Pink Ladies seek new volunteers

Wanganui Hospital's Pink Ladies need to boost their numbers, and they need to do so quickly.
Group director and treasurer Sylvia Beach says due to ‘retirements’, numbers have dropped from 20 to 12 this year “and ideally, we need one person on each of the hospital’s four wards, five days of the week”.
“To do this requires at minimum, a team of 20. With our numbers down to 12 we’re very pushed at the moment. Several volunteers, including myself, are coming in twice a week to make sure we don’t let any patients down but due to our age, we too are keen to retire.” 
Established in Wanganui Hospital in 1975, the Pink Ladies have one member, Judith Allen, who has been with them since the group’s inception.
Another long-serving Pink Lady is hairdresser Shirley Lockett who along with Mrs Beach agrees that the hairdressing service they provide is ‘very special’.
“One of the most gratifying aspects of our job is seeing the joy on a patient’s face when they’ve had their hair done,” Mrs Beach says.
“I call it the ‘Magic Room’. They come down feeling terrible but once they’ve had their hair done, they return to the ward feeling a million dollars. We desperately need another hairdresser to help Shirley so please call us if you have those skills and could work with us on Tuesday afternoons.”
Business Manager Medical, Public Health, Community & Rural Services and Allied Health Louise Torr says the support the Pink Ladies, and other volunteers, provide to the hospital cannot be underestimated.
“We place enormous value on the contribution they make and I believe they in turn, get great satisfaction from knowing what a difference they make to our patients.”
For further information please call Sylvia Beach on 3444403. No training is needed for those wanting to become Pink Ladies. Volunteers would usually expect to work one to two hours a week.
The tasks Pink Ladies provide for patients include:
  • arranging flowers
  • reading
  • writing letters
  • assisting with crafts
  • doing personal laundry for out-of-town patients
  • shopping
  • playing cards or games
  • taking patients to the volunteer-operated hospital hairdressing salon open on Tuesday afternoons

From left: Joan McIver, Sylvia Beach and hairdresser Shirley Lockett