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St Stephen’s Green Champions repurpose goods for the planet


St Stephen’s Hospital is using its furniture for good – rehoming unused items and equipment with community organisations across the Fraser and Sunshine Coasts as part of our Repurposing Program.

Headed by our Green Champions team, this program finds new life for furniture and other equipment once its purpose at one location comes to an end.

Repurposed lecture chairs from St Stephen’s Hospital being used for onsite training at Buderim Private Hospital.St Stephen’s Clinical Educator, Christopher Long, is at the heart of this sustainability program, and says the Repurposing Program aligns with the hospital’s Mission and Values. “Our mission practices tell us that we are faithful stewards of the resources entrusted to us, and that to me includes everything, especially stuff like furniture and equipment,” he says.

“Also, it’s part of our nursing values that we will keep a healthy environment for our patients; and obviously that’s the whole world. Our patients’ environment counts as the whole world to me. If we don’t maintain that future environment for them, what are we treating them for?”

His success is creating value-adding financial, environmental and community outcomes for everyone involved.

For example, 20 lecture chairs were stacked neatly under a layer of dust left over from the closure of an old site. But they still had a lot of life left in them.

Seeing this, Christopher reached out through his networks and quickly heard Buderim Private Hospital needed new chairs for its training room. Staff now use these repurposed chairs for onsite training and meetings.

But this isn’t the only time we have made sure that instead of collecting dust in a storeroom or being sent to landfill, equipment and furniture have found new homes, including:

  • Furniture items were sent to Lifeline, as well as books from St Stephen’s Hospital library.
  • Sofa chairs were well received by Yoorana Women’s Domestic Violence and Resource Service Inc in Hervey Bay.
  • Recliner chairs, cleaning trolleys and mop buckets were repaired and used by BlueCare Master’s Lodge Aged Care Facility at Urraween.
  • Filing cabinets and plastic chairs were donated to Maryborough District Animal Refuge, who have a new set of waiting-room chairs and office chairs for their reception team.
  • Old countertops and mesh panels were upcycled into chook sheds and planter boxes.
  • Wall-mounted mirrors from the old rehabilitation space became part of a home gym to help a local complete rehab at home.
  • Older-style medical beds went to a Gold Coast GP clinic and the local Men’s Shed.

Christopher is most of proud the many creative ways St Stephen’s Green Champions come up with to rehome or repurpose items.

“It’s things like looking at a set of old examination beds and realising they could use those as a workbench at the Men’s Shed,” he says. “That’s a great idea – I would never have thought of using a bed as a workspace, but it pumps up, it pumps down – it’s great for them. It’s knowing you’re making a difference to the community.”

Visit our sustainability page to learn more about our efforts to protect the environment and use resources wisely at St Stephen’s Hospital.

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