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Birthday boost for baby unit

From left: Paediatrics CNM Tess Geard, CFO Frank Van Ham, CE Dale Oliff, Elaine Leggott; Ali Leggott. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Ward gets newborn knitting

Eli Hill

For most people, their 65th birthday would be a chance to throw a party.

But not for Masterton’s Elaine Leggott, who instead of presents asked for donations from family and friends to go towards Wairarapa Hospital’s special care baby unit [SCBU].

She managed to raise $1500 for the SCBU.

“I picked SCBU, because in 2008 my grandchildren [twins Ali and Skye Leggott, now 12 years old] needed a bit of special care when they were born and I thought it was a cause I could support in their honour.”

“Everyone loves to help babies and some of our babies need help. They are more important than my 65th birthday!” she said.

Wairarapa District Health Board chief executive, Dale Oliff, was grateful for the donation.

“It is really special whenever the community steps in to support our service,” she said. “Of course we are government-funded and we manage our budgets carefully to provide our people a great local service, but wiggle room for added extras is rare.”

“Donations such as the one Elaine has made for SCBU are so appreciated as it allows us the opportunity to do just a little bit more, and that really can make all the difference.”

“To our mums that are coping with a new and needy baby, whatever extra we can offer is just so appreciated.”

Elaine is no stranger to helping out good causes, her online charity call outs on her ‘Doing a Good Deed Page’ on Facebook raise funds to support local projects.

Elaine runs a day care facility for seniors at St Matthew’s Church hall three times a week and, as if that doesn’t keep her busy enough, she is one of Wairarapa’s most active fundraisers in her ‘spare’ time.

Supporting others runs in the family. Her sister-in-law Jenny Ewan swapped 70th birthday gifts to abseil down a 17-storey building and raise money for Make-a-Wish, a charity the Wairarapa Hospital theatre nurse has supported for many years.

“I am swapping any birthday gifts people might have otherwise bought me for a donation to the Paediatric Ward’s SCBU,” said Elaine.

“It’s something we all could do, really. It’s an easy way to make a difference, and a lovely philosophy to teach our younger generation too.”

A strong group of people sit in behind Elaine, helping with her many and varied fundraising projects. One of them is Trudy who helps to support Elaine’s raffles from the Wairarapa Resource Centre where she works.

“Trudy is great,” Elaine said. “She has loads of energy for fundraising. Tex [the dog] is another good helper. He came in the other day with a cash donation tucked in his collar for me.”

Along with the $1500 donation, Elaine delivered some beautiful newborn knitting packs to the ward – some of them knitted by a 91-year-old woman who is a regular supporter.

“They say it takes a village. Here it takes a village, and the villagers’ dogs!”

  • Anyone wanting to follow Elaine’s fundraising projects can find her on Facebook on her Doing a Good Deed Page.

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