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Jean our Broken Hill "Battler"

Tuesday, 22nd March, 2011

WORTHY RECIPIENT: SCC chairman Bob Johnson (left) hands the keys to Jean Sanderson, the winner of the Broken Hill Battler competition. Mrs Sanderson is pictured with her nieces, Christine Spangler and Karen Fenton, daughter Diane Robinson, and SCC CEO Allan Carter. WORTHY RECIPIENT: SCC chairman Bob Johnson (left) hands the keys to Jean Sanderson, the winner of the Broken Hill Battler competition. Mrs Sanderson is pictured with her nieces, Christine Spangler and Karen Fenton, daughter Diane Robinson, and SCC CEO Allan Carter.

By Kurtis Eichler

After being widowed 12 months ago, Jean Sanderson was overjoyed when she found out that she would be moving into a renovated War Veterans' unity.

Mrs Sanderson was the winner of Southern Cross Care's search for a local "battler" to receive free entry into one of the newly refurbished War Veterans' units.

She will move out of her home of 49 years in May, and told the BDT yesterday that she'll miss the house that her children grew up in.

"All the memories in the home, but you can take them with you," Mrs Sanderson said yesterday. "But the house was too big."

The 79-year-old had broken her arm and hip trying to negotiate the steps and do maintenance to her Jones Street home.

She said she had met several people who will be living at the renovated War Vets' units and was interested in playing lawn bowls.

Mrs Sanderson's daughter, Diane Robinson, said the move wasn't only good for her mother, but for her too.

"It's going to feel a lot better knowing she'll be in this place," Ms Robinson said.

"She doesn't need nursing home care or anything like that."

Her niece, Christine Spangler, acknowledged that the move from a large home to a small flat was a "big" one.

Southern Cross Care's (SCC) chairman, Bob Johnson, said Mrs Sanderson gained the most votes from the panel of selectors in their assessments of the nominees.

"There is no doubt about it that Jean was a really appropriate recipient," he said yesterday.

The happy new resident also listed some of the benefits of living in the new area such as the close proximity to the hospital and doctors' surgery, and being closer to her nieces.

The SCC started the search for a battler in January by asking the public to nominate a local who deserved the prize.

More than 10 battlers were nominated for the chance to have the $10,000 fee to enter the village waived as a reward to their contribution to the community.

Mrs Sanderson thanked the SCC for holding the competition, and her family for giving her a chance at a fresh start.

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