HAPPY WEEKENDS AT THE ROYAL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

The opportunity of seeing an actual Melbourne Cup was exciting enough, but having a photo taken holding it was something most of us don’t even dare to dream.  For families and staff in the Children’s Cancer Centre on the first week of November, dreams became reality as most got to have their turn at the opportunity for some Monday bragging rights.  The 2013 Melbourne Cup (Fiorente) was a hit for all to hold earlier this month, kindly lent to us by Jack Bongiorno, Koala Kids ambassador and generous supporter.

Koala Kids has bought lots of happiness into the Children’s Cancer Centre at The Royal Children’s Hospital since commencing our long awaited weekend program in July.  On the first weekend of each month happy t-shirt clad Koala Kids volunteers have provided activities and served scrumptious fare for the families and staff on Kookaburra and surrounding wards

Warmest thanks to Treat Catering for delivering the most delicious picnic lunch of fresh sandwiches, macaroons, slices, muffins and fresh fruit each Saturday.  In what is an incredibly generous gesture the team from Treat makes sure nobody goes without and families and staff enjoy boxing up their lunch and taking it back to their rooms and desks, or on particularly sunny days, have been able to enjoy eating outside.

And then Sunday we have been turning the usually quiet family room into Koala Kids Pizza Parlour, topping and cooking more than 70 pizzas for the families and staff.  It has been such a joy to see otherwise listless children hatting and gloving up to produce pizzas of their choice.

Next month, with the support of Wilton’s Cookies, the children and their families will be decorating gingerbread houses.

Warm and very special thanks to Piero Sgarioto and his team at Della Rosa Fine Foods for their incredibly generous support and to Treat Catering for picking up the food from Campbellfield.

Special thanks to Rossini, Coup-on-a-Box and Complete Food Services too for donating our pizza boxes and to all of our passionate and enthusiastic volunteers who have ensured that the weekend is filled with smiles and positive energy to distract the families and staff.

Kaboom Sports has had lots of kids out of bed and jumping around, throwing soft darts at a human dartboard, hoisting spongey javelins as high as the ceiling and dancing to the sounds of the air guitars.

NEW VOLUNTEERS – MAY 2018

Koala Kids fast growing volunteer network is as diverse in culture as it is in age and experience.

We welcome our newest volunteers Emma Barham, Zoe Potter, Hassan (aka Hass) Bakkar, Patrick (aka Paddy) Kerr, Allie Veal,  Georgie Landale, Olivia Henderson, Lorrie Pennefather and Felicity Carter.

Emma Barham

Emma is our new volunteer at Peter Mac. She is facilitating activities with the children attending the paediatric radiotherapy service clinic each Wednesday morning with Stef, music therapist.  Emma herself spent very long periods in hospital as a child, and thus has an understanding and personal compassion for sick children

Last year Emma, a Gennazano student was a recipient of the Premier’s VCE Awards, recognised as a top performing student for her outstanding academic achievement.

Emma is a positive and enthusiastic person who hopes to be a paediatric oncologist in the future.

Zoe Potter

Zoe is one of our registered volunteers at The Royal Children’s Hospital, and is a great addition to our bubbly Monday morning team. She studies Commerce at Melbourne University, majoring in management and marketing, as well as coaching junior netball in her spare time.

Hass Bakkar

Hass is a professional tennis player who joined Koala Kids to volunteer in Hospitals. Hass played tennis internationally throughout his secondary schooling years, educating himself online. Through his career he has helped coach and develop young players who see him as a role model, and he hopes to use his positive energy and charisma to make happy help children with cancer.

Patrick Kerr

Paddy had a huge week last week. After debuting for Carlton FC on Sunday, he enjoyed his first Monday with our team at The Royal Children’s Hospital.

Paddy is not the first in his family to volunteer with Koala Kids either – he joins his grandmother Judy Potter, aunties Judy Mullen and Linda Kerr, cousins Grace Kerr, Sophie and Jack Mullen and Jeanne Mitchell as well as his sister Ruby.  Might consider renaming us Kerr-ala Kids!

Allie Veall

Allie joined Koala Kids to volunteer at The Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital. She is also getting involved with our events committee. Balancing her marketing degree, running her own business and volunteering with Koala Kids, it is clear that Allie is a driven, motivated and caring person.

Georgie Landale

While managing her own catering business, Georgie has registered as a visiting volunteer at Monash with Koala Kids. With a lengthy nannying and babysitting resume, we are sure that Georgie will be a delightful addition to both Koala Kids and to the Monash Children’s Cancer Centre.

Olivia Henderson

Liv joined Koala Kids through our partnership with Carnival for Kids, program partner of our school holiday program. Olivia is studying nursing and is looking forward to facilitating school holiday activities at Monash and volunteering with Koala Kids thereafter.

Lorrie Pennefather

Lorrie has an extensive background in events and catering, and has joined our team as a volunteer at both RCH & Monash Children’s Hospital. Lorrie is extremely well travelled and intelligent, as well as kind hearted and giving, making her a perfect match for Koala Kids.

Felicity Carter

Felicity is a good friend of our program director, Mandy Mandie, and has decided to lend a helping hand in the office, as well as volunteering at our wrap bar for Mother’s Day. With a giving and generous nature, Felicity offers help wherever required no matter how medial the task may be.

MONASH HEALTH VOLUNTEERS

Six Koala Kids volunteers undertook the registration process at Monash Health to become regular volunteers at Monash Children’s Cancer Centre. Pixie Cohen, Mandy Mandie, Georgie Landale, Olivia Henderson, Lauren Bowe and Jessica Bucci completed the 60 minute online training as well as the on-site induction program and are looking forward to providing the kids and their families activities, morning tea and other programs.

KOALA KIDS ON THE FRONT LINE AT THE ROYAL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Koala Kids volunteers visit patients and families in the Kookaburra ward and Children’s Cancer Centre at the RCH nearly every Monday morning.

Our volunteers registered on the hospital’s Visiting Volunteer Program distribute themed creativity kits filled with activities and stationery designed to distract the children and young people during treatment and long hospital stays.  The volunteers also visit children having cancer treatment outside Kookaburra when it is full and check in, as often as possible, with each of the Nurse Unit Managers to restock Koala Kids Happy Tubs, 60L orange plastic tubs filled with donated activities, books and other items for all ages including parents – more distraction to pass the time and relieve the boredom.