The world’s biggest pyjama party could be happening in South Auckland this winter, thanks to the Jammies in June campaign.
Run by the Middlemore Foundation, Jammies in June aims to ensure children living in cold, damp conditions in South Auckland are as warm as possible during the colder months. The project runs from now through to the end of winter, with most donated ‘jammies’ collected in the month of June.
The initiative to improve health outcomes for local children needs 40,000 pairs of pyjamas to keep disadvantaged kids snug this winter. While the PJs may not all be worn at once, that’s still more than 10 times the number of people at the Guinness World Records’ largest pyjama party in England in 2014.
Six-year-old Aaron from Edmund Hillary School in Papakura was one of the recipients of last year’s Jammies in June and says, “My pyjamas are big just like me because I am big too. I am going to wear them every night.”
Tui, also aged six, said, “My pyjamas have love hearts and they are colourful. The pyjamas smell nice and smooth.”
Middlemore Foundation Chief Executive Sandra Geange says about 125,000 children live in Counties Manukau and 48% of them live in areas of high socio-economic deprivation. “Inadequate housing increases a child’s risk of admittance to hospital for preventable diseases like pneumonia, meningococcal disease and Acute Rheumatic Fever, a disease usually only found in Third World countries which is prevalent in our area. Each year 6,000 children are admitted to hospital in South Auckland as a result of living in cold, damp houses during the winter months.”
For the one in two South Auckland children living in poverty, a pair of their own warm winter PJs is not a given during the colder months. The Jammies in June project is now in its sixth year and has so far given away 60,500 pairs of pyjamas to children living in disadvantaged communities around South Auckland. Last year over 13,600 new and pre-loved pyjamas were donated by businesses and individuals and over $26,000 was raised. The donated money is used to buy more pyjamas, blankets, socks and slippers and distributed to children in the community.
“Too many children in South Auckland already live in impoverished, damp environments, causing many of them to fall ill during the winter months and end up in hospital with preventable diseases such as Rheumatic Fever. The Middlemore Foundation wants to see this number go down during Jammies in June once children receive a much-needed extra layer of warmth to see them through the coldest months,” says Sandra Geange.
How to donate pyjamas to ‘Jammies in June’:
Jammies in June accepts new and used flannelette pyjamas and any other warm sleep attire – including onesies – for children aged between 0 to 18 years. This year they especially need pyjamas for babies aged 0-2, and children aged 12 and above. Adult-sized pyjamas are also useful for children in their late teens. Monetary donations are also appreciated.
Pyjamas can be posted to: Middlemore Hospital, Inwards Goods c/o – Middlemore Foundation, 100 Hospital Road, Otahuhu, Auckland 2025. Alternatively, donors can arrange a time to drop them off at the Colvin Complex at Middlemore Hospital or at one of the Auckland drop-off points (see website for details of drop-off points).