Charity wool auction targeting $300,000 for seriously ill kids

Quality Wool's NSW Operations Manager Chris Scott (Parkes – left) and Area Manager Anthony Windus (far right) presenting a cheque to Ray Finn and Belinda Woolford of Ronald McDonald House Westmead after last year’s charity wool drive.

QUALITY Wool will look to pass $300,000 in total donations to Ronald McDonald House (RMH) Westmead when it holds its annual charity wool auction in Melbourne next week.

Almost 70 bales (in 29 lots) will go under the hammer next Wednesday at the Australian Wool Handlers auction centre, with proceeds from the sale to benefit seriously ill children attending the Children’s Hospital Westmead.

Coordinated by Quality Wool’s NSW Operations Manager Chris Scott, this year’s campaign saw growers donating wool from throughout the state’s Riverina and Central and Western regions.

Now in its sixth year, Quality’s charity wool drive has raised $225,000 for RMH Westmead since the inaugural auction in 2013.

With the wool market delivering prices above 2000 cents per kilogram in recent weeks, it’s hoped this year’s auction will push the company’s total donation figure past $300,000.

RMH Westmead provides a “home away from home’’ for families with children who either require medical attention or to attend appointments at the Children’s Hospital Westmead.

Earlier this year, an entirely new $34 million RMH facility opened on the grounds of the Children’s Hospital, which RMH Westmead Executive Officer Belinda Woolford said was “almost three times the size of our previous house”.

“Opening just three months ago, we are almost full every night which shows the urgent need for families in these communities,” she said.

“The funds raised from the wool auction will allow us to continue to support and house these families for as little as one night, to a week or even months at a time”.

The facility’s larger capacity has increased the number of families using it from 18 at a time to 60, alleviating issues which saw 400 families turned away in 2017 due to RMH Westmead being full.