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Once a fortnight, Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) nursing leaders voluntarily take to the streets in an outreach van to provide nourishment and health advice to Brisbane’s homeless.
Centre of Nursing Excellence Nursing Director Sandra Moss said it’s a task they love, but they need help to do it.
“This holiday season, we’re calling on PAH staff to donate coffee, muesli bars, cup-a-soups and thongs (flip-flops) to help stock up the van for Christmas and into the new year,” she said.
“On any given night we can see up to 60 people in need. From 7pm to 10pm, we travel to four different locations and at each stop we hand out food, make drinks and provide donated supplies to people who are homeless and disadvantaged.”
Ms Moss said the experienced nurses were also able to provide healthcare advice.
“We see many new people each time and often help with providing referrals or advice regarding healthcare services they are able to access,” she said.
“But, one of the most important things we do is to help with the social isolation many homeless people experience.
“By simply having a chat to people who have been homeless for long periods of time, we can really connect and the small but significant benefit to their mental health is obvious.”
Ms Moss said it was important for people to remember that individuals don’t choose to be homeless.
“Every person we meet has a story and people come from all walks of life. The issues that have led to homelessness are complex and extremely varied,” she said.
“Just a few hours every fortnight is really only a small contribution and yet is so rewarding and there is clearly a need.
“If any staff want to join the Nursing Executive in volunteering, please don’t hesitate to contact me.”
From now to Sunday 16 December, PAH staff can donate items into the Support on the Streets Appeal cage located in the Staff Café, Building 1.
To contact Sandra Moss about volunteering, please enter her name into the Outlook ‘Address book’ search function.