Emily and talented friends bring joy to hospice

By Sonya Bateson

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Emily McCarthy organised a performance for the Waipuna Hospice
Emily McCarthy organised a performance for the Waipuna Hospice

The happiness on hospice patients' faces as they watched students sing and dance was enough reward for Emily McCarthy.

The 16-year-old Tauranga Girls' College student organised a performance for the Waipuna Hospice's day programme yesterday lunchtime to bring joy to the lives of patients there.

The idea was sparked last year when Emily took part in the Youth Parliament, representing Health Minister Tony Ryall. She was seated at a table next to Waipuna Hospice chief executive Richard Thurlow, who suggested she get involved.

Tauranga Girls College student Leilani Taula sang at the Tauranga Hospice.
Tauranga Girls College student Leilani Taula sang at the Tauranga Hospice.

From there, the idea took hold and Emily organised a concert last year for her tenure project for the Youth Parliament.

"It didn't take that much effort to organise and when I saw what the patients got out of it, I thought we need to do it again."

So she did.

Emily encouraged a group of talented people she knew at her school to perform at the hospice yesterday.

There were singers, dancers and instrumentalists and Emily recited a poem.

"It honestly doesn't take that much organisation compared to the amount of pleasure the patients get from it. Just seeing the patients get enjoyment from it is more than enough for me."

Te Puna's Cafe Paradiso sponsored food for the patients, Emily said.

She hoped to return to the hospice later this year for a repeat performance.

Waipuna Hospice day programme co-ordinator Fran Leisegang said the girls put on a wonderful performance.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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