Well-chosen words in Otago waiting rooms

Patients who like a few well-chosen words to help the medicine go down are in luck in many Dunedin doctors' surgeries.

The latest edition of Otago Poems in the Waiting Room cards has just been printed, and funding for the project is much more secure following recent publicity by the Otago Daily Times.

Up until now, Dunedin poet Ruth Arnison, who edits the free takeaway poetry cards which are to be distributed four times a year to waiting rooms mostly in Dunedin and Balclutha, has had to rely on funding from the United Kingdom.

The $1000 to establish the project last year came from the Beatrice Trust, a charitable trust connected with founder of the 10-year-old United Kingdom Poems in the Waiting Room, Michael Lee.

Mrs Arnison's approaches to local businesses had drawn a blank until publicity about the project last month.

The response had been great, she said.

Funding totalling $900 from the Janet Frame Literary Trust, an individual sponsor and the Dunedin City Council had now been secured.

In addition, law firm Gallaway Cook Allan has offered to carry out the work required to register the project as a charity, which is expected to make it easier to seek grant money to expand the project.

Well Dunedin Primary Health Organisation is also working with Mrs Arnison on a sponsorship deal which would apply to cards for its 24 surgeries.

This week, Mrs Arnison has been delivering the 500 autumn copies of the cards already printed.

Several surgeries had run out last time, she said.

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