NEWS CENTRE

Hurrah for new foundations!

Mercy Community Services was established by the Singleton Sisters of Mercy in 1976 to provide nursing and care services in people’s homes. Over the years it has grown amazingly, and now offers a full range of flexible and responsive services to people in various parts of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Lower Hunter Region of NSW. Sister Liz Callen reports on a recent gathering where representatives of the agency spoke with passion about their work in the community.

Photo: Mr Michael Mather, Mr Roy Hambly
and Mrs Sue Oakey

“Hurrah for New Foundations, they make the old young and the young merry.” Roy Hambly, General Manager of Mercy Community Services (MCS), quoted the words of Catherine McAuley to express the feelings of enthusiasm and excitement at the new premises at West Wallsend that now houses services previously based in Toronto, and some from Tighes Hill, NSW.

The new board chairperson, Sue Oakey, board members, Singleton sisters, and friends gathered in the refurbished buildings, (previously a bowling club), to hear representatives from MCS present reports. Passion and Mercy-in-action flowed through each contribution; staff dedication and commitment, creativity and enthusiasm were palpable.

A reflection led by Sister Faith Jones RSM, Congregation Leader, based on the poem, “Mercy”, by Mary Wickham RSM opened the night. Faith challenged those present to name their experience of Mercy during that day. Various verses touched each person differently, articulating and encapsulating Mercy in action.

Photo: Sister Faith Jones, Sister Chris Marsh
and Ms Kerrie Turner

Mercy Community Services was established by the Singleton Congregation in 1976 (as Mercy Community Care Service) to provide nursing and care services in people’s homes. Over the years, it has grown amazingly and now offers a full range of flexible and responsive services to people in various parts of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Lower Hunter region of NSW.

In serving the community, Mercy Community Services “seeks to promote the dignity of each person and the value and quality of human life”. Describing her work with the people with dementia, Marilyn Hall (MCS Dementia Monitoring Service Co-ordinator) spoke touchingly of walking alongside men and women and “filling in the pot–holes” so they can continue walking their familiar road in their own chosen direction. By having integrated and holistic care provided in their own home, each person’s choice is treasured and respected.

The number and variety of programmes provided by MCS, evidence the commitment to the services by wonderful staff and volunteers, and belief in the programmes by Government, Area Health, sisters and friends of the services.

The evening allowed time for only a few presentations. Through the stories and enthusiasm evidenced by presenters, what stood out was the wonderful respect for each client and the commitment to service. As one listener put it, “You could feel Mercy pulsing through the evening”.

Amazingly, over the year 2007-2008, 20,484 hours of social support have been given; 31,026 community transport trips taken; 1,175 hours of home maintenance hours given in service; 1629 occasions of community nursing service; 6,456 linen service deliveries and much, much more.

Mercy is alive and well through the enthusiasm, dedication and commitment of Roy, the staff and volunteers.

For more information about Mercy Community Services, visit the MCC website.

From: Sister Liz Callen RSM (Local Communications Facilitator, Singleton)