Category Archives: Community

The Patient Wellness Garden

On Wednesday 15th June 2016, twelve months of hard work by the BHAG Volunteer Gardeners was recognised at the official opening ceremony of the Patient Wellness Garden.

Patient Wellness Garden plaque

Patient Wellness Garden plaque

The ceremony was attended by MNCLHD senior management, Bellingen Council, the Lions Club, members of the Gumbaynggirr community, BHAG Volunteer Gardeners, the Pink Ladies Auxiliary, the Foster Family, hospital staff and numerous other community organisations and individuals who had all played a part in bringing the PWG project to its successful conclusion.

You can read the full story and see more photos by following this link to the BHAG Volunteer Gardeners website:   Patient Wellness Garden Opening Ceremony

 

Letter from Bellingen Shire Council …

In January, Bellingen Shire Council wrote to BHAG commending us on our exemplary delivery of the Environmental Levy Community Fund Project – the Patient Wellness Garden at Bellingen Hospital.  We were thrilled to receive this letter, and heard on the grapevine that ours  was the best documented community project ever!

Solar Hot Water celebration …

Solar Hot Water Hospital

On Wednesday 10th June, Bellingen Hospital held a morning tea to celebrate the installation of a solar hot water system for Hartley House, and to thank the members of the community responsible for pushing the project to completion.

You can read a potted history of the 9 year battle to install solar hot water at Bellingen Hospital by clicking on the link below …

Solar Hot Water Bellingen Hospital History

And you can read Barb Moore’s celebration speech to see who contributed to the success of this project …

Barb’s presentation Solar Hot Water Celebration

This is another great day for the Bellingen community!

 

Local MPs to receive Roofing Petition

LOCAL MPs TO RECEIVE YOUR PETITION TO RE-ROOF BELLINGEN HOSPITAL SATURDAY 20TH JULY

Everyone in the community is invited to attend the handover of the petition of nearly 3,000 signatures to our local MP’s The Hon. Andrew Stoner & Mr Andrew Fraser at 12.15pm this Saturday the 20th of July outside the Library in Maam Gaduying (Council) Park. Continue to demonstrate your support to replace the leaking roofs at our hospital with a poster (we will have some or we welcome you to make your own).

This will be the third time in 5 years that we have petitioned the NSW Government to preserve & support our local hospital.

Our community has raised $46,953 to contribute towards the cost of re-roofing with $11,953 raised in the past 4 months. This is a phenomenal effort by a small community. The Bellingen IGA Community Benefit program recently raised $112 & “Roof-Fuss” our Black Angus raised $4,480 alone & we wish to thank our chief fundraiser Pauline (photographed) for her amazing effort with this fundraiser.

BHAG needs to find a new home to display our Posters, Thermometer of funds raised & the Honour role of donors. If you have window space available in your business would you please contact Barbara Moore on 66551898.

We are still waiting for Mr Stewart Dowrick to reply to our last letter of 24th May where we requested a written guarantee that he will allocate funds to replace the leaking roofs on both Hewitt Block & Hartley House.

We have received a written reply from The Hon. Jillian Skinner MP (NSW State Health Minister) however she did not offer any additional funds. She has advised us that Mr Dowrick is seeking an updated costing to replace the roofs with a view for funding to be allocated in the 2013/14 financial year and that Physical Resources will continue to monitor any areas of concern during heavy rain to minimise disruption to services.

It would appear that the health service is taking this matter more seriously than has been the case in the past. So thank you to everyone who continues to support this project. The voice of the people with the squeaky wheel is a formidable force. Well done.

Barbara Moore (President BHAG Inc.) 10/07/2013

Community assistance needed for “fit-out” for Bellingen Youth Orchestra buildings

NSW HEALTH, EDUCATION & THE BELLINGEN COMMUNITY IN PARTNERSHIP
TO BENEFIT THE BELLINGEN YOUTH ORCHESTRA – MUSIC STUDENTS & TEACHERS

Over the past two and a half years our Community has passionately demonstrated a commitment to retain health services at Bellingen Hospital and improve its environs.  You have spoken and written publicly, marched in protest, donated generously & commenced restoring the gardens.  These actions have been noticed by senior executives within the health service.  An intelligent, respectful relationship has developed between our community & Health especially since the new Mid North Coast Local Health District was established under the leadership of the CEO – Mr. Stewart Dowrick.

When the new 14 sub-acute ward was in its early stages of planning, the preferred site would require the removal of two demountable transportable buildings.  An idea was suggested that the Bellingen Youth Orchestra would benefit from their use at the local schools where the students are taught.  The Dept. of Health embraced this idea as it could assist in managing what was a very tight budget to deliver the new health service at Bellingen Hospital.

Various discussions & meetings occurred to consider the feasibility of this idea.

It all made such good sense & as Dr Cheney stated “This is a Win, Win, for all parties – the Community, the Orchestra & Health”.

Due to the highly specialised task of re-locating these buildings a quote was sought.  It came in at $20,000 & unfortunately there was no community money to cover that unexpected cost.  What was to come of this extraordinary opportunity to provide additional teaching rooms for our highly talented young musicians?

And you may ask why the schools need more buildings for their music students. Following are two teacher’s response.

ANN PHELAN (Music Teacher & Conductor/Leader of the Bellingen Youth Orchestra)

‘Music Teachers at Bellingen High and Primary Schools are often seen teaching under trees, along walkways and in store rooms. This is due to the drastic shortage of spaces and the high demand for tuition. Bellingen has long been renowned for its outstanding music program which has brought kudos to the town, the schools, families and students involved. The solution to this problem will be alleviated by the two portable hospital buildings that will provide the much needed teaching spaces in our schools.’

ELIZABETH SCOTT (Primary Music specialist)

‘Having a youth orchestra in our tiny town of Bellingen is amazing. It reflects the quality teaching that supports children in their early years of education. At Bellingen Public School there are ten peripatetic teachers that instruct instrument learning in the fields of percussion, brass, woodwind, keyboard, guitar, violin, cello, and double bass. With over 100 children presently receiving lessons on these instruments, the areas within the school are limited and the prospect of receiving a building from the hospital to house this learning is wonderful. We are one of the feeder schools for the Youth Orchestra and students reaching a high standard of playing are encouraged to join before their Primary School education is complete.’

The NSW Dept. of Health is currently undertaking the necessary paper work to transfer the ownership to the Dept. of Education and Communities for use at Bellingen schools.  As a goodwill gesture due to the community’s level of interest & commitment to our local hospital they have also offered to approach the appropriate health department with a suggestion that these buildings are disconnected & transported at no cost to our community, musicians or the Dept. of Education.  We are very grateful of this offer which clearly demonstrates the ‘partnership’ that has developed.  Thank you to all parties involved in this initiative.

Once the buildings are sited they will require a suitable fit-out & the communities assistance will be required to step up to that request.  This is another good news story for our community.  Please contact Liz Scott (6655 0505) or Ann Phelan (6655 9286) to offer your assistance.

Crisis for Bellingen Youth Orchestra

CRISIS – FOR BELLINGEN YOUTH ORCHESTRA
THE COMMUNITY’S ASSISTANCE IS REQUIRED IMMEDIATELY TO RAISE $20,000

Bellingen Youth Orchestra
Bellingen Youth Orchestra

 

I write this urgent plea for financial assistance on behalf of the Bellingen Youth Orchestra, the musicians & their teachers.  The musicians and teachers have an extraordinary opportunity to acquire from the Department of Health two demountable (portable) buildings for re-location from Bellingen Hospital to both the Bellingen Primary School and the Bellingen High School.

We understand that this asset (portables) currently owned by the Dept. of Health will be transferred to the schools as the new owners.  This transfer of ownership is not to the Dept. of Education & hence cannot be re-claimed & transferred to another school.

These portable buildings must be removed from the hospital site to allow the new Rehabilitation & Palliative Care wing to be built.  If the Dept. of Health were to undertake this removal we were advised that it was going to cost $50-60,000 – money that the budget for the new wing could not afford without cutting back on some of the health services built into the wing.  So in the words of Dr Trevor Cheney this initiative to transfer the portable buildings to the schools is a “Win, Win” for all parties.  The community receives a better equipped health service facility in the new wing and the schools music fraternity receives two much needed buildings.

You may ask why the schools need more buildings for the music students. Following are two teacher’s perspective on the answer to this question.

ANN PHELAN (Music Teacher & Conductor/Leader of the Bellingen Youth Orchestra)

‘Music Teachers at Bellingen High and Primary Schools are often seen teaching under trees, along walkways and in store rooms. This is due to the drastic shortage of spaces and the high demand for tuition.

Bellingen has long been renowned for its outstanding music program which has brought kudos to the town, the schools, families and students involved.

The solution to this problem will be alleviated by the two portable hospital buildings that will provide the much needed teaching spaces in our schools.’

LIZ SCOTT (Violin Teacher)

‘On Friday I teach string students all day at the public school. My place to teach is in the new hall, but it is ridiculous to consume such a facility for two students and their parent at a time.

Yesterday I moved five times, which involves me, my instrument, stands, music and students. This was because the hall was in use.

There are 10 specialist music teachers that visit the school each week to teach specific instruments e.g. cello, violin, woodwind, drumming, guitar, brass and keyboard.

For a tiny town like Bellingen this is most unusual. Our School prides itself on its excellence in music education and we receive many of our enrolments with families seeking this.

How these teachers continue to teach in such frustrating conditions where there are few tiny rooms available and we are always being moved out of one and into the next, I don’t Know.

There is also the sound factor and the Principal often has saxophones honking right by his office! These students learn in the court yard under a shade umbrella.

Our need for a music practice room is extreme and I will do all in my power to help raise the funds needed and organize labour, as I can.’

With the immediate support by the Bellingen Shire Community you can make this happen. The most expensive & challenging component of this initiative is the physical dismantling and transport of the two portable buildings to the designated locations.  $20,000 will make this happen. This money must be confirmed by Sunday 15th April 2012.

The musical future of many depends on your assistance. Please contact Liz Scott (6655 0505) or Ann Phelan (6655 9286) to arrange your generous gift.

Barbara Moore (Chair BHAG Inc.)