With a blessing on the former Akaroa Hospital site earlier this year and work already underway on the new Akaroa Health Centre, the local community is looking forward to its envisaged opening in June 2019.
Gordon Boxall, Chair of the Akaroa Community Health Trust, (ACHT) says the benefits of the new health facility will be substantial. “Alongside the eight aged residential care beds and four general practice managed inpatients flexi-beds, it will also house the general practice and other community services. We’re committed to health promotion and wellbeing, so having one integrated health centre comprehensively provides for our community needs.”
The new facility will be built and owned by the Canterbury District Health Board, but will be leased to, and operated by, the local community through Akaroa Health Ltd, a charitable subsidiary of ACHT. “Paul de Latour chairs our fundraising committee; currently we’ve received donations and pledges of $1.5 million. The Lions have been extraordinary, as have the Guardians of Akaroa Hospital. Some local businesses and community groups have pledged $50,000 and the biggest single donation from a family has been $100,000. People have been absolutely brilliant!”
Gordon says it’s vital they don’t take the foot off the accelerator. “We now want to focus on fundraising regionally and nationally. With that in mind, a community member has recently set up a Give A Little page (givealittle.co.nz/org/akaroahealthhub). When we reach our $3 million target…well, that will be everything.”