Kindy donates new toy to chil­dren’s ward

The Invercargill Eye - - FRONT PAGE - RE­BECCA MOORE

A new stove-top and oven play set is al­ready get­ting good use at the chil­dren’s ward play room at South­land Hospi­tal.

The stove was do­nated by staff at Sur­rey Park Early Learn­ing Cen­tre on Mon­day.

Cen­tre teacher Dianne Blair said the staff tossed around a few ideas to help out in the com­mu­nity be­fore choos­ing the chil­dren’s ward.

Blair dropped off the wooden stove on Mon­day, and it al­ready caught the eye of 5-year-old Kai Takeda, who had the first play while wait­ing for his baby brother to be born.

Sur­rey Park Early Learn­ing Cen­tre staff heard the chil­dren’s ward play area re­cently re­ceived an out­door play hut, so they wanted to do­nate some­thing to fill it, Blair said.

The cen­tre was ‘‘a com­mu­nity cen­tre’’, with staff who were al­ways look­ing for new ways to help the com­mu­nity and strug­gling fam­i­lies, she said.

‘‘We’re very much a com­mu­nity-based cen­tre. It’s very im­por­tant that, first, they [famil- ies in need] are happy and healthy.

‘‘We work with the com­mu­nity; that’s the big­gest thing.’’

The cen­tre also helped in­ter­nally, with an area to do­nate clothes or meals for other fam­i­lies and, over the years, staff also helped chil­dren who had been in ac­ci­dents and were be­ing treated at hospi­tal.

There were 45 staff at the cen­tre, and they all pitched in for com­mu­nity projects like this one. ‘‘It’s a good feel­ing cen­tre.’’ South­land Hospi­tal play spe­cial­ist Al­lana Bunt­ing said the hospi­tal play area was a li­censed early learn­ing cen­tre for chil­dren in hospi­tal.

While the cen­tre did re­ceive gov­ern­ment fund­ing, do­na­tions were al­ways ap­pre­ci­ated.

‘‘The idea here is that th­ese things [toys in the play area] are a dis­trac­tion. They [chil­dren in hospi­tal] will for­get their sick­ness.’’

Chil­dren could re­cover quicker if they were hav­ing fun and for­get­ting about be­ing in hospi­tal, Bunt­ing said.

Front-Line Train­ing Con­sul­tancy re­cently do­nated the out­door hut so it was good to be able to fill it out with the do­nated oven, she said.

‘‘We’ve got [toy] food and things so it’s nice to have an oven.’’

RE­BECCA MOORE/STUFF

Kai Takeda, 5, tries out the new stove do­nated to the chil­dren’s ward at South­land Hospi­tal by the staff at Sur­rey Park Early Learn­ing Cen­tre.

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