By Danielle Kutchel
The local Inner Wheel district has made a substantial donation to a much-needed service run out of St John of God Hospital at their annual join dinner meeting.
Around 60 ladies came together from across the Inner Wheel’s south eastern clubs on Monday 12 April for the joint meeting, which is a feature on the Inner Wheel calendar.
Inner Wheel members from the Pakenham, Berwick, Narre Warren and Phillip Island clubs were in attendance at Holm Park Reserve in Beaconsfield, where they also heard from guest speakers from the hospital.
The meeting began with the lighting of the flame of friendship, and was interspersed with games, jokes, birthday celebrations and loving social catch-ups.
But there was also a serious side to the night, as nurses from St John of God Hospital took the microphone to speak about their experiences caring for Covid-positive patients during the second wave of the pandemic.
There were few dry eyes left in the room as nurse unit manager Karen Ward recalled swabbing patients – including, often, those with communication difficulties – and reorganising an entire hospital ward in just a few short hours to make way for the new patients.
The three St John of God representatives received a strong round of applause for their work at the end of the night.
Another purpose of the night was to raise funds for the St John of God Community Wig Service.
The Wig Service is a free service for people with cancer related hair loss and is available to both St John of God patients as well as the broader community.
Local Inner Wheel clubs have been supporting it since it was established around 2013.
Via a raffle on the night, the Inner Wheel ladies raised more than $500 for the wig service.
The night concluded with promises from Inner Wheel members to continue supporting the hospital into the future.