Celebrating International Volunteer Day

10/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 Private Hospital Springfield volunteer Maree who has been volunteering with Mater for the past twelve months.

Maree is a registered nurse with a background in reflexology and aromatherapy, she has recently been reducing her hours at work and was looking for a way to give back to her community in her newly found free time.

She decided to volunteer as a hand and foot masseuse in the Cancer Care Centre which was the perfect fit for Maree’s skillset and said it is a privilege to help people going through cancer treatment.

“I feel that touch is so important for people and with massage it’s a very gentle appropriate way you can make human contact. I like to make the patients feel special, when they first come in I say hello and make them something to drink and ask them how they are going,” Maree said.

“All our patients are amazing; the massages are really special and it’s something they all look forward to. I move around the room going from person to person listening to their stories and making them laugh.

“The volunteers are able to provide a safe and non-judgemental space for the patients to talk about whatever is on their mind, have a laugh or a cry. As they continue to come back for treatment we get to know them really well.”

Maree said the hardest part of 2020 was the suspension of volunteer services during the pandemic as she was not able to see the patients.

“It was a very difficult time, but the day we came back into the hospital you could just see their faces light up, they were so happy to see us and we were so happy to be back. That has been the best day I have had at Mater so far,” Maree said.

“The Cancer Care Centre is a special place; the unit is amazing the staff here are incredible. I think cancer is a subject that brings people together, it has touched so many people’s lives through friends, family or even themselves.

“It is truly a privilege to be able to offer a small relief and distraction to these patients who are fighting such a huge battle. I am truly in awe of them.”

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

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