It started out with a discussion between Rapid Relief Team members from Invercargill. News media reports of the pressure Southland Hospital staff were experiencing had been shared by the group, and naturally, all wondered what could be done.
New Zealand was in the middle of the Omicron wave of the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping through the country at the time, putting hospital staff and resources throughout New Zealand under enormous stress.
The suggestion was, “why couldn’t we do something for Southland Hospital?”
“We could organise a meal to thank them for their amazing work. These guys work incredibly hard.”
Everyone thought it was a great idea. A new idea was born.
RRT Invercargill leader Hugh McGaveston set the event into motion. A date was set for Thursday, 25 August, and a of team volunteers, business owners, and the community were quick to jump into action, starting by arranging breakfast for hospital staff just coming off their night shift.
A new team of volunteers turned up later that morning to put on lunch, with burgers and salad, drinks and cake, all cooked up on the mobile kitchen trailer, specially kitted out for such events.
As it happened, the medical staff from Southland Hospital thought it was a great idea too.
It turned out that those who were unable to take the break from their department to have their meal were covered by a staff member who was willing to go down the stairs and collect meals for them.
Their response was one of “surprise and appreciation” to RRT for recognising staff who over the past six months had gone “above and beyond” with the challenges of Covid-19.
Times had been tough with high rates of sickness, covering extra shifts and helping other departments where they could.
RRT was honored and humbled at the warm response and gratitude of the Southland Hospital medical staff. The volunteers experience enormous joy to give back and show appreciation for what these special people have done for the community.
"I have received numerous pieces of positive feedback from different areas around the hospital and I could not have hoped that the day could have gone any better. Once again, thank you for your generosity in providing the event and for your fantastic team for giving up their time for us – I am truly grateful."
Simon Donlevy | Deputy COO/General Manager | Southern