Mount Druitt Hospital's Auxiliary Ladies Committee donate more than $700,000 in last 35 years

Volunteer Jean Hitches, paediatric clinical nurse educator Katherine Barry, volunteers Janice Graham and Dulcie Harrison, and head of physiotherapy department Vanessa Abbott. Picture: Western Sydney Health
Volunteer Jean Hitches, paediatric clinical nurse educator Katherine Barry, volunteers Janice Graham and Dulcie Harrison, and head of physiotherapy department Vanessa Abbott. Picture: Western Sydney Health

Whenever Mount Druitt Hospital staff have needed new equipment over the years, they headed to the gift shop.

It’s there the hospital’s Auxiliary Ladies Committee has been squirreling away funds to buy critical equipment since 1973 – raising more than $700,000.

Now the volunteers have donated $30,000 to buy cutting-edge gear for Mount Druitt’s physiotherapy department, speech pathology programs and children’s ward.

“We do it because we love this hospital,” Auxiliary president Jean Hitches said.

Picture: Western Sydney Health

Picture: Western Sydney Health

“As far as we’re concerned, it doesn’t matter who’s in government, there is never too much money for Mount Druitt. That’s what we work for.

“More things are coming back to the area now, which is what we need here.”

The volunteers raise money through the gift shop and a monthly pop-up store at Plumpton Marketplace. They also hold raffles at Bunnings Warehouse twice a year.

Ms Hitches said the group had “a very good treasurer who’s been here for many years” who kept their savings growing. 

“A lot of us are creative people as far as we knit, we sew and we crotchet,” she said.

“We’ve got a great team of ladies who work from home. That is the sort of stuff we sell.”

This week hospital staff held a morning tea to show the ladies the fruits of their labour, which included a new bladder scanner, models, textbooks, an ultrasound machine, exercise bike and a stepper machine.

“It was nice to see where the money went,” Ms Hitches said.

Ms Hitches, who has volunteered for 10 years, said the group was looking for fresh faces to join the team.

“We still have ladies here who fought for the hospital back before it was opened,” she said.

“It would be nice to see some young ones come on board.”