November 8, 2021

Kindness from Kyneton

Nurses on the frontline at Northern Health recently received gift boxes with this message:

“Hi, we are Alison, Janice, Angela and Katy, four sisters who live in Kyneton, Victoria. Please accept these gifts, collected and created by our regional community, as a token of appreciation for all you have done and continue to do throughout this pandemic. We are thinking of you, we support you, we see you.”

Katy is a nurse and midwife and says, “This started as a small family project  and has grown tremendously.”

She explains, “During my career I have worked in Melbourne and abroad in a variety of nursing areas. This pandemic has been hard for all of us, especially working in COVID areas.”

“I knew myself I was exhausted, scared, worried and sad about what was going on around me. Traditionally health care workers are very stoic, resilient and don’t complain, but finally I started asking my colleagues – how are you really doing?”

“And the stories came flooding in. I was in tears reading messages from exhausted friends on the front line. And shocked at some of the realities they are living through.”

“I knew I needed to do something. I started sending care packages to my friends. While I was doing this my sisters said “Katy, give us the name of a nurse and we will send them something. We want to help somehow.”

“And so the idea of sending boxes of gifts to the wards in need was born!”

Alisha Turner, Associate Nurse Unit Manager, Ward 19, is also from Kyneton. She says, “I wanted to be involved and was able to be the link of getting these boxes to those who deserve it!”

The project has now gone beyond Katy and her sisters. “Many individuals have donated as well as community groups such as Kyneton Community Centre, Kyneton Rotary and hospital groups.”

The boxes all have personalised messages. “The idea of personal messages from both adults and kids was very important to me. It’s the personal connection we wanted to add. We have had kids art donated by local childcares, playgroups and kids creating at home with their parents. We now have five local schools eagerly involved, creating art but more importantly learning about health care,” says Katy.

“We  hope the boxes bring a little smile to a tired face, a moment of joy in the midst of hardship and most of all the knowledge that there are communities of people supporting, encouraging and holding up the sacrifices and incredible work of all our health care workers!” she concludes.