While the construction for the new $12.1 million St Helens hospital began only last week, the efforts of the St Helens Hospital Auxiliary to furnish the new hospital have been ongoing for quite some time.
The volunteer group has squirreled away a little over $40,000 over the past six months to assist in providing extra palliative care services for the new hospital, according to auxiliary president Margaret Osborne.
Contributed items will include furnishings for a purpose-built family and friends room, a courtyard and kitchen facilities.
Some of the expected purchases will include “comfort" items such as televisions, furnishings and artworks to ensure palliative patients and visitors feel a little more at-home in their surroundings.
The group is aiming to raise $100,000 before the hospital’s expected completion in December 2018.
“We’re hoping to raise the money for the extra things the government doesn’t supply to hospitals,” Mrs Osborne said.
“I think it’s very important [to have those facilities].
“If you’ve got a dying parent it means you can spend time with them in the hospital if you’ve got a proper palliative care ward.”
The auxiliary has raised funds primarily through its op-shop – The St Helens Auxiliary Tip Shop.
According to auxiliary secretary Christine Treloggen, some days the shop is so busy “you can’t get in the door”.
“It’s unbelievable the amount of things and amount of money that has gone through the shop,” she said.
“People are cleaning out their shacks and everything they bring is all going back into the community.
“It’s only going to get bigger and better.”
St Helens Hospital director of nursing Denise Callister said the members of the group were “amazing” contributors to the community.
She believes the auxiliary deserves praise for the behind-the-scenes work it does for the hospital.
“The auxiliary provide a personal touch and a more homely environment,” Ms Callister said.
“They are very valuable to the hospital and the team works tirelessly each year for the public to have these homely comforts.”