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Cheer for Children's Ward After Disposal of Toys

Tuesday 18 December 2007

Christmas Cheer for Children's Ward Following Disposal of Toys

Southland Hospital's Children's Ward has received some early Christmas cheer with the donation of $2,000 from Tiwai Point's New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd (NZAS) along with Playstations from Harvey Norman Ltd and Christmas trees from City Impact Church, announced Leanne Samuel, Interim Chief Operating Officer today. The donations follow on from the recent disposal of numerous toys in the ward, due to a Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) cleaning process.

The Children's Ward was closed on Monday 10 December following the identification of a MRSA positive patient and staff. The ward re-opened late on Friday 15 December following an extensive cleaning process to disinfect the ward, which meant that a number of toys, educational tools and Christmas decorations - which could not be properly sterilised - had to be thrown away.

"We are absolutely delighted by the $2,000 donation from the Smelter, which is a real boost for the ward following such a disappointing week," Mrs Samuel said. "The Smelter's donation will be put to excellent use by helping to re-stock our children's play room with educational therapeutic play toys, which are an important part of supporting children who are in our care for periods of time."

NZAS General Manager, Paul Hemburrow, said that the Smelter heard of the toys being discarded and decided they could help the hospital by using money they had saved through a new initiative of sending electronic Christmas cards to their staff, instead of purchasing traditional cards.

"We were keen to donate the $2,000 savings to a group which could make good use of this money. On hearing the Children's Ward plight, it was an obvious choice for us and we are delighted to help the staff and children's ward patients to re-stock their unit with educational toys," Mr Hemburrow said.

Mrs Samuel said that Harvey Normans had donated ex-demonstration stock with two Playsations, an X-Box Console and games . "This is fantastic news, especially for children confined to their beds during their stay in hospital," Mrs Samuel said.

Two new Christmas trees had also been displayed in the unit, following donations from City Impact Church.

Mrs Samuel said that she was aware of other inquiries from members of the public around donating toys, but expressed a desire for people wishing to make donations to not forget other needy groups at this time of year.

"In the spirit of Christmas and acknowledging the wonderful support that exists in our community, we would like to encourage people to consider donating soft toys and other gifts to groups who also help Southland families in need, such as Barnardos, Salvation Army, and Women's Refuge.

"These groups do tremendous work and we wish to highlight their time of need."

"The Children's Ward has been most generously supported in our time of need, and we express our sincere thanks to the community for your support and our thanks to the Smelter, Harvey Normans and City Impact Church for your wonderful donations."

ENDS

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