Cuddlebed cause achieved

Surpassing a $5000 target in three days was just one of the heartwarming stories for the Robbins family, when they set about raising money for a Cuddlebed for the palliative care ward at the Bairnsdale Hospital.

The Cuddlebed cause touched many along the way, particularly those who had watched loved ones pass away.

Judith Robbins, OAM, bravely set about researching Cuddlebeds after her husband, Peter Robbins, OAM, lost his battle with cancer on March 21 in the Rotamah ward.

“All I wanted to do was lay beside him and cuddle him,” Mrs Robbins said.

“It might sound strange to some people but we were close like that.”

Mr and Mrs Robbins operate Annie’s Cottage at Lindenow South and have always found ways to give to the community.

On March 24, Mrs Robbins and her grandson James Blandford began a GoFundMe campaign to buy a cuddlebed for the ward. The bed is large enough to allow proximity for family members.

On Friday, Mrs Robbins, and her grandson, James Blandford (pictured left), presented their $26,645 cheque to the Bairnsdale Regional Health Service, represented by maternity/Rotamah nurse unit manager, Lisa Hodge, and CEO Robyn Hayles.

The cause reached many a heart during its two-month stint and proved the act of giving doesn’t disappear in hard times.

“It was such an amazing feat for the climate we’re in,” James Blandford said.

“All the bushfire donations had been going on, then we started coming into the COVID-19 issue, and still people found the generosity to donate to such a cause.

“They all realise that one day they could be experiencing it themselves.

“People have been very generous, it touches everyone.”

One person donated $5000 anonymously and another donation came from England.

“I had so many messages from people who said they wished it had been available for their loved ones,” Mrs Robbins said.

Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) chief executive officer, Robyn Hayles, said the donation was very much appreciated.

“We have three to four patients a month for end-of-life care and a thing like the cuddlebed provides a real opportunity for people to have choices about if they pass away in hospital how we might look after them,” Ms Hayles said.

“At the moment we don’t have this facility so we really appreciate the fundraising that’s occurred to enable this.”

BRHS maternity/Rotamah nurse unit manager, Lisa Hodge, said she had spoken with staff at a Queensland facility using the same type of bed and the feedback on it was excellent.

The  Cuddlebed will hopefully be at the hospital in six to eight week’s time and will be a long-standing tribute to the partriach of the Robbins family.


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