Com­fort from buddy bears in hos­pi­tal

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS -

A stay at West Gipp­s­land Hos­pi­tal is be­ing made a lit­tle brighter for young­sters thanks to do­na­tions of buddy bears.

The hand­made bears were de­liv­ered to the hos­pi­tal's Pae­di­atrics and Day Surgery Units by La­trobe Com­mu­nity Health Ser­vice staff who run two life skills pro­grams for work for the dole and com­mu­nity cor­rec­tions par­tic­i­pants.

The buddy bear bags com­plete with hand sewn bear, birth cer­tifi­cate and non-toxic marker pen are hand made by par­tic­i­pants with sup­port from vol­un­teer sewing men­tors.

La­trobe Com­mu­nity Health program fa­cil­i­ta­tor Adri­ana Pez­zutto said the bears were a great dis­trac­tor for chil­dren who might be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing pain or stress in a strange en­vi­ron­ment.

“The program has been em­braced by par­tic­i­pants who work with vol­un­teer sewing men­tors. The par­tic­i­pants learn valu­able work and life skills and at the same time gain con­fi­dence and sat­is­fac­tion in know­ing their work is help­ing oth­ers.”

All brand new ma­te­ri­als are used to make the bears through fund­ing from the Gipp­s­land Com­mu­nity Work Program.

West Gipp­s­land Healthcare Group pae­di­atrics nurse unit man­ager, Franca De Sisto, thanked La­trobe Com­mu­nity Health Ser­vice and the par­tic­i­pants for the buddy bears.

“Our nurs­ing staff are highly ap­pre­cia­tive of sup­port that as­sists chil­dren and their fam­i­lies re­quir­ing care. It makes a real dif­fer­ence to their hos­pi­tal ex­pe­ri­ence.”

She said the hos­pi­tal had a small num­ber of vol­un­teers who make trauma ted­dies for young pa­tients and their work of these quiet achiev­ers is highly ap­pre­ci­ated.

"Each bear is given to the child as a gift to stay with them while in hos­pi­tal and to take home."

*For the ben­e­fit of pa­tients, WGHG ad­heres to strict pro­to­cols for in­fec­tion con­trol and safety. It does not ac­cept do­na­tions of sec­ond hand toys or crafts made from reused ma­te­ri­als.

At the pre­sen­ta­tion of Buddy Bears are (from left): Buddy Bear vol­un­teer Jenny, WGHG pae­di­atric nurse Jackie, LCHS Adri­ana Pez­zutto and WGHG Nurse Linda with the Buddy Bears

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