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HomeNewsCelebrating 60 years of volunteers at Hornsby Hospital

Celebrating 60 years of volunteers at Hornsby Hospital

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital is celebrating 60 years of volunteers in a milestone year for the hospital which has just completed its major redevelopment.

The Pink Ladies Auxiliary has marked the 60th anniversary by moving into a new shop at the main entry, where their handmade and donated giftwares greet visitors as they enter the hospital’s new building.

Volunteers officially first began at Hornsby Hospital in June 1962, when the hospital looked very different to the modern designed building that it is now.

Over the decades, the volunteers have given hours of their time to support staff and patients, as well as raise thousands of dollars to buy medical equipment for the hospital.

Some of the equipment purchased has included speech pathology chairs, ultrasounds, patient trolleys, and orthopaedic surgical equipment.

In 2017, the Pink Ladies bought a significant piece of equipment for the Intensive Care Unit, the Bellavista 1000 – a $55,000 automated ventilator machine. Hornsby was the first public hospital in Australia to use this cutting-edge ventilator which automatically adjusted a patient’s oxygen flow, instead of staff manually having to.

Right from the start I have had a feeling of fulfilment knowing that I was helping the hospital, staff and my fellow volunteers in a worthwhile position
Pink Ladies Auxiliary President Brian Minnett

The Pink Ladies have carried out a variety of roles since their inception from hairdressing, floral arrangements, mail delivery, gardening, concierge, arts and crafts and running the Pink Ladies shop.

In 2004, the Pink Ladies underwent one of their biggest changes by allowing men to join for the first time.

A special lunch was held for the volunteers at Hornsby RSL attended by NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox, NSLHD Board Chair Trevor Danos and members of the Hornsby Hospital executive.

Pink Ladies Auxiliary President Brian Minnett said being a volunteer meant he was helping to support the hospital provide high quality care to patients and their families.

“I am now in my 15th year as a volunteer, and I have watched Hornsby Hospital grow.  We have witnessed changes to patient care that I would never have imagined happening when I was a patient many years ago," he said.

“Having seen the changes in volunteer duties I am convinced there will always be a place for volunteers at Hornsby Hospital.”

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital General Manager Simon Hill said: “It was very difficult during the COVID-19 restrictions when our volunteers couldn’t come on site. Our staff and patients missed them and we know the volunteers themselves missed being able to come and help.”

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