Free lunch for nurses

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WELL-DESERVED: Ashburton RRT members provide nurses including (from front) Tegan McCully, Jane Wright and Max Whitaker-Mills with a barbecue lunch in recognition of International Nurses Day.
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There is no such thing as a free lunch, so the saying goes.

But whoever said that had not heard of Rapid Relief Team.

The team, set up by the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church in 2013, mission is simple – to serve people with care and compassion in their time of need.

And in Ashburton on Tuesday, that meant serving a barbecue lunch to Ashburton Hospital and St John staff in the lead up to International Nurses’ Day (IND) on Sunday.

RRT Local Team Leader Rod Kemp said they served up about 180 meals.

The nurses gathered said the food was delicious. 

It was particularly appreciated as they paused to remember the legacy of Florence Nightingale for International Nurses’ Day. 

RRT hosted international nurses day lunches at 13 hospitals across New Zealand, with more than 11,000 meals expected to be served by over 350 volunteers.

‘‘It’s a great initiative by the team,’’ Hato Hone St John group operation manager Heather Keel said.

‘‘Nurses often work in high pressure situations, so this gives us an opportunity to take a moment for a well-deserved break and celebration,’’ hospital registered nurse Tegan McCully said.

‘‘It is always nice to be recognised for our efforts . I think people really do appreciate our role and what we offer. It is a great way to celebrate. Nurses love food!’’ hospital registered nurse Jane Wright said.

‘‘It was great that we are able to share this celebration of our profession with the entire Ashburton Hospital team, who all work tirelessly to give the best care to people often at the most vulnerable time of their lives,’’ hospital quality, safety and workforce nurse manager Lisa Campbell said.

RRT formed as a nationwide organisation following the February 22, 2011 earthquake.

It operates in the four key areas of emergency relief, youth, homelessness, poverty and hardship, and health and disability.

RRT Ashburton team leader Rod Kemp said the team had supported Mid Canterbury in a wide variety of ways over the years.