At the handover of the cars on March 27 (from left back row) HVDHB Business Manager Tania Grieve, Lions Club International District Governor Rex Bullard, HVDHB Acting Chief Executive Dale Oliff, Lions Club Lower Hutt President Josephine Row and HVDHB Registered Nurse Suzanne Edwards.
The Lions donated $750 raised from their miniature train and golf operation at Avalon Park to purchase the two battery-driven cars.
Lions Club Lower Hutt President Josephine Row says they backed the project because they loved the idea.
“Getting kids to theatre by car will be less traumatic for them and their family – it’s just a great project.”
In recent years the club has fundraised for Wellington Free Ambulance, Lifeflight, Te Omanga Hospice, diabetes awareness, and helped recycle spectacles to send to people in the Pacific Islands.
Hutt Valley District Health Board Acting Chief Executive Dale Oliff says it is great to have the support of the Lions.
“Going to theatre is scary for children. Anything that gives them something to look forward to lessens the anxiety for them and their parents.
“It’s lovely to see the joy in the Lions’ faces today. It’s a reminder to us of how the wider community engages with the hospital.”
The idea of buying the two cars came from Hutt Valley DHB Registered Nurse Suzanne Edwards, who works in the theatre.
“I first saw electric drive-on cars used at Whangarei Base Hospital 25 years ago and have never seen them used since. Today we try to do all we can using play therapy to prepare kids for theatre at Hutt Hospital. If children go to theatre happier, they wake up better and recover more quickly. That is a positive experience for the rest of the family too.
“As we are a centre of excellence for plastic surgery, we have people coming from all over the country, including many children. So these cars will help families from all around New Zealand.”