Three dames prominent in community and charity work have banded together to help a local hospice.
Dame Rosanne Meo, Dame Rosie Horton and Dame Cath Tizard are starting a new project to help raise money for the West Auckland Hospice, in Te Atatu.
The three have each donated a treasured item and are calling on others to do the same.
The money raised will go towards building and furnishing new beds for patients who require one at home.
At the moment, families wanting to have a loved one at home have to apply for a bed for them in other parts of Auckland.
Hospice chief executive Barbara Williams said supplying beds for patients was an important thing they could not yet provide.
"We have many people who would like to die at home ... and their families have to go outside the area to find a bed.
"We are just asking people to help us provide this for those families."
Ms Williams said people could donate quality items such as china tea cups, silver vases, plates, jewellery, crystal and paintings that would go up for auction at a special afternoon tea on May 12.
"Maybe it is a special family heirloom which no one in the family wants or has room for or just does not know what to do with this treasured piece - whatever it is, we would like to use it to raise funds for Hospice."
Dame Cath has donated a painting and Dame Rosanne is giving silver items which belonged to her late sister, Margaret, who died of cancer.
"She received some wonderful help from the hospice, as did we all as her family struggling with her loss," she said.
Dame Rosie, well-known for her work with charities and causes, will donate a personal memento and has arranged a morning tea with herself and Auckland fashion designer Adrienne Winkelmann.
An outfit from Winkelmann's collection will also be up for sale, and that, along with the lunch, will be auctioned at the event.
Ms Williams said the West Auckland Hospice had helped hundreds of families since it opened in 2005.
She said many families struggled to deal with not only the fact that a loved one was dying, but also how to cope with things afterwards.
"There's a fear that they have ... 'How can I do the best for my loved one when I don't really know what I'm doing?'," Ms Williams said. "For a lot of families, the comfort is knowing that we are there with them during this hard time.
"When your loved one is dying, there's such a great feeling of helplessness. The hospice is there alongside them - it doesn't take over or take away - it is just present. And for a lot of people, that's a huge help."
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