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Free beds help Christchurch “home away from home”

24 February 2003

Free beds help Christchurch “home away from home”

Relatives of seriously ill child patients at Christchurch Hospital will be able to sleep a little easier thanks to New Zealand bed-maker Sleepyhead.

The company has donated $25,000 worth of beds to the new Ronald McDonald House in the Garden City.

Parents and siblings are accommodated in the house enabling the whole family to remain together while children undergo treatment at Christchurch hospitals.

After being approached by Ronald McDonald House, Smiths City chief executive Rick Hellings suggested to Sleepyhead it might like to become involved in the project by supplying beds at cost.

Sleepyhead joint managing director Craig Turner instantly offered to donate the 32 beds needed by the house at no cost.

“We are very pleased to be asked and extremely happy to be involved with a very worthwhile project that is bringing such a much-needed asset to the community,” Mr Turner says.

“We have had a presence in Christchurch for more than 20 years now and more than a third of our business is done in the South Island.

“We are just happy to be able to put something back in to the community.”

Sleepyhead has recently spent $2.5 million on renovations to turn its Christchurch plant in to the country’s most modern bed factory.

The Sleepyhead beds at Ronald McDonald House are dual purpose with both the base and the mattress capable of being slept on, thereby doubling the overnight capacity of Ronald McDonald House.

Nickie Barlow, House Manager, of Ronald McDonald House South Island, says the donation of the beds frees up cash funds to be used elsewhere in the home.

“Of course we are absolutely delighted with Sleepyhead’s offer. Twenty-five thousand dollars is a lot of money for us and it means we will now be able to provide families with a little extra such as a home theatre system or similar.

“Perhaps even more important is that we recognise the quality of the Sleepyhead products – they are well made products and they will last. That too will enable us to conserve our precious cash resources in the longer term.”

Last year 6,400 children were admitted to the Christchurch Hospital and they stayed in hospital for an average eight nights. The three-storey, 15-bedroom Ronald McDonald House is being officially opened on March 10 following a week-long Open Home.

The house has been built at a total cost of $5.4 million and the trustees still have about $1.5 million to raise.


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