Children spending 14 days in managed isolation in Rotorua facilities after returning to New Zealand will have some extra goodies to help keep them entertained during their stay, thanks to a donation from a Rotorua trust.
The trust has granted $5000 to Lakes District Health Board to buy a range of activities and toys for those staying in the three local hotels being used for whānau isolating on their return to New Zealand.
Trust chairman Stewart Edward said the grant was a way of building on the manaakitanga being shown by many in Rotorua towards those isolating here.
"We can only imagine how challenging it is for families with young children, trying to keep them entertained in a hotel room for 14 days.
"These people are doing their bit to rejoin the team of 5 million and stamp out Covid-19, and we want to make it that bit easier on them to do so."
The funding from the trust will go towards buying a selection of games, toys and puzzles for children and adults as well.
"As part of our Covid-19 response, through Te Hahi Rotorua we helped provide support for children living in motels and saw the difference simple items like colouring books made in helping support children through. Now it feels appropriate to replicate that support for those who are in managed isolation," Edward said.
Ros Rowarth, who is a practice nurse at a local medical centre, has been facilitating donations of items from the Rotorua community for people staying in managed isolation since the first facility was set up.
Rowarth started facilitating donations because she was upset by some of the negative comments on social media and talkback radio.
"I felt that most of us just want to go home when times are scary and to not feel welcomed home would add to the stress".
As well as donations from the community, Rowarth said the trust donation would help even more.
"These are our people and we need to welcome them home."
The current officer in charge of the managed isolation facilities in Rotorua, Major Gwynn Macpherson said the extra donations were welcomed by the children and particularly helpful on what could be stressful times like day 3 and 12 swabbing.
"They really contribute towards a more homely feel at our managed isolation facilities.
"The operations team have felt the warmth of Te Arawa and the Rotorua community in the way they've welcomed and supported the managed isolation facilities returnees and staff.
"This donation from the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust to Ros further reinforces the sentiment of Rotorua's manaakitanga," Macpherson said.
The health board's chief executive Nick Saville-Wood appreciated the donation, saying the Rotorua district communities, and in this instance returning New Zealanders, would be pleased to hear of the trust's support.
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