Heart Support Branch completes next phase of Port Macquarie Base Hospital walkway

Welcome addition: Heart Support members Reg Wilkinson, Mike Storrier and Max Heslehurst proudly show off the new shade sail and seats installed along the Heart Support walkway at the rear of Port Macquarie Base Hospital.
Welcome addition: Heart Support members Reg Wilkinson, Mike Storrier and Max Heslehurst proudly show off the new shade sail and seats installed along the Heart Support walkway at the rear of Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

PORT Macquarie Base Hospital patients and visitors can make a pit stop along the Heart Support walkway thanks to the latest addition.

A shade sail and park bench seats have been installed at the rear of Port Macquarie Base Hospital as part of a larger, $200,000 walkway project.

The Port Macquarie Hastings branch of Heart Support-Australia has just finished work on its latest addition to the project, which provides a rest area for patients and hospital visitors along the 200 metres of walkway already completed.

Eventually, when funding allows, the 2.1-metre wide walkway will be almost a kilometre in length and meander through bushland at the rear of the hospital grounds.

Exercise stations will also be installed along the walkway.

The staged project has so far received support from the NSW Government, as well as community groups such as Lachlan Macquarie Lodge, Rotary and Lions.

The latest addition, valued at $8000, includes a large shade sail and bench seats donated by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and renovated by Dahlsford Grove Village Men’s Shed.

Branch president Mike Storrier said he was pleased to see the shade sail and seats installed.

“The Heart Support and Community Walkway is a big project for us,” Mr Storrier said.

“Our primary role isn’t to fundraise… it’s to support the rehabilitation of heart patients at Port Macquarie Base Hospital, so it really is a matter of one step at a time as we work hard to get this project finished.

“We have about 700 metres of walkway to go, as well as the installation of exercise equipment, but when it is finished this project will be a huge benefit to rehabilitation patients, who currently walk the hospital corridors as part of their recovery process.

“The walkway and exercise stations will be in a beautiful part of the hospital grounds and make a valuable contribution, not only to patient wellbeing but also to staff wellbeing.”

Mr Storrier said members of the public who wanted to support the project could make a donation to the branch, purchase raffle tickets on sale at the hospital during Heart Week in May or Christmas time or make a donation at the Laurieton Markets on the third Sunday of each month.

“Market-goers can also visit our stand and have their blood pressure taken for free, or purchase books and heart-healthy foods from us,” Mr Storrier said.

“Every cent raised goes back into supporting local cardiac patients on their path to recovery.”

Other activities organised by the Heart Support group include walking programs every Thursday from 9am at Port Macquarie’s Town Beach and every Monday from 9am at Laurieton (meet at the rear of Laurieton United Services Club).