Zone Day at Wauchope.
About 60 volunteers representing the UHA and Pink Ladies at hospitals and community health centres from Coffs Harbour to Wingham attended the annual get-together, which this year was hosted by the Wauchope Hospital Volunteers.
Branch reports revealed a massive $462,000 worth of equipment had been donated to Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) health facilities over the 2017-18 financial year and an amazing 101,000 volunteer hours had been logged by the UHA’s 537 volunteers.
One of the region’s smallest branches, Wauchope, recorded the most volunteer hours at a staggering 33,236, or 1778 hours for each of its 26 members.
The branch holds regular stalls at Wauchope IGA and Lake Innes Shopping Centre which enabled the volunteers to donate more than $26,700 worth of equipment to Wauchope District Memorial Hospital last financial year. Donated items included a bladder scanner and an ECG machine.
Bellingen Hospital and Pink Ladies support of Bellingen River District Hospital included $6634 in donated medical equipment, which included a spirometer and patient lifter, made possible by the branch’s 29 members who gave a total of 1425 volunteer hours.
One of the state’s largest branches, Port Macquarie, recorded a staggering 18,299 volunteer hours shared among its 150-strong membership.
The volunteers also donated $14,987.50 toward patient and visitor wellbeing at Port Macquarie Base Hospital, including medical equipment and a contribution towards the volunteers’ electric car, the Pink Mobile.
Kempsey UHA and Pink Ladies donated an incredible $32,091.35 worth of medical equipment and patient comfort items to Kempsey District Hospital last financial year. Donated items included mobility aids, blanket warmers and a fridge. The branch, which has just 20 members, also gave 174 volunteer hours to the hospital.
Coffs Harbour Pink Auxiliary’s support of Coffs Harbour Health Campus included a staggering $273,731 in donated medical equipment, which included a bladder scanner, a birthing bed, an ultrasound machine, a ventilator for Intensive Care and an electric resuscitation trolley.
And the branch’s 79 members gave the hospital a remarkable 22,872 volunteer hours, either in support of patients or staff.
BowraMacksville Hospital Auxiliary gave Macksville District Hospital $43,150 in donated medical equipment and patient comfort items. The list of donated items included part funding of an ultrasound system for the hospital’s ED. The generous support was made possible by the branch’s 58 members who gave a total of 8334 volunteer hours, much of it in the hospital’s famous Carpark Café.
Nambucca Auxiliary, which also fundraises in support of Macksville Hospital, donated a humidicrib valued at $25,140.
Dorrigo branch of the UHA supported Dorrigo Multi Purpose Service by donating a $53,640 ultrasound. The branch’s 23 members gave a total of 1925 volunteer hours, many of which were spent at street stalls selling raffle tickets, craft, produce and home cooked goodies.
MNCLHD Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick attended the Zone Day to personally thank the volunteers for their time, hard work, and compassion.
“These wonderful people turn up at our hospitals week after week, working in cafes, helping patients, assisting staff, providing a carpark pick-up and drop-off service for visitors and so much more,” Mr Dowrick said.
“They are a vital part of our Health team on the Mid North Coast and it’s an honour to know and work with them.
“We are indebted to our volunteers who are never too busy to share a kind word and a smile with our patients and our staff. They make the world of difference at all of our sites.”
Also attending the Zone Day was Oxley MP Melinda Pavey, the UHA’s State President Linda Swales of Batlow and the North East Regional Representative Dee Hunter of Nambucca.
“Volunteering is a wonderful way to become involved in the community and make a difference,” the State President said.
“We, the members, know that giving the gift of time, skills and talents is a rewarding experience for us all.
“Our first gift is of time and our second is the gift of purchases to fulfil our commitment of care and comfort for patients, clients and residents,” Mrs Swales said.