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Kids take the wheel into surgery

Kids take the wheel into surgery

Kids take the wheel into surgery

11 June 2020

Kalel, pictured with Dr Jenny Coulson, gives the thumbs up to being able to steer his way to theatre at The Northern Hospital in Melbourne, thanks to the donation of a mini car from Whittlesea Salvos Sew Beautiful Craft Group. You can’t top those number plates! (Photos courtesy Northern Health

By Jessica Morris

The road to surgery can be quite scary for children, but a delightful donation by the Sew Beautiful Craft Group from Whittlesea City Salvos means it’s a ride they can now enjoy.

The group recently donated a mini car to the paediatrics ward at The Northern Hospital in Epping, Victoria, to help young inpatients reach the operating theatre in style. The car, a miniature Range Rover, is fitted with ‘Whittlesea City Salvos’ number plates.

Anaesthetist Dr Jenny Coulson Jenny drove the idea of donating a mini car, which would enable children to steer their way to theatre rather than be pushed in a cart – an idea already being used to great success by hospitals throughout Asia. 

“As a group, we wanted to avoid kids getting stressed when they come into theatre and we thought the use of the car would make the kids happier when coming here,” Jenny said.

A recent gathering of ladies from the Whittlesea City Corps Sew Beautiful Craft Group. (Photo taken before social-distancing restrictions).

“I reached out and spoke to Josie Verga (Northern Health Foundation Fundraising Manager) and she knew exactly the community group who would consider this opportunity. One call to the Whittlesea Sew Beautiful Craft Group and the deal was done. Hopefully, we will have a fleet one day!”

Over the past three years, the group – consisting of about 40 avid sewers, crocheters and crafters – has donated 2500 handmade items to local community projects. What they don’t donate they sell, paving the way for $6000 worth of monetary donations, including oncology equipment, overseas projects involving water, sanitation and AIDS treatment, and now the mini car.

“The COVID-19 lockdown has presented challenges for us as a craft group, but the ladies have been diligently working at home to endeavour to meet our project commitments for 2020,” said Joan Matthews, the group’s coordinator.

Perhaps the key to their creativity lies in the organic way the group has grown. Ladies come from a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds, word of mouth, or because they want to make a difference in the community.

And it’s not just children who reap the benefits of their generosity – the group donates to six hospitals, homeless shelters, domestic violence and drug and alcohol services, aged care homes, rehabilitation centres, and it also supports a corps prayer quilt ministry.

“It is such an honour and a blessing to be able to lead this group,” said Joan.

How’s that for the power of a needle and thread?


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