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Golden Bay Lions Support Locals with Life-limiting Illnesses

The Golden Bay Lions Club was chartered in 1964 and has been helping locals ever since! Donating $2850 to Nelson Tasman Hospice to purchase a syringe driver, is just the latest way they have supported Golden Bay residents.

A syringe driver is a small, battery-powered pump that delivers medication from a syringe at a constant rate throughout the day and night. This ensures that people can self-manage their pain medication, providing fast pain relief as required. Although syringe drivers can be useful at different times, they are often used in the last few days and weeks of a person’s life. When someone is close to death, they often stop being able to swallow medicines, or their body stops being able to absorb them properly. A syringe driver is often the best way to give them medicines to help them feel more comfortable.

The Golden Bay Lions Club currently have 30 members and hold a variety of fundraising events each year. For example, cutting firewood for raffles, pickling 350 – 400kgs of onions each year, selling new potatoes around Christmas, selling sheep poo for fertiliser and recently they have also started hosting bingo nights. The group get together for a good cause but also enjoy the camaraderie.

Julie Langford, President, who has been a member of the club for 18 years, and Pam Gardiner, Secretary, who has been a member for 16 years, were interviewed for this article. They both said that while they have a good balance of male & female members, it would be nice to have a few new younger members join who might be able to help with some of the more physical tasks such as the firewood chopping.

Julie and Pam are passionate about helping those in need in the community and the Golden Bay Lions help numerous organisations, groups and individuals as well as helping to fund students wishing to gain a range of experiences or further education. When Pam noticed the syringe driver for Golden Bay listed in the latest hospice newsletter, she brought it to the attention of the committee and they moved at their last meeting to fund the device.

The Golden Bay Lions fundraised for a specialised air mattress in 2021 to be used in Golden Bay for palliative care patients and were touched to receive a letter from the wife of a patient thanking them for the difference this made to their loved one’s last days.

Pam, as well as being part of the Lions, also volunteers and works at the Hospice Shop in Tākaka and experienced first-hand the service when her mother died in Hospice care about 14 years ago. Pam remembers being amazed at the seamless transition between care from the Hospice team over the hill in Richmond where she was being cared for in her own home, to Golden Bay when her mum was being looked after at Pam’s place. “I just know the worth of Hospice. We really appreciated the help here and there.”

Golden Bay Community Health (GBCH) as lead provider, in collaboration with Nelson Tasman Hospice, have 37 points of contact with Golden Bay residents, and their families, who are receiving in-home palliative care every month.

Nelson Tasman Hospice services provided are free, however only 45% of operating costs are funded by Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand | Nelson Marlborough. This leaves 55%, or $3.5 million of fundraising each year. The GBCH nursing team has identified some equipment that is urgently required for patients on Hospice services, to supplement what is already available. This equipment includes a syringe driver and a medical transport bed (for in home care). The cost for this equipment will be circa $7,000. Any additional funds raised will go back in to supporting the funding shortfall we have for Hospice services in the community.

There is currently a fundraising drive on in Golden Bay to raise funds to purchase this equipment, details on how to donate can be found at the end of this article.

Lions Clubs International have the mission to serve. Their clubs are places where individuals join together to give their valuable time and effort to improving their communities, and the world. Julie, Pam and all of the club members demonstrate this in their commitment to Golden Bay and the people that call it home. Nelson Tasman Hospice are thankful for the support given by this amazing group of people and that the Golden Bay Lions are part of our compassionate community, giving locals the tools to live well until they leave well.

How you can donate:

– Pop into one of the following businesses to leave your donation in one of the donation boxes

NBS Takaka
Hammer Hardware
Tākaka Hospice Shop
Golden Bay Pharmacy
Tinky’s Tavern – Collingwood
The Pohara General Store
The Wholemeal Café
Molly B’s
Fresh Choice

– Donate online and reference “Golden Bay” when making your donation

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