Each year the BDCU Children’s Foundation holds a Masterchef style amatuer cook competition culminating in the Bowral Long Lunch where they close down the main street in Bowral for a 300 person long table. This year Katers Sous Chef Rahul Dev took part in the competition as a professional mentor with three of his teams reaching the finals (out of ten total) making him the most successful mentor! We are very proud of his achievements and participation in such a worthwhile local charity fundraising event.
BDCU Childrens Foundation was formed in 2005 as a Business Community Partnership between BDCU and Wingecarribee residents to support the needs of the Childrens Ward at Bowral Hospital that was in urgent need of refurbishment.
The medical and nursing care is acknowledged as being first rate however the facilities in the ward for both patients and their families was sadly lacking, including a lack of privacy for sick children, no separation from adult patients and their visitors in the Short Stay Ward and equipment was outdated and scarce. Community surveys returned comments “Horrific and archaic” when asked about the facilities.
A committee of interested residents under the joint Presidency of Jennifer Grey and Susie Reynolds who provided the original vision. The Committee worked tirelessly raising awareness of the issue; lobbied Government and sought the support of local residents.
Many fundraisers were held and “BDCU Childrens Foundation” was accepted as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) organisation enabling tax deductible donations.
The Community embraced the need and a groundswell of support rallied behind the Committee and over the years raised $400,000 to be utilized to purchase equipment that would not otherwise have been available.
In late 2008 after much lobbying, the NSW State Government provided $3 million to refit the internal ward which was finally completed in late 2009 and opened by the Minister for Health the following year.
The Committee is now in the process of addressing the mental health needs of children and adolescents between the ages of 0 – 18 years of age and scoping the needs to support the efforts of education and professional help.
What are the aims of the Foundation?
To provide and maintain equipment and furnishings for Bowral and District Hospital’s children's ward for the comfort of patients and their families and to provide funds to the Bowral and District Hospital for the administration of a Family Support Paediatric Outreach Programme.
In addition, a Clinical Outreach Nurse position is funded now for one day per week enabling children to receive care at home pre and post hospitalization in what is considered to be a unique local hospital service.
Recruitment is now well underway for a Mental Health Nurse role who will act as a referral source within the community and as an educator for Youth Mental Health. An appointment based at Bowral Hospital is expected shortly.