Keith’s Closet opens at Kiloh Centre
In what has been described as a "wonderful initiative" by Jacqui Cross, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, NSW Health, thanks to the efforts of staff at South Eastern Sydney Local Health District's Kiloh Centre, clients now have access to free clothing, shoes and toiletries donated by Prince of Wales Hospital (POWH) staff, family and friends.
The initiative officially opened on 24 January 2019 with a barbecue for clients, staff and the many generous donors who brought it all together. These included; Paddy Mc Tigue from Oz Labour Solutions, the POWH maintenance team, OzDesign Furniture, Revesby Workers Football Club, peer support workers and volunteer staff. The NSW Health Nursing and Midwifery Strategy also provided $6,500 in funding towards the project.
Keith’s Closet is the brain-child of Keith Donnelly, Community Mental Health Nurse, Kiloh Centre.
“The one thing that always struck me was our vulnerable client's lack of self-care, dignity and purpose. A lot of our mental health patients have insufficient clothing so my purpose was to change that by transforming our seclusion room into a walk-in wardrobe complete with a fitting room in a very relaxed environment,” Mr Donnelly said.
“The idea is to make them feel really special and to feel free of their illness if only for a short while. With the concept ‘look good, feel good’ our clothing is pre-loved, donated by staff, family and friends. I am also currently contacting clothing chains for brand new clothing donations, so I will keep my fingers crossed.”
Jacqui Cross attended the official opening and was full of praise for not only the innovative idea, but the team behind it who pulled it all together.
“To come out and see the fantastic work that the Kiloh Centre are doing is an absolute privilege. Keith’s Closet is a wonderful idea – a true reflection of the focus that the centre places on their clients and meeting their individual needs,” Ms Cross said.
“On behalf of NSW Health I would like to thank Keith, and the team at the Kiloh Centre, for their passion and foresight and for being the driving force behind this development.”
Mr Donnelly described the opening day as a “huge success” and was overwhelmed with the support shown by so many staff who also attended on the day.
“Most importantly our clients were blown away by the experience. Some clients said it was like a hotel, they had never seen anything like it, even better, they couldn’t believe it was all for free."
You can donate clothing, shoes and accessories by contacting Keith Donnelly on 0429 135 642 (9am to 5pm Monday-Friday) or email@example.com.