Members of the Barrier Social Democratic Club (Demo Club) officially presented a $50,000 donation to the Far West Local Health District (FWLHD) and Broken Hill Community Specialist Palliative Care Service at the Broken Hill Hospital on Wednesday.
Laurie Camilleri, Jodie Owers and Abbi Thomas from the Demo Club officially presented the donation to Palliative Care nurses Rebekah Jarvis, Shelley Hollingworth, and Executive Assistant Bronte McDonald.
“I got the idea for the donation when my wife, Diane, a nurse herself, was being cared for by the palliative care staff,” Mr Camilleri said.
Diane Camilleri passed away three and half years ago, and toward the end, the nurses placed her in a single palliative care bed, explained Mr Camilleri.
“I thought about the couples who have been married for 50 or 60 years who suddenly need to sleep apart in single beds. I thought this was the time people wanted to hold their loved ones. I asked the Palliative Care Unit if they thought having a double bed was a good idea, and they said yes,” said Mr Camilleri.
“When Mr Camilleri retired from the Demo Club Board around twelve months ago, the Demo Club staff knew this was something he was passionate about realising and wanted to make this happen for our community,” said Ms Owers.
The funds were donated through the ClubGRANTS program, an initiative of the NSW Government.
ClubGRANTS was established in 1998 to ensure registered clubs in NSW with profits of over $1 million contribute financial or in-kind support to their local community services, programs and projects.
“We bought the equipment during this financial year using the grant, and many items have already been well used,” Program Director of Cancer and Palliative Care Services Melissa Cumming said.
“This very generous donation is greatly appreciated as it enables our service to support our community,” Clinical Specialist Nurse Rebekah Jarvis said.
“We have used some of the funds to purchase a cuddle bed that will allow loved ones to lay on the same bed in the ward and be close to the person they love,” Ms McDonald said.
The hospital also bought $17,000 of miscellaneous equipment for use in the community that staff and patients needed.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for people nearing the end of their life. This equipment will go a long way to helping,” Ms McDonald said.
The group are pictured amongst some of the equipment that the Palliative Care Unit purchased because of the grant.
The hospital bought several air mattresses that alternate the air at pressure points to keep patients comfortable and prevent them from developing pressure ulcers.
They were also able to buy a cooling blanket and monkey bars for use above the palliative care beds, along with other equipment items that keep patients comfortable at home.
“The palliative care service can purchase this additional equipment because of generous donations from the Broken Hill local community,” said Ms Cumming.
This generous donation will go a long way toward making many people’s time with palliative care more comfortable, explained Ms Jarvis.
The Broken Hill Palliative Care Team are grateful for the generosity from the Broken Hill Democratic Club and their continued and ongoing support that enables their service to support our community, explained Ms Cumming.