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Ascham School in Sydney says “thank-you Moree Hospital” during these unprecedented times

THE tireless work and dedication of healthcare workers at Moree Hospital has been recognised by the Ascham School in Sydney, with students donating $400 to the local health service to provide morning teas for staff members.

In recent years, rural communities across eastern Australia have struggled through drought, floods and bushfires.

This year, COVID-19 has completely changed the way people work, rest and play – and not just for the short-term, either.

Each and every day across Australia healthcare workers on the frontline put their own lives at risk to help others as the COVID-19 pandemic continues its relentless surge across the globe.

Ascham School Principal Andrew Powell said in a letter to Moree Hospital staff his students, predominantly from rural backgrounds, were very much aware of the remoteness and variables affecting regional towns and communities.

“With this in mind, our Year 12 Charity Committee wanted to commend Moree Hospital staff by undertaking a fundraiser in their honour,” Mr Powell said.

Social Worker Ritchie Hair, Palliative Care Registered Nurse Dominique McGann, Registered Nurse Lesley Lillyman, Acting Health Service Manager Anne Lemmon, Speech Pathologist Ruth Matthews, Occupational Therapist Alex Downes, Child and Family Health Nurse Hollie O’Connor, Nurse Unit Manager Tahlee Sabine and Administration Officer Wendy Withers were just some members of the 19-strong Moree Hospital Community Health to enjoy coffee and cold treats from Deluxe Café Moree, purchased with funds raised through Bright to Unite, an Ascham School initiative. (Image: Bill Poulos).

The fundraiser – Bright to Unite – was embraced by Ascham’s senior school students.

Mr Powell said funds raised reflect the students’ appreciation and recognition of Moree Hospital staff.

The first of a series of morning teas at Moree Hospital was launched this week, with Community Health staff getting together on Wednesday to mark Allied Health Professionals’ Day, an international event that celebrates and brings together the allied health professional community.

Hand-written letters of thanks from Ascham students were also sent to Moree Hospital staff.

“Thank you all for your hard work in keeping everyone happy and healthy. We appreciate you more than you know,” wrote Francesca.

Another student, Marie-Claire, penned: “We can’t thank you enough for your perseverance and incredible courage.”

Moree Health Service Nurse Unit Manager Tahlee Sabine said students at Ascham School wanted to share funds raised with a rural and remote hospital.

“The fundraising was done with the vision to hold a morning tea, afternoon tea or lunch for staff to show support for all healthcare workers and appreciation for their continued effort, hard work and dedication during difficult times of drought, bushfires and COVID-19 in 2020,” Ms Sabine said.

“Due to current COVID-19 restrictions Moree Hospital was unable to hold a morning tea or luncheon, so it was decided that we would use the money towards coffee and beverages for staff.

“Community Health chose to use the money towards beverages from Deluxe Café Moree on Allied Health Professionals’ Day and Acute Services will use their funds in the same way at a later date.

“On behalf of Moree Hospital, we would like to thank the students of Ascham School for their generous donation,” Ms Sabine said.

Words and Image: Bill Poulos