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Lions raise $500,000 for rehabilitative playscape at Children’s Hospital

Joint Press Release
Wellington Hospitals Foundation has been working alongside Lions Clubs International throughout our region and is thrilled to announce that Lions Clubs members have raised an extraordinary $500,000, to fund the new Wellington Regional Children’s Hospital outdoor rehabilitative Playscape.

Lions Clubs from Taranaki/Gisborne down to the South Island including Nelson/Marlborough, Canterbury and the West Coast have come together over the last 2 years in a mammoth fundraising effort across their communities. Thank you to the Lions Club of Karori, for volunteering to be the “Lead Club” for the project. Lions would also like to thank the members of the public, who have supported all the fundraising for this wonderful project.

Lions District Governor, Simon Williams said that the Playscape is a great asset that will enhance the rehabilitation and relaxation of young patients as well as providing a wonderful outdoor space which their parents and caregivers can enjoy as well. “It is an amazing project and one that has resonated with so many of our Lions Club members. It is a great legacy.”

There are more than 87,000 visits from children across our wider region to Wellington Regional Children’s Hospital every year. Opening next year, Te Wao Nui Child Health Service and Hospital will integrate many of the child health teams under one roof. As well as an outdoor retreat for visiting and inpatient children, the new Playscape will also serve as an additional outdoor therapeutic space for the hospital’s Child Development and Physiotherapy teams, with specially designed rehabilitative equipment enhancing therapy programmes for children with mobility issues.

Bill Day, Chair of the Wellington Hospitals Foundation, the official charity for our hospitals, said “This is a stunning and sustained period of regional fundraising and we are extremely grateful to all the hardworking Lions members who have rolled up their sleeves, sold raffle tickets, hosted local events and worked tirelessly to raise funds for the hospital’s new Playscape – bringing the vision to a stunning reality. Play is children’s work and a safe therapeutic rehabilitation area within the new hospital campus will be a much needed facility. Lions Clubs have long been champions of Wellington Regional Children’s Hospital, funding the original children’s hospital playground in 2002, and we are extremely grateful for their continued support.”

David Smol, Chair of Capital and Coast District Health Board, welcomed the outstanding financial commitment by Lions, noting “The Lions’ values, ideals and service goals have been realised within this community project and we are honoured to have Lions ongoing support of Child Health in our region. The holistic new Playscape space will make an enormous difference to our young tamariki, rangatahi, and their whānau and hospital staff.”

Te Wao Nui Child Health Service and Hospital, in the Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood building, will open in mid-2022.

To contribute to the Foundation’s programme to raise $10 million to outfit and equip the new children’s hospital, please donate at whf.org.nz.

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