News

Closing playroom 'betrayed' kids

Beth Trevan of Lismore was a co-ordinator of Lismore Base Hospital Children’s Ward Appeal in 1979.
Beth Trevan of Lismore was a co-ordinator of Lismore Base Hospital Children’s Ward Appeal in 1979. Cathy Adams

THE volunteer who in 1975 established Lismore Base Hospital's children's ward playroom says the facility's administrators are a "disgrace" who have "betrayed" sick children and the community.

Beth Trevan said the hospital's decision to discontinue the play therapist position, effectively shutting down the playroom, showed a complete lack of understanding of the trauma suffered by kids in hospital.

"It's just really sad that they're prepared to fund all the counselling services for adults but they don't understand that a play therapist is just as important to children," said Mrs Trevan, who in 2009 was recognised in the Queens Birthday Honours List for services to children's wellbeing.

"(closing the playroom) will be a permanent reminder that the administration have no understanding of the emotional needs of children in hospital."

In the mid-1970s Mrs Trevan started a volunteer play program at the hospital and in 1979 co-ordinated a campaign, supported by The Northern Star, to raise money towards the construction of a new children's ward.

More than $500,000 was eventually raised by the community.

The 72-year-old said as a direct result of the campaign, the health service at the time allocated a permanent, full-time play therapist position in 1983, as "a non-negotiable condition" of allocating the community funds to the construction of the new state-of-the-art children's ward.

Mrs Trevan said the failure of the hospital's administration to honour this promise was a "disgrace" that had the potential to undermine future community fundraising efforts.

Last week the acting manager of the hospital Dan Madden told The Northern Star that they would investigate whether more volunteers would be interested in staffing the play room.

But hospital insiders said this was unlikely as the hospital's volunteer co-ordinator position had been vacant for around six years.

Topics:  childrens ward, lismore base hospital




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Why are parents turning their backs on public schools?

Trinity Catholic College Lismore principal Brother John Hilet said there were a number of factors that could be influencing trends in education.

Families favouring independent and Catholic schools over govt ones.

Take your tastebuds on a gourmet tour of Northern Rivers

Rebecca Zentveld, (right) from Zentveld’s Coffee, with (from left) Rebekka Battista from Our House, and Ballina-on-Richmond Rotarians Wendy Marsh and Col Lee, promoting the gourmet tour which is part of this year’s Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival.

Flavours of the Northern Rivers Gourmet Tour in July.

Latest deals and offers

Dash cam as car rolls dodging rabbit

A car rolls over after dodging a rabbit.

This is why they say don't swerve for wildlife.

Lismore stormtrooper calls for blood donations to help the "Imperial war effort"

The 501st Legion is down at the Bounty St blood centre to encourage citizens to...

ACF take Minister to Court

ACF chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy

The Australian Conservation Foundation go to court to stop Carmichael mine.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

10 ‘must-see’ open homes on the Northern Rivers this weekend

McGrath Ballina have listed this home at 19 Stonehenge Place, Lennox Head.

Looking for a new home? Then check out this list.

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.