Pink Ladies spread cheer
COFFS Harbour Hospital is the beneficiary of some much-needed equipment thanks to the efforts of the Pink Ladies.
Assorted renal equipment, a vital signs monitor worth more than $10,000, a table tennis table in the mental health unit and an ECG machine were just some items on the hospital's wish list bought by the volunteer group.
The Pink Ladies raised $43,212.23 in the last financial year, with income mostly from the coffee and gift shops they run in the hospital.
At a recent conference of United Hospital Auxiliaries held in Sydney, the Coffs Harbour Pink Ladies were awarded for raising the most of any country branch during the year.
Coffs Pink Ladies president Helen Meares has been volunteering for 34 years, and said the amount raised was much more than when they opened their first coffee shop in the old Base Hospital in 1982.
"Back then, we raised $20 to $30 a day," Ms Meares said.
"At first, we used to ask patients what they needed and go out and buy it from the shop," she said.
"Then, we opened the coffee shop downstairs, but we served mostly staff."
Today, coffee and sandwiches are popular with patients, staff and visitors, as are the hot meals at lunchtime - and the chocolates from the gift store.
"Everyone needs a chocolate hit in the afternoon," Ms Meares said.
Coffs Harbour has 80 Pink Ladies who volunteer at the hospital.
New volunteers are always welcome, and the team is particularly looking for some more hands to help make sandwiches on weekends.
If you can offer your time - and sandwich-making skills - call Ms Meares on 6652 2827.