Christchurch father helps sick kids to smile again

Thursday April 26, 2012

​Christchurch father Kelly Dugan has founded Smile Dial, a project to put smiles on sick kid's dials at Christchurch Hospital.

Kelly and his partner Lucy Styles' child Lucia was born last September with several health complications, requiring long hospital stays and ongoing treatment for the rest of her life.

The family have spent many hours and weeks at Christchurch Hospital and noticed some of the areas in the Paediatrics Department needed brightening up.

Kelly says Smile Dial came about because he wanted to make a difference to the hospital to create a more pleasant environment for families and patients.

"There are many parts of the children's ward that could be made more exciting and engaging. I have been working with Christchurch Hospital staff to highlight priority areas needing a fresh coat of paint, bright artwork and toys and entertainment for the children and parents."

The first Smile Dial project is underway and close to completion. Artist Shaugn Briggs has painted an enchanting mural in the waiting area using paints supplied by Paint Tech and donated lights from Lighting Plus Moorhouse Avenue, while award winning artist Ruth Killoran has donated a beautiful painting for display. 

Kelly is currently in the process of trying to find sponsorship for the next project for quirky local artist Tony Cribb to paint a hallway of the children's wards with a 'teenage' inspired theme.

Robyn Richens, Charge Nurse Manager Children's Ward 22, says the projects Kelly has helped initiate have made a big difference to the department.

"The work that Kelly has organised and the painting by Shaugn Briggs has really brightened up what was a rather dull and uninspiring area," Robyn says.

"The painting of the little girl and the butterflies has become a talking point and we are all keen to see this area improved further. We are grateful to Kelly and Shaugn for their work so far."

Anyone keen to assist Kelly can contact him through the Facebook Smile Dial page. Facebook.com/smiledial.

Page last reviewed: 24 July 2013
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