DHS charity boost for SES and Bendigo Health

The generosity of staff at the Department of Human Services’ Bendigo Smart Centre has resulted in more than $25,000 in donations to local services over the past 5 years.

This year, donations of $2,345 were made to the Bendigo Unit of the Victorian State Emergency Service (SES), and Bendigo Health’s special care nursery.

Bendigo Smart Centre Service Support Manager Anthony Purcell said the money was raised by staff at the smart centre, who made fortnightly contributions throughout the last financial year.

“Forty of our staff were involved in the Workplace Giving Program this year. It’s the fifth year we’ve done this, and it’s really rewarding to see how each member making a personal commitment every fortnight really adds up to something pretty significant when we join together as a group,” Mr Purcell said.

“We’re so pleased to be able to support these 2 great local organisations, which we’ve collectively chosen because of their valuable service and support for our community.”

SES volunteer Natalie Stanway said the donation would be used to purchase an automated external defibrillator (AED).

“There are times when our rescue vehicles are first on scene at road crashes and need to render first aid, and we provide general assistance at many community events, so to have this on hand will be very valuable and will certainly give us peace of mind,” Ms Stanway said.

SES volunteer and paramedic Matt Nadin was also grateful for the life-saving equipment.

“The statistics for survival when this kind of first aid is available are significantly better than when it is not, and an AED only needs to be used once, and save 1 life, to have paid for itself countless times over,” Mr Nadin said.

The Bendigo Health Foundation has been a benefactor of the smart centre’s generosity in previous years and Director Jane Anderson said Bendigo Health is very grateful once again for the support.

“The funds will go toward our Special Care Baby Unit and the wonderful work the staff do there, caring for our smallest patients,” Ms Anderson said.

“The Special Care Baby Unit cares for unwell and premature babies who require specialised 24 hour care by both our nursing and medical staff, who have been trained to care for newborns.”