“What is behind each door?”

The first knock on a door opens a new story. Some families need support, some advice, some an encouraging voice, but all benefit from the community support Plunket provides.

As part of our ongoing commitment to making sure the services provided by Plunket are the very best they can be, we spoke to Plunket nurses from top of the North to bottom of the South. What they find in some homes they visit saddens them. There appears to be new extremes of damp, cold and poverty in some homes this winter, as Nurse Harriet explains “The cold air comes right in, so these houses just don’t get warm. No curtains, holes in the floor and often no heating at all.”

Our nurses say this concerns them as “These conditions can substantially increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In damp, cold houses, children are more likely to be snuffly and develop respiratory issues. Babies are developing bronchiolitis which affects a child’s health for months.”

Nurse Maria comments that “Many children do not have pyjamas. There is simply no money to spend. Mums often do cleaning jobs at night when dad comes home. Everyone is working hard, yet two parents on minimum wage cannot make ends meet.”

“It is more common to see multiple families living in one house, with one big family in each room with the bare minimum. It is just so heartbreaking when you can see parents trying their absolute best but they have so much against them,” says Nurse Harriet.

But our communities pull together to support those in need. Our nurses are always encouraged by the support you give to those who need a bit extra. Whether that be through the regular donations our supporters make, dropping off a new pair of pyjamas or a warm blanket at a clinic or sending in knitted hats, booties and jumpers for Plunket babies. Our supporters generosity makes a vital difference. Their gifts can provide money for Playgroups, Toy Libraries, specialised Plunket assistance groups or Parenting Education classes, where parents can share together, and learn about their baby’s development through the critical first 1000 days.

Every day, the warmth and generosity of every day New Zealanders makes a vital difference.

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0 Comments Posted by Mamae Munn on 17 August 2017

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