Special Care Nursery joy for Christmas in Ballarat
22 December 2023
Every Christmas, staff in the Special Care Nursery at Grampians Health Ballarat look forward to decorating the unit to make it special for the hospital’s smallest patients. This year, nurses and midwives at the Special Care Nursery were inspired by a generous donation they had received in the past.
Last year, author Liv Lorkin graciously donated copies of her ‘Christmas in Ballarat’ book for the babies and their families who were in the Special Care Nursery on Christmas Day. Inspired by her generosity, the nurses and midwives decided to paint the images illustrated in Ms Lorkin’s book ‘Christmas in Ballarat’ onto the walls of the Special Care Nursery.
One of Grampians Health’s Special Care Nursery staff members, Marg Monagle, began painting the images within the book from October and the staff put the final touches to the decorations by 30 November.
“After countless hours of planning, painting, creating and juggling between our clinical work, the nursing team finished the decorations on the 11 December,” said Jessica Herrmann, Registered Nurse, Special Care Nursery.
“We know that when families are expecting a baby, they don’t plan on being in the Special Care Nursery – especially over Christmas time. So, we try and make Christmas special for these families.
Joanne Pegg, Nurse Unit Manager of the Special Care Nursery, said that the Christmas decorations have cheered up both families and staff members.
“The decorations have transformed the nursery into scenes from Liv’s fabulous book, which is being thoroughly enjoyed by parents, families, siblings and staff alike. Watching little children’s faces light up with excitement when they see the decorations as they come and visit their baby sibling in the nursery has been very rewarding,” said Ms Pegg.
In addition to decorations, the staff members also present handmade keepsakes and cards to the parents and their babies to spread some cheer on Christmas morning. Like last year, Ms Lorkin is continuing her generous gesture and will gift the family of every baby in the Special Care Nursery with a ‘Christmas in Ballarat’ book.
In addition to the books, Grampians Health Ballarat’s Special Care Nursery babies will also receive gift bags from NICU Cheer, Miracle Babies and Life’s Little Treasures on Christmas Day.
“We are truly grateful to everyone who have made Christmas special for the babies and their families in Special Care Nursery,” said Ms Pegg.