Better Together: National Volunteer Week

May 17, 2022

This week is National Volunteer Week, the country’s largest annual celebration of volunteering, and a chance for us to recognise the vital work of volunteers.

Our Northern Health volunteers play an important role at the health service. They are always there to offer their assistance with a friendly smile and are always a welcoming presence

The theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week is ‘Better Together’. Volunteering brings people together, it builds communities and creates a better society for everyone. Today, our volunteers came together at a picnic to celebrate their amazing work.

2022 is a special year for one of our volunteers. Kerry Wall is marking 40 years of volunteering service at Bundoora Centre.

Together with other volunteers, Kerry has worked tirelessly at the Busy Fingers Shop, keeping it stocked with a variety of items. She is also the president of the shop, and has been for 12 years. Most of the goodies in the shops are handcrafted by volunteers and proceeds from the sale of these items have enabled the purchase of essential medical equipment for our wards.

The Busy Fingers Shop has donated over $2 million to Bundoora Centre, which includes over $200,000 for life-changing equipment for the health service over recent years.

“Volunteering became part of my life. You have to live for today and I have just done many of them. You take the opportunities as they present themselves to you and work the hardest you can at it,” Kerry said.

“A truly amazing and significant contribution that needs to be acknowledged,” said Henni Wade, Volunteer Services Manager.

Kerry’s mother and father were also Northern Health volunteers, dating right back to the beginning of Bundoora Centre. Between the three of them, they have clocked up over 110 years of service.

“We feel privileged to have had Kerry and her family support Northern Health for such a significant period of time,” said Christine McGowan, Volunteer Coordinator at Bundoora Centre.

The Volunteer team is looking forward to the reopening of the Busy Fingers Shop, after closing its doors due to COVID-19 restrictions. Northern Health also recently welcomed back our volunteers back on-site, after the pandemic restricted on-site volunteering.

Henni said the 2022 National Volunteer Week of ‘Better Together’ was fitting when talking about our volunteers.

“They make our workplace better by supporting us in lots of different ways. I love watching our guides interact with our visitors, showing interest in their journeys and making them feel welcome,” she said.

“I also love the buzz of the volunteer tearoom where volunteers work together to busily prepare packs for different wards or are doing other admin tasks while sharing stories of what has been happening. The volunteers are like a family, supporting eachother through tough times, looking out for each other and sharing fun times.”

Natalie Carroll, who now coordinates the How-R-U Social Support Program,  and Monica Polimeni, Community Visitor Scheme Program Coordinator, thanked the volunteers who used their time to make regular contact with vulnerable community members, especially during the pandemic.

Featured image (L-R): Natalie Carroll, Volunteer Coordinator with Kerry Wall, Volunteer.