Girls in the pink and on a mis­sion

The Napier Mail - - FRONT PAGE - ME­GAN HUNT

A chance meet­ing in a su­per­mar­ket in­spired a group of teens to cre­ate care pack­ages for the re­gion’s new par­ents.

Char­lotte Older­shaw, 14, her sis­ter Han­nah, 16 and friend Bay­ley Kerr, 12, have raised $300 to pur­chase items for new moth­ers with pre­ma­ture or un­well ba­bies in Hawke’s Bay Hospi­tal.

The project, named the Pink Pen­guin Foun­da­tion, be­gan a few years ago when the Older­shaw sis­ters were liv­ing in Welling­ton.

Char­lotte, who was nine at the time, bumped into an up­set wo­man in a su­per­mar­ket buy­ing items af­ter hav­ing a pre­ma­ture baby. That in­spired the pri­mary school stu­dent to make a care pack for a lo­cal hospi­tal, but she parked the idea for a few years.

Now the Older­shaw sis­ters, both at Napier Girls’ High School, have part­nered with Bay­ley, a Have­lock In­ter­me­di­ate School stu­dent, to grow the project. All three are part of the Napier Op­er­atic So­ci­ety and have hosted bake sales at re­hearsals and other events to raise money for the care packs, with bak­ing help from friend Libby Syms.

So far they have col­lected more than $300 and aim to raise $1000 by the end of the year.

Bay­ley’s aunt had a pre­ma­ture baby and the trio used her sug­ges­tions of what she needed and wanted shortly af­ter the birth to de­sign their care packs. Those in­cluded nap­pies, wipes, baby pow­der, bibs, blan­kets and lol­lies for moth­ers.

A mem­ber of the op­er­atic so­ci­ety also knit­ted hats and booties to be in­cluded in the packs. They have made 10 bun­dles so far, plus a large gen­eral box, and gave these out to par­ents at Hawke’s Hay Hospi­tal.

‘‘We want to make some­one’s day,’’ Char­lotte said. ’’Be­ing in hospi­tal is never go­ing to be fun but we want to make the time a bit bet­ter.’’

In the fu­ture they hoped to sup­ply toys or gifts for other ba­bies and moth­ers.

The hospi­tal’s clin­i­cal nurse man­ager Michelle Robert­son said the ges­ture was in­cred­i­bly well re­ceived by par­ents. ‘‘[They] were just blown away that these young girls took it upon them­selves to put these care pack­ages to­gether.

‘‘The car­ing rea­son be­hind their project, and the age that the girls are, had some par­ents speech­less. They’re amaz­ing in­di­vid­u­als.’’

ME­GAN HUNT

Char­lotte Older­shaw, 14, Han­nah Older­shaw, 16, and Bay­ley Kerr, 12, with sup­plies for their Pink Pen­guin care packs.

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