Cottage for parents given makeover

SARAH DUNN
Last updated 10:41 20/02/2014
 Maureen Higgs

REOPENING: Special care baby unit charge nurse Maureen Higgs follows Archdeacon Andy Joseph as he blesses the refurbished cottage for parents of sick babies at Nelson Hospital.

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A cottage for parents who have sick babies staying in Nelson Hospital has been given a $17,000 makeover.

The upgrade of the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) cottage in the grounds of the hospital was completed by Lions and Lioness Clubs of the Nelson region.

The cottage was blessed in a ceremony this week.

The Lions funded the $17,000 upgrade, and raised $10,000 for the project with proceeds from the 30th annual charity golf weekend in November. The golf tournament is sponsored by South Pine Timber.

Charge nurse manager of the unit, Maureen Higgs, said she was "extremely grateful" to the Lions and Lioness Clubs and thanked South Pine for sponsoring the project.

"This is an important project for the district as having this valuable resource updated and refurbished will definitely be uplifting for parents and families who will appreciate staying near to their baby in modern, energy efficient accommodation, whilst separated from their wider family/whanau."

The refurbishment of the cottage comes after 10 years of regular use by parents and families from all over the Nelson/Marlborough district.

Part of the project was to make the cottage energy efficient and brighter, and a more modern space for parents who need to be accommodated close to SCBU and Maternity Services.

The cottage is a self contained unit and was originally equipped by the Panda Trust, a group of mums whose babies were "SCBU graduates".

The cottage was a private house in the 1990s before the Nelson Hospital redevelopment in 2003 closed that part of Kawai St to through traffic. It then became offices before being used to accommodate parents who have a baby in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and antenatal women requiring to be near the hospital prior to the birth of their baby.

Mrs Higgs said that as a result of the decoration and the addition of insulation, heating and facilities the cottage would be good for another 10-20 years.

PowerTech, Radcliffe Electrical and Smiths' City also contributed to the project.

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