MENDING pyjamas and patching sheets was once the cornerstone of the work of the pearl-wearing ladies of Singleton Hospital Auxiliary.
When it was established in 1932 the local women would come together to do the handiwork needed to keep the rural hospital going.
Eighty years later its members are still supporting the medical outpost but these days it is through fundraising.
It held a special dinner this year to mark its anniversary.
Through its humble shopping centre raffles, golf days, fete and dinners the group raises between $10,000 and $12,000 each year.
Clinical Nurse Manager Ann Relf said the auxiliary had raised more than $200,000 for the hospital in the past decade.
They have helped the hospital buy equipment ranging from a patient defibrillator to baby pulse oxymeter.
Money raised this year will go towards the hospital’s emergency department upgrade.
Vera Smith has been volunteering at the hospital for more than 40 years, 15 as auxiliary president.
The auxiliary has about 24 members, some aged up to 95.
‘‘I started off when my mother was in hospital and I used to take them cups of tea,’’ she said.
‘‘I enjoy it, it’s just the satisfaction of helping others.’
While it could be a struggle to attract new members she was optimistic about the group’s future.
‘‘The community is very supportive,’’ she said.