Where We Began
One Mother to Another was started by two Christchurch mothers who personally experienced the distress and fear of having a child in hospital and became determined to ease the burden on others in that position.
In 2016, mother-of-two Christina Buckland took her toddler Arabelle to the GP to check what she thought was just a nappy rash. The GP rushed the pair to Christchurch Hospital’s Children’s Acute Assessment Unit for further testing for possible meningitis. Thankfully it wasn’t meningitis, but
it was very a stressful, emotional and difficult day. While in hospital, Arabelle was given an age appropriate ‘goodie’ bag full of things to entertain her. It gave Christina the idea to put a package together for the mum or carer in an effort to encourage them and improve their day too. A few weeks later Christina personally made 10 gift bags and delivered them to the ward for the nurses to distribute.
Her friend Joy Reid (also familiar with the perils of having a child in hospital) thought it was a great idea and the pair began asking local businesses for support. Together they grew the initiative into a charity which regularly provided hundreds of gift bags each month for mums and carers in Christchurch’s Children’s Acute Assessment Unit and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The focus on neonatal units came about because Joy Reid’s son and daughter spent their first days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
One Mother to Another has always been built on personal experience and has, over the years, continued to grow. It is now lead by Joy Reid who, having re-experienced the trauma of having a child in hospital with her third child in 2021, has expanded the provision of care packs to include more wards, including paediatric medical and surgical wards.
Joy and Geoff Reid are supported by a board and a team of dedicated volunteers who are committed to easing the burden on those in hospital with a child.
One Mother to Another supports parents and caregivers of children in some New Zealand hospitals by providing care packages full of goodies including a handwritten note of encouragement.
How the packs are distributed
The care packs are given to the hospital wards on a monthly basis and it is the nursing team which distribute them to each mother/carer/parent and/or decide which parent or caregiver will receive one.
It’s important to us that EVERY mother who is in the Neonatal Intensive Care wards (in Christchurch, Nelson and Southland Hospitals) get a care pack – regardless if they are in the unit for one day or one month.
Each care pack is slightly different but has 3 purposes – to provide…
We include a variety of things to make a hospital stay more comfortable such as shampoo, conditioner and body wash. We always add a snack and some tea and coffee as well as a chocolate and/or high energy bar to ensure a parent or carer does not have to leave their child’s side to get an instant boost of energy.
The gift bags show our heart. We want mums and carers to feel special, loved, appreciated and cared for. Both co-founders Christina and Joy have spent time in hospital with their young children so they know the vulnerabilities of this time. We want our gift bags to make people feel valued, loved and understood so each gift bag contains a handwritten note of encouragement.
We know that in most cases mums and carers put other’s needs ahead of their own. So we take pride and joy in adding some beautiful ‘treat’ items in each pack – including one or more gifts from earrings to candles to beautiful skin care or bath products. We want to spoil the mum or carer in a small way and we know these items are greatly appreciated.