Maitland Woman of the Year

  • by Kate Bowman
  • March 20, 2024

Jenny has been a pioneer in the field of Palliative Care volunteering in Maitland for over 34 years. She was recently recognised as Local Woman of the Year at a ceremony run in conjunction with International Women’s Day.

Jenny was one of the first volunteers to undertake training and throughout her remarkable journey, she has consistently provided support to clients and their families without any breaks. Despite enduring the heartbreaking loss of her own husband to dementia, Jenny has remained steadfast in her commitment to helping others during their most challenging times.

Jenny works tirelessly for those in need and is actively caring for four clients and their families, dedicating over 30 hours each month to visiting them, accompanying them in the community, maintaining regular phone contact and supporting their family members. Jenny’s compassion and nurturing shines through in every selfless decision she makes, demonstrating her unwavering dedication to those she supports.

Jenny was a founding member of the service but by no means wants to take all the credit. She is quick to point out that without the lobbying of many others such as Kel Merriman, Peggy Franks, and Kathleen Wourth, the Maitland specialist palliative care service might not have eventuated when it did back in 1990.

“It’s important to give credit and recognition to the people who worked their insides out to get the palliative care service started for the people of Maitland,” says Jenny.

Jenny just loves people and the stories they tell. Two of her clients knew Jenny when she was a child, nursing her and giving her her dummy. She has had the privilege of taking care of them at the end of their lives.

“It’s an honour to care for people, especially when those people have cared for you. It’s an honour and a privilege, says Jenny.

“The greatest gift you can give another human being is your time”.

Thank you, Jenny for all your hard work and congratulations on your award. It is certainly well-earned.


Image (L to R) – Jenny Cridland with Volunteer Coordinator Amy O’Donnell and Board Member Kate McLaughlin (from Volunteers for Palliative Care Inc, Maitland)

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