Students such as Emily McCarthy should be celebrated.

The Tauranga Girls' College student organised and performed in a concert for residents at Waipuna Hospice.

The hospice provides specialist medical services, nursing care and support to people living with an illness for which cure is no longer an option.

Hospice cares for patients and their families in the Western Bay of Plenty.


The concert was held yesterday and no doubt it provided patients much-needed distraction and enjoyment.

My dad battled lung cancer. It was a short battle but towards the end he was bed-ridden, couldn't talk and had nothing to look forward to.

He was just waiting for his time.

My mother, who looked after him until the end, was patient and caring - and never took a break.

My dad chose to stay at home in Rotorua but somewhere such as Waipuna Hospice would have been a break not only for him but my mum as well.

Emily has taken it upon herself to help brighten the days of people who don't have much to celebrate or enjoy.

The concert was also an opportunity to showcase some of the talent of the students at Tauranga Girls' College.

Emily says the concert is a chance to provide those at Waipuna Hospice with some entertainment and something different in their lives.

She organised a concert last year and has plans for another one.

As someone who has seen how devastating it can be when there is no treatment or cure for someone, I applaud Emily's actions.

If she has the foresight to give back to the community as a teenager, I have no doubt she can accomplish much more in the future.

I'm sure people at the concert, patients and their families, are grateful for the effort she has put in to making their day that little bit brighter.

I hope more people, young and old, take a leaf out of her book and help others who need some sunshine in their day.