Charity hospital finds a home

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    The next stage of the Southland Charity Hospital is being planned as ILT announced it had gifted a building for the facility on Tuesday.  Melissa Vining and ILT chief executive Chris Ramsay agreed the Clifton Club Inn was an ideal location.

    AN Invercargill building has been found and gifted, and will be come the base for a Southland Charity Hospital.

    The Clifton Club Inn is to be re-purposed and turned into a day facility which would, initially, provide colonoscopies to patients to help cancer sufferers’ chances of survival.

    Southland Charity Hospital Board chairman Dr Murray Pfeiffer said without the donation from the ILT another $2 million would need to be raised for the community-funded facility.

    “We cannot understate the extraordinary generosity of the ILT in making this donation to us,” Dr Pfeiffer said.

    “We’re so grateful on behalf of our future patients for this donation.”

    The location was close to Southland Hospital. ILT chief executive Chris Ramsay said all staff employed at the Clifton Club Inn would not lose their jobs but would be reassigned roles at other ILT establishments.

    He said the Clifton Club Inn had been something of a community hub, but they had to look at the future of the business. “The reality is, the viability of the business was marginal, at best.”

    Advocate Melissa Vining said the hospital would not only be a legacy for her late husband, Blair, but added to all the work which had gone into improving cancer care in New Zealand, which would continue.

    The Clifton Club Inn,  set to become the base for a Southland Charity Hospital.

    “This is a true reflection of our Southland community, and the generosity of Southlanders.”

    She said Blair would be proud.

    While there was no definite timeframe, they were working through the concept drawing stage and seeking tradesmen to help with the re-purposing of the building. Ideas for the design would come from the Canterbury Charity Hospital.

    A key message was they did not plan to do the Southern District Health Board’s (SDHB) job this will provide good data and facts on the need that is not being met.”

    Mrs Vining said volunteers would be essential to the hospital’s success.

    “With the decision of the Southland Charity Hospital Board to service the entire SDHB region, that volunteer base is going to be crucial to the long-term sustainability of the hospital.”

    People had been donating, fundraising and organising events to help fund the ongoing use of the facility, as operating costs were expected to be about $250,000 a year.

    An example of community generosity was shown to Mrs Vining this week when an employee of Ascot Park Hotel approached her to say he and his partner had dedicated money to the hospital in their will.

    “He was a beautiful human… it still moves me in unexpected situations like that. That’s an action that they have personally taken, it’s so in line with how Blair conducted himself in regards to contributing to something that’s bigger than yourself for no reason or credit.”

    She said Blair would be pleased there was action happening would see it as Southlanders getting on and just doing the job we set out to do.”

    Anyone wanting to volunteer services could got to the Southland Charity Hospital website www.southlandcharityhospital.org.

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