15 December 2020
Balonne Creative Arts donate quilt to St George Hospital birthing suite
St George Hospital’s birthing suite has a lovely new addition thanks to the generous donation of
a Queen-size bed quilt by the Balonne Creative Arts group.
St George Hospital Clinical Caseload Midwife Yvonne Argent said the quilt would help create a
more homely environment for women using the birthing suite.
“It will help the women of our community and their families to feel more of a sense of familiarity
and be more comfortable during their birthing experience here at our facility,’’ she said.
“We truly appreciate the time and effort of the members of Balonne Creative Arts in making this
quilt.
“As well as making the birthing suite more homely, it also builds further on the close bond we
have with our community.’’
Ms Argent said the quilt also had some inspiring words for pregnant women in one corner to
help build their confidence.
Balonne Creative Arts group treasurer Lola Cuffe said the St George Hospital had been
freshening the look of its birthing suite and had approached the group to see if they would
undertake to make a quilt for the new-look room.
“Yvonne said she would pay us to make the quilt, but I spoke to the ladies and we said, ‘no
way’, we’ll make it and donate it for free,’’ she said.
“Here in the St George community, we all think very highly of our hospital and are very happy to
have a local birthing service, so we were more than pleased to give something back by donating
the quilt.’’
Mrs Cuffe said she and other group members Pam Moon, Beryl Staines, Robyn Rogan and
Christine Price immediately got to work, cutting and sewing.
“We made the quilt over a period of about two months, doing a little bit here and there. In all, it
probably took us the equivalent of about one week of concentrated work to complete and we’re
very happy with the result,’’ she said.
Mrs Cuffe said the Balonne Creative Arts group had been in existence for more than 40 years
and was always keen to welcome new members.
The group meets weekly at its centre in Klinge Lane in St George and undertakes a variety of
craft activities, including sewing, quilting, knitting and crocheting.
“Recently, to make it more convenient for more people to attend our meetings, we’ve added
evening sessions on Thursdays to our usual weekly Wednesday day sessions,’’ Mrs Cuffe said.
Ms Argent said St George Hospital recorded about 35-40 births a year.
She said the hospital provided a midwifery continuity of care service, whereby each woman was
assigned a known midwife who would provide most of her care pre, during and post-birth.’’
“We also have doctors skilled in obstetrics and provide a 24/7 birthing service,’’ she said.
“We also offer midwifery home visits, as well as both ante and postnatal clinics, right across our
region, including St George, Dirranbandi, Bollon and Mungindi.
“So, even if a woman chooses to birth away from St George, our maternity service can still
support them during their antenatal and postnatal stages.’’
Ms Argent said the St George Hospital birthing service was the same as the services at Roma
and Charleville hospitals, where women who did not have a complex medical and obstetric
history and who did not experience a complex antenatal period could be cared for locally.
“Some particular higher pregnancy risk factors, however, will require more complex, specialist
care to ensure a safe outcome for both mother and baby and, in such cases, the mother will be
referred to a larger centre to birth,’’ she said.
 Balonne Creative Arts meets at its centre in Klinge Lane, St George, every
Wednesday between 9 am – 2 pm, as well as between 7 pm – 9 pm on Thursdays.
 Anyone interested in learning more about the Balonne Creative Arts group is
welcome to attend one of the meetings or call Lola Cuffe on 0428 554 017.
PHOTO CAPTION
Generous donation: St George quilters – from left – Pam Moon, Christine Price, Robyn Rogan,
Lola Cuffe and Beryl Staines, with their hand-made quilt hanging behind them.
ENDS