Celebrating International Volunteer Day

04/Dec/2020     Mater Group

International Volunteer Day (5 December) is held each year to raise awareness on the important role volunteers play in responding to challenges facing the world, and here at Mater volunteers play an integral role in providing care and support to patients.

In recognition of this year’s International Volunteer Day, we heard from Mater Hospital Brisbane Volunteer Joan who works in the Transit Lounge and is celebrating 25 years of volunteering with Mater.

Joan says she has enjoyed every minute of her time at Mater and feels privileged to make a positive impact in people’s lives during what can be a difficult and stressful time.

“I began working at Mater four years after I retired, I answered an ad to work in the Respite Centre which was very different back then. It was mostly cancer patients in the centre and sadly they were quite unwell,” Joan said.

“We used to make them cups of tea, have a chat and do what we could to make them feel better. The Respite Centre changed, and we started seeing different types of patients come through which was lovely.

 “After 12 years of volunteering there I spoke with a registered nurse who was looking for volunteers in the Transit Lounge, so I gladly moved across there. It has been a wonderful experience being here, and no two days are the same.”

Joan says patients come through the Transit Lounge waiting to be taken to different areas of the hospital, her role is to keep them occupied and comfortable.

“They might be quite nervous about having a procedure done or sad about being unwell, I like to make them a cuppa and have a chat about what’s troubling them, patients can really open up to us,” Joan said.

“The 25 years have gone by so quickly, I have had such a wonderful time and made so many friends in the team of volunteers.”

When she’s not volunteering Joan likes to play tennis, lawn bowls, crochet and spend time with her three children, two grandchildren and three great grandchildren. 

To find out more about volunteering at Mater please contact 07 3163 8599 or email volunteers@mater.org.au

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