New hospital manager excited to open doors

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Helen Robinson is the new general manager of the Suothland Charity Hospital. PHOTO: LAURA SMITH

FROM Shetland to Southland, the new general manager of the Southland Charity Hospital is in her second week of the job.

Originally from Oxford, England, Helen Robinson moved to New Zealand with her family from Shetland just before lockdown began.

The first week had been full-on; Ms Robinson entered the role as the Buy a Brick campaign, which was a fundraising effort for the hospital, was in full swing.

“It’s been a fun week to start with the Buy a Brick. It’s been crazy.”

The thing she was most excited about, was when the renovations of the building were complete and the hospital doors could finally open to ensure people needing the healthcare they could not otherwise access, could get it, she said.

“That’s when my role will come into its own.”

Until then, she was focused on finding volunteers and progressing the project. This included finding additional funding to keep the hospital afloat.

“There’s a lot to be done.”

The hospital would be run mostly by volunteers, which included both the running of it, when operational, as well as during the building’s conversion.

While many offers had been made, more volunteers were needed ticularly those who could help with the renovations.

An event, most likely a trade night sausage sizzle, would be held soon to provide information for those who may be able to help or get involved.

It would be ideal to get students from the Southern Institute of Technology to get involved in some way, Ms Robinson said.

“That would be one place I really want to tap into.”

With experience in managing both not-for-profit organisations and care facilities, she felt drawn to the role when she saw it listed had been following Blair Vining’s Epic Journey and felt the role was right for her, she said.

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