Celebrating International Volunteer Day

11/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 Paul who has been volunteering with Mater for the past three and a half years.

Paul is a self-described work-a-holic who struggled with the idea retirement, after leaving a senior marketing role in a large company he felt he needed to keep himself busy.

He ran into a Mater team member at his local shopping centre who informed him of the need for new volunteers at Springfield, so Paul decided to volunteer in hospital admissions.

“I started here in hospital admissions where I would help the staff with general administration duties, greet patients as they came into the hospital and walk them to their appointments,” Paul said.

“After a while I approached the Nurse Unit Manager of the Cancer Care Centre to see if there were any positions available to volunteer there as well and fortunately there were. Now I spread my time across both departments.

“The Cancer Care Centre was close to my heart as I lost my father to cancer and I know it’s a disease that impacts so many people not just the patient. I hope I can have a positive impact while I am there while making the nurses lives a little easier.”

Paul said he enjoys working in the Cancer Care Centre and said it’s all about perspective with the patients.

“People are normally very nervous when it’s their first time in there, we try out best to put them at ease. I had one patient come in who was very sad at her first appointment, I told her we were all friends here and this was a happy place, it totally changed her perspective,” Paul said.

“The volunteers also play an incredibly important role of supporting the family and loved ones of the patients as well. Many of them are also struggling with what is happening and they find it good to have someone to talk to about their experience.

“You go home feeling good at the end of the day knowing you have made a difference. I feel like I am making a positive impact in the community, the comradeship of the volunteers here is amazing, we are all such good friends.”

Paul encourages others to get out and give volunteering a go saying you’ll never know what you can do unless you try.

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

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