When you’re forced to stay in hospital, often nothing is a more welcome sight than the smiling face of one of our local Pink Ladies. The Pink Ladies offer some happy conversation, nurturing comfort and the sale of sweets and toiletries you can purchase to help brighten your stay. What’s more, all money raised by these lovely ladies stays in our community and goes to benefit our local hospital …
What can you tell us about the history behind your Pink Ladies group?
NOLA WITT: The inaugural meeting was held in the Scout Hall, Forster on Tuesday 7th April 1981. The convenor for the meeting was Mollie Richardson and acting secretary was Betty Barrett. The inaugural President was Dawn Cliff, Secretary was J Peters and Treasurer was Mollie Richardson.
Mr Dodd from Manning District Hospital addressed the meeting on the role of “Pink Ladies”. The past Matron, Gwen Hart, of Cape Hawke Memorial Hospital stated that a “Pink Lady” service was much needed.
What do you see as the primary roles or aims of the Pink Ladies?
MARGARET HARRIS AND JAN WHITFIELD: To us, the primary role of Pink Ladies is to assist the patient in a non-medical way and make their stay a bit easier. We welcome them, offer a paper or recycled magazine to flip through and also ask if they would like any sweets or toiletries, which may have been forgotten. Their vases are collected and taken back to our room, where they are washed and flowers freshened. This is important, as no one wants old and smelly flowers.
Some patients have no family or visitors and love to chat; this, to us, is so special. If when we leave the room they have a smile on their face, then we have too. Volunteering is most rewarding; you make many friends, attend social outings, and Pink Ladies raise money for Forster Hospital – which helps our community.
What are some of the special events/fundraisers you’ve being involved with over the past twelve months?
ROBYN WALTERS: Last year we started with a fashion parade in March. Money raised from this was given to the hospital as a donation towards the Cap for Chemo Patients.
We try to have an outing every couple of months; these are some of the places we visited last year … Country Palings, Petals and Pots; Tuncurry Museum; The Deck. We also had a bus trip to Cundletown Museum and lunch at The Other Side – all monies raised on these outings goes to Forster Community Hospital for equipment.
We are having a fashion parade in May as our main fundraiser this year. It will be held at Forster Bowling Club, Saturday 19th May, 12:30pm for a 1pm start and costs $15 per head. For enquiries, phone Robyn on 0413 558 542 or Jenny on 0407 014 637.
When and where does your group meet?
JENNY McCONNELL: We meet the second Monday of every month at Forster Bowling Club, at 1:30pm in the auditorium.
What personal qualities do you feel contribute to making a good Pink Lady?
PAM CRAWLEY: A caring personality and the ability to show empathy.
Are you actively looking for more members – and if so, why would you encourage others to join your group?
CONNIE HENDERSON: Yes, we are looking for more members who like dealing with people that have many factors to cope with. Compassion is what makes our Pink Ladies.
What do you feel has been the group’s most significant achievement in recent times?
CATHY COOK (President): We held a fashion parade in March 2017 at Forster Bowling Club.All funds raised helped towards the purchase of a “Cooling Cap” for the patients at Cape Hawke Hospital having chemotherapy. It was a great day, and a wonderful achievement. Thank you to everyone.
Where can we find out more information?
JENNY McCONNELL: You can contact our President, Cathy, on 6555 7609.
Come to one of our meetings, if you would like to make new friends and help your community. New members are always welcome.