Papanui Club Chat Snippets
19 Apr 2022
Yvonne Hiskemuller
We were delighted to have Yvonne Hiskemuller, Chair of the Rotary Community Breast Milk Bank who we supported with funds raised from our Trailer Raffle, join with Liz Courtney at last week’s Zoom meeting to give us more insight into how this valued service came about, what it offers and how it operates.
The aim of the Milk Bank is to provide easily accessible, short term donor breast milk to mothers while they establish their own milk supply. The donated breast milk is frozen, pasteurised, checked and given to parents and caregivers free of charge.
The WHO notes that donor milk is 2nd only to real milk, and recommends that it should be made available to everyone who needs it.  Often referred to as liquid gold, it stops a large number of potential issues by helping to protect the immune system which gives women time to produce their own milk.
In 2015, one of the reasons Yvonne and Liz initially started this as a project to attract women to Rotary.  It took 4 ½ years, which included bringing the DHB on board, to get it started for free.
Four Rotary Clubs supported the project financially and it needed the raising of $30,000 to get it up and running and since 2019 it has helped 1,800 families and babies.
A partnership with St Georges has been in operation for over three years with the hospital giving the service rooms from which to run the service.  “In addition, with many other supports in place, we can offer a Gold Service in maternity care” noted Yvonne.
Milk is expressed, pasteurised (which takes 6 hours to complete), and then frozen. The use of the final product helps meet the needs of women in the community to give their babies the best start in life. 
While other services are often in hospitals, this service is different in that it is the only one in a community centre and the future with St Georges is stable because they are an independent provider.
Also, the service offered here is open to anyone whereas others are often more focussed and therefore are not as all-encompassing with respect to the protection offered which includes “mother to mother” support.
The service also offers a Facebook page which often attracts users of the service to look at becoming donors themselves.  After suitable screening those chosen are then sent a kit to do this.
In order to keep the service going, the milk bank needs to raise $30,000 annually.  One of the best aspects of the service is that they can support mothers for a longer period of time than many other services which makes a real difference in assisting with the bonding process plus it also reduces post-natal depression noted Yvonne.
In closing, Yvonne shared that they are very proud that theirs is a Rotary project as they have a huge need for ongoing fundraising.
We thanked Liz for arranging for Yvonne to join us and the valuable work they both do to help promote, support and maintain this much needed service.
This Thursday the 21st of April sees us returning to the Papanui Club at the usual time where our speaker for the occasion is our own aviator extraordinaire Keith Mitchell who will be giving us some insights into his extensive experience in the aviation industry.
Please remember to make sure you email Deryn via if you are not coming. 
Aratupu – Ready for Action!
Last Saturday saw an enthusiastic number of Rotarians attend a working bee at the Aratupu Preschool where we completed a range of tasks including weeding, tree trimming and a general tidy-up of the garden area.
Many thanks to all who helped on the day which we hope will support the ongoing use and enjoyment of this area for the children, parents, staff and visitors.
Zonta Sale Info from Liz
After speaking with Cheryl and sending through information to my PI group, we would like to ask all our Rotarian partners and women Rotarians to collect up any unwanted handbags and scarves to donate to ZONTA. 
They are having a sale to raise funds for a local charity called "Project Esther" which provides wrap around support for women in crisis and "Grandparents Raising Grandchildren". 
This could give our club the opportunity to raise its profile in the local community. I will talk to the ZONTA group to see if we can partner with them and put up posters in local shops in Papanui to advertise this sale if they give us permission to do this.
Details of this event are:
Wanted: Pre-Loved Handbags for our “Famous Pre-Loved Handbag Sale
The Zonta Club of Christchurch-Canterbury fundraiser event happens every two years and the next eagerly awaited sale is on Saturday 2nd July at the St Albans Community Centre,
We need lots of handbags, all shapes and sizes, colours and styles, in good clean condition.  Donate those handbags you no longer use or don’t like anymore or if you are just needing to make room for new handbags.
We also love to sell scarves and belts plus this year we would like to include special occasion hats - if you have any of these languishing in your wardrobe we would love to find them a new home too.
Zonta is an international organisation for women who work in various ways to raise the status of women wordwide.
Our motto is: Empowering Women through Service & Advocacy.
We do this by fundraising for charitable organisations, service, advocacy, education and fellowship.
By donating to our Handbag sale you are helping us raise funds for our local charities “Project Esther” who provides wrap-around support for women in crisis and “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren”.
For pick up or delivery details phone Catherine 021 2133713 or email
We recently gave three Pak N Save Vouchers to the Principal, Mike Anderson, of Waimairi School.  They were gratefully received and he rang Liz to say “Thank You” to the Club.
Food for Thought