Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 18 February 2010 Contents LOCAL NEWS
18 February, 2010 | Page 13
Sally Macdonald's extensive
garden at Te Anau's Patience Bay
provides a haven for scared and
grieving families dealing with the
pressures of a loved one with a
terminal illness. It's a place she
loves and has been happy to share
through her voluntary role as a
community support worker for
From the point someone is
diagnosed with a terminal illness,
district nurses offer the hospice's
service to those affected and most
take up the option of a helping
hand through a difficult time. It's a
role Mrs Macdonald has filled for
about eight years now.
"It's very rewarding work. Some
people don't understand... just
being able to help people through
a very stressful time in their lives."
She was initially hesitant about
opening her home but quickly
learned how the tranquil views she
cherishes have helped calm her
guests. Sometimes they stay only
a few minutes, other times a few
"It's a lovely quiet spot to come,"
"You get free view, free coffee and
At other times she visits their
home, sitting with a patient while
a caregiver goes shopping or gets
their hair done. Little things can
worry people and support can, and
does, come in many forms.
The generosity with which Mrs
Macdonald gives of her time,
space and compassion is typical
of many involved with the hospice
which will hold its annual street
appeal next Friday.
Government funding meets
only about 63 percent of what's
needed to provide the service and
yet that's a welcome increase on
the 50 percent it was previously.
Nevertheless, it means the
organisation must turn to the
community for a good portion of
its operating costs. And still there
is a shortfall.
Chief executive Nicki Kitson said
the hospice spent just over $2.5
million in the 2008-09 year but
its income was shy of $1.8 million
and that included community
contributions totaling $698,391.
"The challenge is continuing to
live in that equation which isn't
sustainable long term."
There is growing demand for
hospice services and the hospice
is continually trying to expand its
services to meet that demand.
Mrs Macdonald is one of three
people dedicated to supporting
the families of those dying and
is acutely aware of the important
role hospice serves. Yet, she said,
many people still were not fully
informed about what it did offer.
Many people thought it was a
place where people simply went
to die, yet in many cases it was
simply a place offering respite
care, giving family members a
much needed break.
The hospice also offered a 24-
hour service so caregivers at
home could call a qualified nurse
on duty at any time. A big part of
the service was supporting the
patient, but just importantly was
support for their families.
Collectors will be out next Friday
and Mrs Macdonald urged people
to give generously.
Hospice helper urges dig deep
Sally Macdonald in her garden that provides a haven for worried or grieving
family members of Hospice Southland patients.
Fussing over the appearance of
their stand at the Southern Field
Days at Waimumu last week paid
off for Winton's Wensley Nursery.
The company, which is soon to
be renamed Plantsdirect, was
awarded the trophy for best site
from the hundreds of businesses
Company partners Jan Richardson,
Michael Tither and Steve Pagan
were chuffed with the accolade,
particularly given the effort that
had gone into its preparation.
One truck load of plants, along
with a float load "and a wee
bit more" were transported to
Waimumu and half a day's work
later was transformed into a
landscaped garden that
had been "sort of" planned
by Mr Tither.
The next morning he
"We were being laughed at
back at the nursery," Mrs
But the laughing was shortlived
as the rearranged site, completed
not long before the judges arrived,
was presented with the trophy.
All up around 300 plants were
used in the display.
Mrs Richardson said it was
the fourth time the company
had displayed at the field days.
Feedback this year had been
positive, with interest in both the
site itself as well as the plants and
the services the nursery provides.
Last minute changes pay off for nursery
LEFT: Michael Tither and Jan
Richardson at their winning stand.
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