Posted by Kerry Hayes on Jun 12, 2020
As you may be aware, each month Rotary celebrates a theme. Each year, April is designated  Rotary Maternal and Child Health Month, which is one of Rotary’s ‘Areas of Focus’.

Around the world, Rotary is involved with many projects which address issues relating to and aiming to improve the health of mothers and children. These include projects which look at improving nutrition, developing better antenatal and birth care, hygiene, school health, and general health issues.
This year I had an idea to celebrate this Rotary month by presenting a small gift to all babies born at local hospitals on 1st April, and all babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at John Hunter Hospital on that day.
As we know, the Covid 19 pandemic has forced a change in a lot of plans over the last few months. Plan B was to visit Newcastle Private Hospital Maternity Unit, John Hunter Hospital Delivery Suite, and the JHH NICU unit on Friday 12th June to make this presentation once we were permitted to visit.
Vina Chubb, Glenys Tomkins and myself ventured out today, Friday June 12th, to visit these hospitals and represent our club.
We met the Nurse Managers of these Units, and presented our gifs, consisting of a $50 bank account for the babies, and a voucher to purchase beauty or skin products for the mums. We were made very welcome, our gifts were well received, and photo opportunities abounded.
This small gesture by our club achieved a number of things:
  • many families and staff at JHH and NPH hospitals now know a lot more about Rotary, and the Rotary Club of Warners Bay in particular
  • it was a lovely way for our club to recognise and celebrate local mothers and babies
  • it was an opportunity to acknowledge and promote our local sponsors- the Greater Bank and Community Refill Warners Bay.
“I was delighted to be involved in visiting three of our local birthing units on July 12 with Kerry and Vina to deliver a small gift to new mums. This visit, related to Maternal and Child Health, was instigated by Kerry Hayes. Thanks to Kerry’s enthusiasm this project was supported by the Greater Bank as well as Will and Gabby at Community Refill, a  very  interesting  local  business. [ Take a look at their website or visit their shop – it is great to meet and support young, enthusiastic members of our community]. The success of this venture was demonstrated by the thanks given by the NUM [Nurse Unit manager] in each hospital. Unfortunately, we were unable to visit the recipients themselves due to COVID-19 restrictions. Another exciting, feel-good day as a member of Rotary.”  Glenys Tomkins