A lot has changed in the last two years, but the enthusiasm of our dedicated volunteers has remained the same.
Today, our volunteers are feeling the extra love on Valentine’s Day, as we welcome them back onsite throughout the week, after a long two years without seeing their happy faces filling the hospital halls and wards.
COVID-19 forced on-site volunteer activity to cease, and so we looked for ways volunteers could continue to support our health service in a virtual way.
Volunteers continued to assist Northern Health from afar, through the How-R-U telephone social support program – which offers participants weekly social support via a telephone call provided by a Northern Health volunteer, preparing specimen collection bags for our COVID-19 testing clinics, carrying out administration tasks from home and making hand-crafted items that were given to patients or used to support fundraising effort for Northern Health Foundation. Our Community Visitor Scheme Program, where volunteers visit lonely and isolated residents in aged care facilities was also affected during COVID-19 and our volunteers are looking forward to when they can recommence face-to-face visits.
Mandy Davis, Volunteer, is eager to be back, proudly wearing her volunteer shirt.
“I am so happy to be back after two years and I am loving every minute of it,” she said.
“I have missed the other volunteers. Everyone has remembered me and it’s been so nice having everyone coming up and welcoming me back. I am looking forward to being able to help people and be the best that I can.”
During their time apart from each other, Mandy made sure she remained connected to fellow volunteers.
“I have quite a few volunteers on Messenger and Facebook and we have kept in touch. On Facebook, I have always done a morning check in on the volunteers, to let me know they are okay,” Mandy said.
Henni Wade, Manager Volunteer Services, said it was wonderful to have volunteers back on site today.
“I don’t know who was more excited – us or the volunteers!” she said.
“We celebrated with a glass of bubbles (lemonade in champagne glasses) and, as it is Valentine’s Day, we gave the volunteers a single stemmed rose. We love our volunteers, so quite fitting they returned on Valentine’s Day!”
Featured image: Volunteers Simone McAlly and Mandy Davis