Nelson Hospital receives the donation from the Nelson Host Lions Club on behalf of the Paediatric Ward. From left: Ulrike Meissner, Sally Mason, Holger Meissner (Club President), Sue Smart (Nelson Hospital Paediatric ward), John Bilderbeck, Don Kelly and Gordon Curnow. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Lions Club get sick kids moving again

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Nelson Host Lions Club have made sick kids’ days a whole lot better with a donation of four cozy coupe ride-in cars to Nelson Hospital’s Paediatric Ward.

Club President Holger Meissner says the idea was put forward by a member and they thought it was a great initiative.

“We try every time to make good things for the children or the community … so we had a discussion with the hospital about which would be best.”

He says they first thought about electric cars but eventually decided on the trikes as they are smaller and take up less space.

“It’s perfect for the kids because it’s a little bit scary when they come to the hospital, they have things like blood tests, so they are more relaxed for everything.”

Holger says, although this is one of the smaller donations the club has made for the year, “every donation is an important one”.

Sue Smart received the karts on behalf of the children’s ward and says donations like them are invaluable.

“It’s absolutely vital, DHBs like to spend their money on health needs but kids can’t manage without play, it’s like you reading a book, kids need toys to play with.”

She says it helps the children feel safe in an otherwise hard environment.

“It’s play, it’s what kids do, it’s as vital for children to be able to play and have things to play with and relate to as it is for adults to be able to phone their friend or read a book, that’s how they learn.”

Sue says anyone wanting to make donations need to contact the hospital first, as there are some items they can’t have for infection control reasons, such as soft toys.