Grandparents group rewarded with regional health awards

GROUP A WINNER: Lorraine Ashbrooke (right) helps sign up the first two volunteers in Orange’s grandparents program Cathy Laughton and Cheryl Lobsey. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

GROUP A WINNER: Lorraine Ashbrooke (right) helps sign up the first two volunteers in Orange’s grandparents program Cathy Laughton and Cheryl Lobsey. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

WHEN blue ladies volunteer Lorraine Ashbrooke walked into the paediatric unit of Orange hospital and helped the busy staff by feeding a baby, nursing unit manager Lyn Cantwell saw it as a great help.

The two women then put their heads together and came up with the idea of a grandparents group.

That group’s quick rise to prominence has just been recognised after claiming two awards at the Western Local Health District awards in Dubbo last week.

Mrs Cantwell said not only has the group proved to be a tremendous help to staff, it has been a boon for sick children and their parents.

“Sometimes parents not only need a little break to go off and get a coffee or a meal, but they just need someone to talk to who is part of the clinical staff,” she said.

Mrs Cantwell said volunteers help out in the ward on a roster system by reading to children, helping them with their colouring and other activities if they are well enough.

“They are a great backstop,” she said.

Mrs Cantwell said the forming of the grandparents group has been a great effort from all involved.

“This has turned out to be such a successful program and I am ecstatic about the win at the health awards,” she said.

The grandparents’ group won the community category award and the people’s choice award after being voted on by hospital staff.

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