Karen Fry & Wendy Watson
Patients in need at Sunshine Hospital will have one less thing to worry about, thanks to a group of dedicated Deer Park Lions Club volunteers.
Wendy Watson, Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Health’s Sunshine Hospital, said showing a little kindness can go a long way.
“The group collate, create and distribute bags of toiletries known as ‘care packages’ to help patients maintain their dignity with their sanitary and self-care needs,” Ms Watson said.
The hand sewn, reusable cotton bags contain shampoo, conditioner, soap, tissues, deodorant and a few extras to help out with essential self-care.
“With the rising costs of living making family budgets tighter than ever, these packages can be vital for patients in need,” Ms Watson said.
This year, the dream team of Deer Park Lions Club volunteers is aiming to have 400 of these care packages ready in time for Christmas.
Karen Fry, from Deer Park Lions Club who oversees the initiative, says that hygiene items can be expensive and should be a right not a privilege. She says that community generosity has been integral to the program’s success, which has been running for six years and producing around 800 packs annually.
“We were also thrilled to have won the Lions District 201V2 Governor’s Award and Grill’d Highpoint’s Local Matters community donation program for this initiative. The $300 we won will help us achieve our goal for 2018,” Ms Fry said.
“However, we are still looking people who can donate their time to help us sew our new bags.”
Ms Fry said that hand sewing the bags makes them sustainable and personal.
“A hand sewn cotton bag adds extra comfort to the package and removes the clinical nature of hygiene items. A large part of what we do is also about making everyone feel special and cared about.”
Ms Watson said that Western Health was very thankful to the Deer Park Lions Club for their continued support of patients in need.
“It is partnerships like this that are at the core of our community,” she said.
“Maintaining personal hygiene is something many of us take for granted. But for someone who has just come out of major surgery or suffered trauma, it can be another obstacle. This is just another way our patients know they really are cared for.”
If you would like to make a donation to the care packages initiative or would like help sew the bags, please contact the Deer Park Lions Club at deerpark.vic.lions.org.au or PO Box 27, Deer Park 3023. For information about how to make a donation to the Western Health Foundation, visit www.whfoundation.org.au