ORANGE born and bred residents might be used to the area’s winter chill, but for mental heath patients travelling from Western Sydney and Broken Hill, the change can be quite a shock.
To support those vulnerable people, Roundabout Central West has stepped up to raise money for winter comforts, from toiletries to jackets and beanies.
The group will host an Anglo-Indian dinner night at the CWA Hall on Saturday, July 7, with the proceeds to go towards the cause.
Western NSW Local Health District acute mental health clinical nurse consultant Anne Ind said many clients had long distances to travel to seek treatment.
“When they come from somewhere like Broken Hill, their finances are not always as good as what they should be and they’re low in comfort items,” she said.
“If you’re away from family and friends and you can’t access what you normally would, you can be very fearful – receiving something you really need makes a heck of a difference to your mental state.”
She said the Orange Hospital Auxiliary had been supplying items for a number of years, but it had not been public knowledge until now.
Acting director of nursing Justin Oakes said clients were often brought to Orange at short notice.
“They don’t have a chance to pack a bag,” he said.
The cause came to Roundabout’s attention after member Jan Savage spoke to Ms Ind.
“I’m a cold frog, but I was seeing people in thongs in the middle of winter,” Mrs Savage said.
The Anglo-Indian community started in India from marriages between indigenous women and Europeans, with their descendants ostracised from both communities.
Roundabout member Janet Sprigge grew up in India as part of the community – of Scottish heritage, she also speaks five Indian languages.
The menu will include Mulligatawny soup, beef ball curry, coconut yellow rice and ice cream.
The dinner will start at 6.30pm and tickets are $40.
To book, call Mrs Sprigge on 6361 4990.
If you would like to donate items to the mental health unit or find out more about Roundabout Central West, call president Paul Cox on 0419 262 978.