Hospital staff’s small contribution has big impact

Valerie Browning (right) with women from the Afar region. Picture: Barbara May Foundation
Valerie Browning (right) with women from the Afar region. Picture: Barbara May Foundation

Campbelltown Hospital staff have shown their willingness to help patients extends far beyond the hospital walls.

In fact, their generosity has also helped those in need overseas.

As part of the Workplace Giving program, certain staff across the entire South Western Sydney Local Health District donate $1 out of their pay cheque each week.

As a result of those donations, founder of the Barbara May Foundation Valerie Browning was presented with a $40,000 cheque during a visit to Campbelltown Hospital on Monday.

The foundation provides maternal care in the horn of Africa – including Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea – and mainly targets women who live in remote regions, not accessible by roads.

The pre-natal and post-natal services – like check-ups and deliveries – offered by the foundation are ones that are often free to mothers and their babies in Australia.

Good work: Co-founder of the Barbera May Foundation, Valerie Browning AM, at Campbelltown Hospital. Picture: Chris Lane

Good work: Co-founder of the Barbera May Foundation, Valerie Browning AM, at Campbelltown Hospital. Picture: Chris Lane

Campbelltown Hospital clinical support officer and Workplace Giving program ambassador Nigel Ingram said the decision to part ways with a $1 each week wasn’t difficult.

“We take for granted the services we have here because we don’t realise that in other parts of the world, they aren’t available,” he said.

“I felt it was something easy to do and I’m not going to miss $1 a week.

“And what greater gift is there other than the gift of life?”

Campbelltown Hospital graduate management trainee John Sadek said it was great to see his small contribution have a large impact on the lives of others.

“It’s a little difference (financially) that has a big impact on their lives and that’s an awesome feeling,” he said.

“It’s great knowing your part of big team that’s helping people you don’t even know.

“We are so fortunate to live in Australia and work full time, so I feel like we should help those who are less fortunate.”

The Barbara May Foundation opened the first maternity hospital in the Afar region of Ethiopia in 2011 and it has serviced more than 500,000 women.

As well as outreach services, the foundation have also set up eight triage units along main roads to help with high risk and emergency deliveries.

Ms Browning was awarded the Order of Australia in 1999.

A woman from the Afar region and two young children. Picture: Barbera May Foundation

A woman from the Afar region and two young children. Picture: Barbera May Foundation