Mater volunteer won’t let stroke get in the way of big birthday

For Thornlands great grandmother Linda Baldwin, Friday (9 September) was an extra special celebration for the stroke survivor who turned 80, and clocked up more than 15 years of service at Mater Private Hospital Redland.

“I was very lucky when I had my stroke just five months ago,” Mrs Baldwin said.

“I lost my speech and feeling in my left side but went to rehabilitation and now I’m all good.

“The doctors and nurses treated me like a Queen at Mater. I was back at work within four months.”

The great grandmother-of-six said her volunteer duties included helping to answer patient buzzers, filling up blanket warmers, putting bed socks on patients, as well as some paperwork and filing.

“As volunteers, we have lots to keep us busy. We do little things that can help the nurses,” Mrs Baldwin said.

Mrs Baldwin described Mater Private Hospital Redland as a “lovely place to work” and said her husband Jim, 82, volunteered twice a week at the concierge, helping with filing and paperwork.

“I really enjoy meeting patients and training new volunteers,” she said.

“Some patients don’t get visitors so it’s nice to hear about their background and history,” she said.

“We can really help brighten their day with a chat. I did a special course at Mater Hospital Brisbane which allows me to lend a hand in the maternity ward to mind bubs when their mums need a rest, or their partners need to get a coffee.”

Mrs Baldwin said age had no barriers when volunteering at the hospital.

“I would go everyday if I had the time,” she laughed.

“It’s such a wonderful experience and it keeps me active – I am not a couch lizard.

“I am quite active and like being that way.”

Mater Private Hospital Redland Volunteer Coordinator Priscilla Brown said Mrs Baldwin had volunteered at the hospital for 17 years.

“Everyone in the hospital knows Linda, she brings sunshine to the staff and patients when she is here twice a week,” Ms Brown said.

Ms Brown said a staff morning tea will be held on Tuesday for Mrs Baldwin to celebrate her milestone achievements.

Anyone interested in volunteering can email the Volunteer Coordinator via

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