After a well-deserved three-week break from supporting our health service, our dedicated volunteers have returned to duty for 2023.
Henni Wade, Manager of Volunteer Services, said there was much excitement in the volunteer room this week, with volunteers sharing their holiday adventures, showing off new hair-cuts, and catching up on news.
“It was like the first day back at school,” Henni said.
“Giving back to their local health service and knowing they contribute in a meaningful way is one of the main reasons our volunteers tell us they support us. Volunteering can be life changing and often life-saving.”
Our volunteers help our health service in many different ways. They assist with administration tasks, such as putting packs together for distribution, helping with mail-outs, re-stocking and sorting tasks, guiding and patient visiting. They also cuddle babies, drive patients to appointments, make items to be sold in the Busy Fingers Shop at Bundoora Centre or Foundation Shop at Northern Hospital Epping, and help with fundraising events.
The volunteers also support the How-R-U Telephone Support Program – an important program that offers weekly social support, for people who live alone, via a telephone call.
The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) is also another program our volunteers are proud to be a part of. The CVS program provides friendship and companionship by matching volunteers with aged care residents who are isolated or at risk of social isolation or loneliness.
With Natalia Dewiyani now in the role of Spiritual Care Coordinator, the Spiritual Care Volunteer Program, which has been on hold for a few years due to COVID-19 and changes in staffing, has been reinstated.
Despite the many challenges presented by the pandemic, the enthusiasm of our volunteers has remained the same. COVID-19 forced on-site volunteer activity to cease for much of 2020 and 2021. Volunteers continued to assist Northern Health from their homes during this time. But that all changed in 2022, when on-site volunteering returned, and we could witness our volunteers proudly donning their blue vests with a smile.