Wednesday, 10 August 2011

AWCH Ward Grandparent Scheme

Do you know someone who might be interested in volunteering? Perhaps you, or one of your friends or relatives, are looking for an opportunity to do some volunteering. It can be very rewarding.

Volunteering and healthy ageing suggests four reasons for volunteering:
  • Make a contribution to society
  • Share your skills
  • Support a cause
  • Do something meaningful with your friends and colleagues
I would like to suggest a 5th and that is the positive impact it can have on your health and well-being. Research shows there are many personal benefits that flow from volunteering, including:
  • Increased confidence
  • Sense of personal achievement and satisfaction
  • Opportunities to learn new skills
  • Feeling good about making a difference to others’ lives
  • Friendships
So let your friends and relatives know about the AWCH Hospital Ward Grandparent Scheme Established in 1987, it is a highly regarded service in all major NSW children’s hospitals. Ward grandparent volunteers make a real difference to the emotional side of healing by just ‘being there’ when parents cannot.  Ward Grandparents can be called upon to give their time to a child or young person and provide a familiar, reassuring face. In the word's of one of the AWCH ward grandparent volunteers:
'It has given me a sense of being needed. For more than twenty years of volunteering as a Ward Grandparent I have had joy, frustration and long-term friendships from this rewarding activity. I would recommend it to anyone who is retired and has free time.Thank you to AWCH for the support given to the Ward Grandparent Scheme.' 

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Children Immigration Detention

For many years now AWCH has advocated against the mandatory detention of children who are seeking asylum in Australia. The Australian Government, recognising the serious negative impact of detaining children who are claiming asylum has made a commitment to have no children in detention by 30 June 2011. That time draws close with still 1073 children remaining in detention centres around Australia and on Christmas Island as reported on 26 May 2011 in the National Times .

So what can be done? What can we, as AWCH members, do to ensure that children who arrive on our shores seeking protection have the same rights as our own Australian children particularly in the area of health and wellbeing?

First of all you can familiarise yourself with the facts so that you can have that well informed discussion. The Refugee Council of Australia and Chilout are both good sources. There are many myths floating around so become a myth buster - checkout the myths at the Refugee Council of Australia You can take action and join the GetUp Campaign and support the call for a national children's commissioner at Early Childhood Australia. You can add a comment to this post, comment on AWCH Facebook page or write a letter to your local MP

Let's keep the pressure up and see if collectively we can be successful in having no children in immigration detention by June 30.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

AWCH Supports Action on Smoking and Health

May 31 2011 was World No Tobacco Day. Tobacco kills more than 5 million people per year. The World Health Organization (WHO) selected The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as the theme of this year's World No Tobacco Day. Take the quiz @ . I did and scored 8 out of 10. I am sure you can do better. Let me know how you go.

AWCH belongs to a coalition of 41 organisations - Action on Smoking and Health Australia. Tobacco is Australia's No.1 preventable cause of death and disease. Every year, it kills over 15,500 people - including one child every 10 days. It costs the nation over $31 billion - far more than the tax it raises Currently ASH is campaigning in support of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill which has multipartisan support in the Australian parliament

Anne Cutler, AWCH Program Manager