Wear House Building

The Wear House

Every day, patients arrive at Latrobe Regional Hospital (LRH) unexpectedly for care due to a multitude of reasons including sporting and recreational activity injuries, disease and serious medical conditions, trauma or crises including mental illness or emergency birthing.

Patients who are brought suddenly to the Emergency Department obviously do not arrive with a change of clothes and toiletries. If admitted, the option has been a floppy surgical gown or contacting family or friends to pack the necessary items.

However if you do not have a network of family or friends close by, have been airlifted to LRH from a far away location or are homeless, how do you access clean clothes, pyjamas, underwear and other items for your hospital stay?

LRH has set up a facility called ‘The Wear House’. It is a portable building donated and transported to the hospital by a generous local benefactor, Weblease.

The building has been kitted out with a ramp and a large entrance to give easy access to everyone. The renovations were made possible through fundraising, in particular, the proceeds of the hospital’s Virtual Fun Run and Walk.

Wear House -  Cupboards containing clothes

What a surprise awaits patients as they enter this neat interior. It features open wardrobes with men’s and women’s clothes, drawers neatly compartmentalised to hold clothing for various age groups, genders and sizes including underwear, socks, baby clothes, beanies and camisoles. Shelves hold t-shirts, tops and other items.

Under the open wardrobes are more drawers containing Betty Care Foundation bags with a basic kit of clothing for women. At the far end of The Wear House is a cupboard which contains additional stock including toiletries, thongs, slippers for older people and other essentials. All items are brand new.

The project has involved the community, hospital staff and its volunteers, the Community Champions who help to keep an eye on stock levels. Many staff have signed up to donate regularly to the cause through their wages or collect bargains from department stores for the facility. The staff are thrilled this initiative has been instigated, and report the wonderful emotional boost new, clean clothes gives to a person’s well-being and dignity.

Based on current figures, at least one patient a day will access this facility. Emergency supplies are located in the ED for weekends and after hours.

Lisa says the lovely letters of thanks they receive shows how very much appreciated this free service is and what a lift it gives to those it benefits. She says she is proud such a facility is available for those who find themselves in a vulnerable state.

Donations of new goods, especially men’s and women’s underwear and men’s T-shirts would be welcomed by the LRH Community Engagement team. Call 5173 8577 to learn more about The Wear House or other fundraising activities.