Director of Nursing Lisa Slater (left) and Deputy Director of Nursing Chantel Baker (centre) with Bellingen’s kitchen and cleaning staff who have helped raise $7000 for medical equipment over the past five years. Representing the tight-knit team are Food Services Assistants Friska Wawn, Wendy Sanders and Kay Kanis and the woman who inspired the bottle collection, Food Services Assistant Kerrie Nicol (front, right), who earned a Highly Commended in Belling Shire's Community Awards on 25 January.

Kerrie’s hero award shared with Bellingen’s Food Services team

Jan 30, 2024

A member of the Patient Food Services team at Bellinger River District Hospital has received an Australia Day award from her local community.

Kerrie Nicol was presented with a Highly Commended in the Home Grown Hero category of Bellingen Shire Council’s Community Awards on 25 January.  The award is recognition of her efforts to raise funds for the Bellingen Hospital and Pink Auxiliary through the recycling of plastic bottles.

Nominated by the Auxiliary, Kerrie spearheaded the initiative, which was quickly embraced by her fellow co-workers, five years ago; a move that has since raised more than $7000 towards the purchase of hospital equipment and diverted more than 70,000 plastic bottles from land fill.

In accepting the award, Kerrie, who is also an Auxiliary volunteer, made a special mention that the fundraiser was a group effort by the kitchen staff and cleaners at the hospital.

Her manager, Leonie Adams, was among the first to congratulate Kerrie, and the remainder of the tight-knit team for their initiative and commitment.

“Kerrie had a great idea, and everyone supported it because they knew the money would come back to the hospital and it was so good not to see the plastic bottles go into land fill,” Ms Adams said.

Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick said news of the award brought a sense of pride and admiration to the Mid North Coast Local Health District team.

“Kerrie’s leadership and initiative in spearheading the recycling and fundraising efforts of the team serve as a beacon of inspiration, demonstrating how small yet concerted efforts can yield significant positive impact for both our community and the environment,” Mr Dowrick said.

Four people on stage, man in the centre of the pic handing a framed certificate to a woman.

Bellingen Shire Council’s Community Awards ceremony MC Sue Lennox, Mayor Steve Allan, and Councillor Jo Brotherton present Kerrie Nicol with her award.

Three women - one in the middle holding an award.

Kerrie Nicol with fellow Bellingen Hospital and Pink Auxiliary members, President Waveney Ayscough and UHA Life Member Irene Chesterman.

photo looking from the back of an auditorium to the font, focused on the stage.

The Belling Shire Council’s awards ceremony was well attended and recognised hard working community members including MNCLHD’s very own Kerrie Nicol.

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