Health campaigner Melissa Vining disgusted after person allegedly uses Southland Charity Hospital's name in scam attempt

Health campaigner Melissa Vining says she's disgusted after someone allegedly used the name of the Southland Charity Hospital trying to scam someone.

Facility founder Vining alleged in a Facebook post someone created a letter with the Southland Charity Hospital's logo attempting to obtain goods from a member of the community.

Vining created the hospital with her late husband and cancer care campaigner Blair Vining, who was behind the idea. Blair Vining lost his own battle with cancer in 2019.

In her Facebook post, Melissa said the alleged scam attempt was "disgusting".

"They have effectively attempted to steal from the entire Otago and Southland community," she wrote.

Melissa said the community had worked tirelessly to get the hospital off the ground.

"To think someone would try and benefit themselves using everyone's hard work is despicable.

"It could also leave the hospital vulnerable to people being apprehensive… giving in the future if they were burned by a fraudster, many community groups have run their own fundraisers and without them, the hospital wouldn’t be possible.  

"If people are concerned about the legitimacy of a fundraiser for the Southland Charity Hospital they can contact

"To the fraudster, you are a despicable low life to steal from such a beautiful community effort."

Melissa told The Southland Times the alleged scam had been reported to the police.

Construction on the Southland Charity Hospital - part of Blair Vining's dream to make health care accessible and equitable for all New Zealanders - began nearly a year ago to the day.

It's hoped the hospital would be open by the middle of this year.