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The Gift of Community Kindness – Whangarei Hospital’s Children’s Ward Christmas Wonderland

Christmas arrived early at Whangārei Hospital’s children’s ward this week, thanks to a handful of joyful elves from the Northland community.

Following a post on social media calling for donations of Christmas decorations, Carina de Graaf, General Manager of The Northland Events Centre Trust, was eager to help.

Not only did the group generously purchase decorations to gift Te Whatu Ora in Te Tai Tokerau, they also insisted on installing the festive lights as a gift to the hard-working staff and the deserving patients on the ward.

“Before lunch I asked who wanted to come with me to help decorate the children’s ward and the whole team volunteered!” laughed Carina.

“We were looking at what we could do to help someone this season, so we were really excited when this opportunity came up,” she said.

Clinical Nurse Manager, Judith Hapi shared that the offer was amazing.

“We did have some decorations up, but we ran short halfway down the ward. Our decorations were old too, so we really appreciate the help.”

Judith said it was particularly nice for the community to be involved.

“Something like this, cheers the kids up at this time of year and creates an inviting place to be, if they need to be here in the holidays.”

An enthusiastic group of staff offered to lend a hand hanging tinsel on the walls, as the flurry of Santas helpers got to work and children watched the magic unfold.

Six-year-old patient George Heappey was more than happy to get involved, decorating trees, and sharing his love of Christmas, as well as his eagerness to get back to school.

With enough lights left over to fill the nurse’s station and the playroom, Ward 2 was quickly transformed into a Christmas wonderland, wrapped in the catchy sounds of laughter and joy.


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