The volunteers of the Milton Park wing at Bowral Hospital have a unique way to help patients get some shut-eye

Pink ladies: Diana and Lesley find patients sleep better while in hospital with eye masks and are calling for people to donate their unused airline masks to them.
Pink ladies: Diana and Lesley find patients sleep better while in hospital with eye masks and are calling for people to donate their unused airline masks to them.

The ladies in pink of the Milton Park wing at Bowral Hospital facilitate a special volunteer role for patients recovering from illness and injury. 

Much of their job is to keep the patients' company, making sure their recovery from surgery or illness is comfortable, particularly for those who don’t see too many visitors. 

Lesley Mooney is a retired nurse who started the volunteer program for the Milton Park wing after having seen the need for it first-hand. 

“I worked in this same ward for 10 years and then for two years in community nursing before retiring five years ago. Having worked in the Milton Park wing, I knew they needed the help and support,” Ms Mooney said. 

One way Ms Mooney was able to help was when she realised many patients got a better night’s sleep with the aid of an eye mask and started collecting unused airline masks from the community. 

“It helps if they’ve got a migraine or are sensitive to light, those hospital lights can be dreadful sometimes,” she said. 

“Our supplies are low and we would love anyone who regularly travels to donate them to the hospital.” 

The Milton Park wing is also seeking more volunteers to join the team in a few different capacities. 

“It’s still a fairly new capacity in which we volunteer. At the moment we’ve got a team of six and we cover every week day and I sometimes come in on a Saturday as well,” Ms Mooney said.

Ms Mooney said she had retired in 2013 only to turn around and begin volunteering at her former workplace. 

“I like to remain active and it’s just such a good place to be. Anyone that’s worked here a long time like I did knows that. You want to stick around and see all those faces you’ve come to know,” she said.

  • Anyone interested in donating masks should contact Lesley on 4862 5230 to arrange the pick up or drop off.
  • If you’re interested in volunteering at the hospital, contact the Nursing Administration on 4861 0288.