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Rosemary’s care packs ease hospital patients’ stress

Executive Officer and Director of Nursing, Andrew Bailey (left), gratefully accepts care packs on behalf of Macksville Hospital from Rosemary Porter, Salvation Army soldier Joan De Jong and Boomerang Bag member Bev Atkinson.

An initiative by Nambucca River Salvo Rosemary Porter, with support from her corps on the NSW Mid-North Coast, is helping people admitted to the Macksville Hospital and bringing smiles to the faces of patients and staff alike.

When her father was in hospital, Rosemary noticed that some patients, particularly those who did not have family nearby, were not always able to readily access basic toiletry supplies.

“I thought it would be a great idea if people could receive a pack of toiletries when they were admitted to hospital at short notice as it would be one less thing to worry about,” Rosemary said.

“I attend church at the Salvos and thought I would ask if they would help me get this going, and they got right on board.”

Any patient that comes to the hospital with little notice, such as an emergency patient or someone transferred to Macksville Hospital, is now able to receive a pack of basic toiletries thanks to Rosemary and the Salvos.

So far, the toiletries are coming from donations by those who attend the Nambucca River Corps. However, support for this wonderful concept is growing. Boomerang Bags have joined forces with Rosemary and the Salvos to produce the bags the toiletries are placed in.

Bev Atkinson, one of the Boomerang Bag team, said, “We have a group that works out of Riverside Gardens (aged care centre) that began making bags to replace plastic bags, and we use fabric that would otherwise go to landfill.

“When Rosemary found out about us, she asked if we could make Boomerang Bags for these care packs, and we thought that would be a great idea.”

Macksville Hospital’s Executive Officer and Director of Nursing, Andrew Bailey, added, “Whenever someone comes through an emergency it is not a planned approach, and they arrive generally unable to get toiletries until the next day or longer if they have no family.

“Our nursing staff are supportive of the initiative. It is special and not something that every hospital can provide.”

Rosemary started this initiative midway through last year and although attendees from Nambucca River Corps have been keeping the toiletries coming in up to this point, some items are in short supply, and it is now hoped that members of the public will get behind this wonderful idea and donate toiletries to keep the concept alive.

People who would like to donate items such as small versions of toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo and other toiletries are able to take them to the Nambucca River Family Store in Macksville or Adara Nails, Body and Soul at Shop 3/37 Cooper Street, Macksville.

Story by Mick Birtles of the Nambucca Valley News of the Area.


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