Girls in the pink and on a mission
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.’’
Charlotte Oldershaw, 14, Hannah Oldershaw, 16, and Bayley Kerr, 12, with supplies for their Pink Penguin care packs.