Battery man donation sparks up children’s ward

By Liz Mellino

Goulburn Valley Health's children's ward will be better equipped thanks to a donation of more than $91 000 from 'battery man' Paul Archer.

For nine years, Mr Archer has been collecting batteries from around Victoria to raise funds through the Give Me Five for Kids foundation.

Mr Archer launched his new charity Batteries 4 Cash 4 Kids yesterday while presenting a cheque for $91 621, raised in the past year, to GV Health's children's ward.

All the funds raised by Batteries 4 Cash 4 Kids will go towards the children's ward, with the money being used to purchase iPads, toys and upgraded medical equipment.

Mr Archer said he started collecting batteries almost a decade ago after learning about the effects of lead poisoning.

"Give Me 5 For Kids were doing all the work trying to raise money for the local children's hospital and I thought 'what can I do? I haven't got any money'," he said.

"Then I saw a program on the Discovery Channel about lead and I just love scrap metal, so I decided I would go with that and we got it started."

Mr Archer raised more than $3000 in the first year and this number quickly grew to now having raised more than $500,000.

Mr Archer said he presented two cheques to GV Health each year - a yearly total and a Christmas bonus, which is used to purchase presents for the children.

GV Health clinical director of pediatrics Dan Garrick thanked Mr Archer for his support over the years, saying the money would be spent on necessary equipment and supplies.

"Through a committee we identify what are the key areas where we need to develop care in, specifically around children and their wellbeing, things that are necessary to keep kids and families comfortable and improve their wellbeing through their hospital visit," he said.