Good News from Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation

July 2, 2020 Eve Heidemann

Easter Goodies for Hospital Staff

In April, we asked local businesses to ease the burden of the pandemic by donating some sweet treats over the Easter period. This came after the RMH Foundation noticed how the threat of COVID-19 was having an impact on the mental health of RMH staff. Sadly, our health workers were so focused on preparing our hospital for an influx of COVID-19 patients that they could barely prioritise their own wellbeing.  

Challenges

In the beginning there was a feeling of uncertainty as to whether or not businesses would have the capacity to give. With Coronavirus restrictions setting in, many businesses had been forced to shut up shop and were therefore at severe financial risk, unsure if they’d be able to reopen. The second challenge we faced was transporting and delivering the goods to our staff, with distancing measures in place. 

Thankfully with plenty of personal protective equipment on hand we were able to take extra precautions to deliver the Easter goodies sensibly and safely. In some areas where we couldn’t enter the ward, we had individuals collect the items from us to lower the risk of transmission. In terms of donations, we targeted bigger organisations like Baker’s Delight and Lindt that we knew had still been turning over a profit and would therefore be more likely to donate.    

Impact

While this project didn’t have a monetary goal, our aim was simply to boost staff wellbeing in a time of great need. Measuring the impact on something as intangible as wellbeing isn’t easy but still we saw the success of this project in the smiles of our health workers. 
 
With generous donations from Darrell Lea and Woolworths among others, we felt it was important that we delivered the items personally. This meant we were able to make real connections with our colleagues and personally thank them for their hard work. By giving staff the opportunity to celebrate Easter properly we gave them a reason to smile, and to us a smile is worth much more than money. 
 

In the past, we haven’t commonly asked businesses to donate products. Securing funds was always the priority. However having seen an incredible amount of support from the Victorian community, we now see the potential of in-kind gifting and are very eager to explore this avenue further. Keeping our distance and refraining from hugs and handshakes while handing out gifts was also something different for our team!