Volunteer Spotlight – Kate Minto

As part of National Volunteer Week we are going to introduce you to some of our amazing volunteers. Sands Queensland could not operate the way it does without these inspiring people who give their time, energy and heart so enthusiastically.

 

Our first volunteer in the spotlight is Kate Minto.

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Kate Minto (right) and Cairns Regional Contact Nerissa

 

Kate first came to Sands for support in  2012 after the death of her son Fletcher and over time has become an extremely valuable volunteer in Cairns as well as on a state level.

In 2014 Kate became Butterfly Coordinator in Cairns, organising the making and distribution of the Sands Queensland memory bag and bereavement clothing. Her dedication to her role has seen her donate over 30 memory bags and over 100 items of clothing to hospitals locally and further in North Queensland.

Donations ready to go to hospital

Donations ready to go to hospital

 

‘It is my absolute pleasure to nominate Kate Minto as a volunteer who has made a difference at Sands. Kate has made an amazing difference to the work Sands does in supporting families across Queensland, including Cairns.

Kate has worked tirelessly to supply Cairns and surrounding areas hospitals with items for families who are touched by pregnancy and infant loss. She is always the first to put her hand up to volunteer for any event in Cairns and played a crucial role in the fundraising and purchase of the Cuddle Cot and camera for the Cairns Hospital. Just recently Kate organised an event that fundraised over $1000 for Sands and is running the Queensland Online Mother’s Day Handmade Market, the Cairns Bereaved Mother’s Day morning tea and Walk to Remember in Cairns this year. Kate’s approach to all of these activities is done with care and respect for all those she works with.

Kate is also a parent supporter for Sands, online, at support groups and on the 1300 line. She has such compassion, genuineness and warmth about her that people really appreciate.

Kate does all this while juggling three small children and a household. Kate is an amazing volunteer for Sands Queensland.

~ Nerissa, Sands Queensland Committee member and Cairns Regional Contact

When asked why she volunteers for Sands, Kate said

‘I have been thinking about this and for me something I have found at all the events and through talking to people is that what we do really does make a difference and it helps people to feel like they are not alone. So many people feel alone in their grief, & I felt the same way until I found Sands.  It is so wonderful to be given the opportunity to volunteer and give something back whilst helping other families know that there is support.’

Thank you Kate from all of us at Sands Queensland. We truly do appreciate all that you have done and continue to do.

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Cold Cot Delivered to Cairns Base Hospital from Sands Queensland

Today our Sands Queensland group in Cairns delivered the cold cot unit we have been fundraising for to the Birth Suite at Cairns Hospital.

This is the first time our group in Cairns has undertaken a big fundraising drive like this. At first raising just over $3000 seemed really daunting and we thought we might just raise the money in time for the Walk to Remember in October. However the community response to this has been amazing, not only did we raise enough money for the cold-cot, we also raised enough to buy a good quality camera, a stock of USB sticks and some printing accessories to go with it.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all the people in the community who made donations to the Everyday Hero pages. Without their donations we wouldn’t have been able to make this worthwhile purchase for the hospital. It was really clear from the fundraising pages that a large proportion of the donors were bereaved parents themselves, family members, or knew someone that had experienced the death of a baby. Everyone who donated was so supportive of the purchase of the unit.

We would also like to say thank you to all the people who facilitated the everyday hero pages where the donations came through: Kate who raised funds through Team Fletcher, Melissa who raised funds through Team Harry and Nerissa’s Team Milaya who facilitated the Cold Cot for Cairns Base page. Rachelle Johnson also participated in the Cairns 70.3 and raised money in the process. Rachelle received fantastic support from the community and in particular Bluewater, a local Cairns business, made a sizeable donation towards the cause. Also thank you to the midwives from the birth suite that held a sausage sizzle and donated the funds towards the cot and to everyone in the Sands crew who manned the car-boot sale stall.

As with many things at Sands Queensland the process of this fundraiser has been just as important as the goal. For Sands Queensland it’s about starting conversations around pregnancy and infant loss and raising awareness that support is out there for families. This fundraiser allowed us to achieve that.

We feel extremely proud that we have staff here at the Cairns hospital who understand how important it is for parents to have choices about how, when and how much time they would like to spend with their baby. That’s exactly what this unit will do, it will give parents choices.

What an amazing achievement Cairns, well done!!!

Cold Cot thankyou

Cold Cot for Cairns Base

The Sands Queensland team in Cairns has been busy this year fundraising to purchase a cold cot cooling system for the Cairns Base Hospital.

Cuddle Cot System photo from www.parmed.com.au

Cuddle Cot System photo from http://www.parmed.com.au

A cold cot cooling system is a small unit that can be placed inside any bassinette or cot to keep a baby that has died cool. This enables bereaved parents to extend the time they have with their precious baby. Time they can spend creating memories and spending time as a family before they say their final goodbye. This time is a crucial part of the grief process.

The team has been overwhelmed by the response they have had, with just under $2500 dollars raised so far. On Monday May 5th the Maternity ward at Cairns Base Hospital are holding a sausage sizzle fundraiser for International Midwives’ Day with all proceeds generously donated towards the cot.

Dedicated Sands members have set up individual fundraising pages through EveryDay Hero and are participating in events to ensure this purchase becomes a reality.

If you would like to show your support for the purchase of a cold cot

DONATE NOW

 

You can also donate towards the cold cot by supporting individuals from the Cairns Team.

Kate Minto – In memory of Fletcher John                             DONATE NOW

Nerissa Healy – In memory of Milaya                                     DONATE NOW

Rachelle Johnson – In memory of Charlotte and Sharee    DONATE NOW

Melissa Zaini – In memory of Harry                                        DONATE NOW

 

Sands support meetings and events in Cairns can be found   HERE.