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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 Mothers’ volunteer Lenore who works in the nurseries and wards with families and newborns.
Having a decade-long background working in paediatric surgical wards, and then volunteering at Royal Children’s Hospital Brisbane and Lady Cilento Hospital (now Queensland Children’s Hospital), as well having her very own two children and 6 grandchildren, Lenore has undoubtedly had her fair share of experience with babies and newborns.
“It’s just beautiful, it really is so uplifting working on the mothers’ ward. Being around babies all day is just beautiful!” Lenore explained.
“My previous roles were dealing with families with really unwell babies which was rewarding but a very different environment. It’s wonderful to be in at Mater Mothers’ in a really happy environment as most days, I get to be around happy families who are just thrilled to be welcoming healthy babies.”
“It doesn’t seem to matter if families are welcoming their first or their 10th baby, it is always so, so special for them.”
Lenore works an 8 am to 12 pm, 4-hour shift and says on an average shift she can complete a whole range of tasks mostly aimed at helping parents shortly after birth.
“My duties on the ward can be anything from helping a mum who has had a caesarean section pick up her baby from the crib because she can’t move around very much whilst she is recovering, through to getting a cup of water for parents or handing them their phone whilst they are trying to manage the reality of just having a new born,” Lenore explained.
“We don’t do any of the clinical tasks but the midwives are incredibly busy, so we answer the patient buzzers and can do all the little extras that take some of the pressure off them. I find that it is those simple things that all add up and can make a big difference to the overall experience for new parents and their babies.”
This year, Lenore is celebrating her 5 years of service with Mater and has been recognised in Mater’s Long Service Awards.
“It’s a really exciting thing for me, I can’t actually believe it has been 5 years! I just feel so blessed to be a part of the Mater Mothers’ team, it’s just a magical being around babies all the time.”
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