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Donated chair comforts whānau at Whakatāne Hospital

07 November 2022

Whānau can rest easy beside their loved ones at Whakatāne Hospital thanks to a special donation from Opportunity Knocks.

Donated chair comforts whānau at Whakatāne Hospital
Colleen Yardley (seated in the La-Z-Boy) with (from left) her daughter Whakatāne Hospital Registered Nurse Brigit Billings, and Opportunity Knocks treasurer Alison McFarland.

The local op shop has just donated a brand new La-Z-Boy chair for the use of visitors to the hospital’s palliative care space.

The donation came about after the op shop’s secretary, Colleen Yardley, spent time in the palliative care ward with her husband before he passed away three months ago.

“The palliative care room was amazing and the staff were just wonderful,” said Colleen.

“While I was there, I thought how nice it would have been to sit or sleep beside him in a La-Z-Boy.”

Opportunity Knocks treasurer Alison McFarland said the op shop was delighted to step up and donate the La-Z-Boy to the hospital.

“We hope it will provide comfort to whānau at the bedside of their loved ones,” she said.

Opportunity Knocks was begun 30 years ago by Presbyterian Church volunteers. It operates from the corner of Boon Street and Richardson Street, collecting donations of clothing and other items to fund good deeds in the community.

It has donated several items to the hospital in the past, including DVD players and DVDs for the Children’s Ward, and a stretcher for patients arriving by helicopter.

The op shop also makes regular contributions to many other community organisations, including the church. It is open to requests for one-off donations to worthy projects.

“We would love to welcome new volunteers to our shop to enable us to continue our work in the community,” said Colleen.

“If you could spare three hours in your week to help us, please come into the shop and leave your name and phone number.”

Whakatāne Hospital Clinical Nurse Manager Medical Ward Vivienne Robertson thanked Opportunity Knocks for the chair, which is the latest of several donations from the wider community that make the hospital’s palliative care space so special.

“Room 15 in particular has a different feel to it, and we acknowledge the importance of that room to our community,” said Vivienne.

“Curtains, artwork, a fridge – all have been donated through the generosity of friends and relatives. And now this wonderful chair will add to the comfort of visiting whānau.”