The organisers of a campaign to give beds to Northland children who would otherwise sleep on the floor or share a bed are thrilled with the response.

Habitat for Humanity Northland and Manawa Ora Healthy Home Initiative are asking people to donate surplus good quality used beds and bedding in the Beds for Christmas campaign.

Thirty children a month in Whangarei are identified through health and family support services as not having their own bed to sleep in. Northland-wide, hundreds of children share beds or sleep on shared mattresses on the floor.

Carina Dickson says the response has been great but beds and bedding are still needed for many Northland children. Photo/Lindy Laird
Carina Dickson says the response has been great but beds and bedding are still needed for many Northland children. Photo/Lindy Laird

The public has been generous but more beds are still needed, Habitat's regional general manager, Carina Dickson, said.

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Since an article in the Northern Advocate about Beds for Christmas, the organisation had received many calls from people and deliveries of donated goods, Ms Dickson said.

One elderly woman who gave to the campaign also ''got on to'' her daughter to do the same. She previously had no idea so many children did not have their own beds.

Another person said after reading the article she raised enough money from ''passing a hat around'' to buy and donate 10 good quality pillows.

Northland health board paediatrician Roger Tuck said Beds for Christmas was ''a great initiative''.

''Good sleep is critical to good health. It's very important we all have somewhere safe, warm and dry to sleep.

''We are aware that overcrowded, damp and unheated homes are associated with increased communicable diseases.''

Dr Tuck said having good healthy sleeping spaces that are not overcrowded would help reduce cases of diseases such as rheumatic fever, meningococcal and chronic respiratory diseases.

''Healthy sleeping spaces and consequent good sleep will also impact positively on children's performance in the classroom, particularly if they are also adequately fuelled up with breakfast.''

Last Friday was Safe Sleep Awareness Day, focused on reducing the rates of SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy).

It was vital for babies to have safe places to sleep, not in shared beds unless protected from being rolled on, were put on their backs to sleep and lived in smokefree households, Dr Tuck said.

Items for Beds for Christmas can be delivered to ReStart, 50B Kioreroa Rd, Whangarei, or pick-ups can be arranged in the Whangarei area by calling (09) 438 2250.