“Having a chat with people who sometimes don’t have anyone else to talk to, cheering up their day,” is what Cape Hawke Community Hospital Pink Ladies group is all about, with the occasional slice of sugar on the side.
President, Cathy Cook explained the importance of the group in the Great Lakes community, how it is about so much more than a lolly fix for patients.
“We might be the only people they see from day to day while they are in hospital,” she said.
“Yes we sell some lollies, a little piece of chocolate here and there doesn’t hurt, but we sell toiletries too. Talcum powder, tissues, soap, we accumulate all the old magazines around the hospital and give them something to read, or read to them.”
“Exactly, it’s all about having a chat,” event organiser, Robyn Walters added.
“We change the flowers, freshen up the room, and just see how the patients are going.
“We are given a list of patients that are diabetic, so we know who we can’t give lollies to, but we do have diabetic lollies too if they want them.”
But, adding a snippet of cheer to a patient’s day isn’t all this group of community minded volunteers do, not by a long shot.
Holding regular fundraising activities such as raffles, morning teas, lunches, fashion parades and day trips is all in a day’s work for these busy women, with everything done in the name of supporting their local hospital.
“We are very community focused,” Robyn said.
“All the money we raise stays in the community. We donated some to the surf club this year, and they bought a defibrillator with that. We also used some of the money to give books to groups for autistic people, but because we are getting smaller we mostly just give to the hospital now.”
“We are very different to the group at Taree, because they are a big hospital,” Cathy added.
“We’re only very small, and just have a trolley. All the money we raise we ask the hospital what they might want and then we do our best to help them out in that respect.
“It might take us a long time, but we do our best.”
But, with dwindling numbers in the group, the range of fundraisers are becoming harder to pull off; more helpers are needed to continue on the good work.
“We are really trying to get a few new members, we don’t need people who can push a trolley, or who necessarily want to do the hospital visits, there are so many other things and every bit helps,” Robyn said.
“We aren’t affiliated with a bigger organisation, we are an independent group and everything we raise stays right here in this community. If its a $10 lunch we might charge everyone $12, then that’s money for the hospital.
“You don’t need to commit to going to the hospital to get involved and help out.”
“For anyone who wants to get involved in the hospital visits, we go once a month, on a roster that rotates through Monday-Friday,” Cathy added.
“Come along to a morning tea, or a lunch, every little bit helps and we need that community support.”
Anyone interested in getting involved, or learning more about the local Pink Ladies, call Cathy on 0429265656 or Robyn on 0413558542.