By Eden Hynninen

The Country Women’s Association Central Highlands Group has raised close to $5500 to support family accommodation for regional patients at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne.

The group made a decision at their annual general meeting in February to donate to upgrade one of their 16 accommodation units on Grattan Street that did not meet accommodation standards.

The Central Highlands Group consists of 12 branches and more than 160 women across the Macedon Ranges stretching right up to Heathcote and down to Sunbury.

Representatives of the group met with RWH staff to present the cheque at their Romsey branch on Wednesday.

Group president of CWA Central Highlands Amanda Millar said the idea came from one of her members whose family had received cancer treatment at the RWH and needed accommodation.

“We felt that this was a very practical way for us to support families and particularly having somewhere close to the hospital for them to stay helps remove one further anxiety from those families at a time of need,” she said.

“The accommodation priority is for those travelling a long distance to the hospital in Melbourne.”

RWH co-ordinator family accommodation services Karalene Habib said she was speechless when she first found out about the donation.

“We’ve organised for the flat to be painted and we’ve purchased four sofa beds along with heaters,” she said.

“It makes patients – who live 100 kilometres or more out of Melbourne – feel at ease to have somewhere to stay with their loved ones close by.

“Today we met with the Central Highlands group for lunch. It was lovely, they definitely know how to put on a spread.”

Ms Millar said the group was involved in raising funds for a vast number of causes across the region.

“The CWA is renowned for raising funds and supporting the community, particularly women, children and families in regional areas,” she said.

“This project will benefit regional families right across Victoria, so we’re all really proud of that.”

More information on the Country Women’s Authority and how to join can be found at: