This Thursday 5 December is International Volunteer Day.
Palliative Care volunteers provide crucial support for people with a life-limiting illness, their families and carers. Across NSW, there are over 1600 active palliative care volunteers working in hospitals, in the community, in paediatric care and in residential aged care facilities.
They can provide social support, carer respite, grief and bereavement support, complimentary therapies, produce biographies, help with transport and outings or they can just be good company.
Volunteers are dedicated to their roles often staying in them for years. They bring light to end of life care. And we are all very grateful for their efforts.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the palliative care volunteers in NSW and highlight a couple of special people whose efforts really stood out this year.
Ansia, Volunteer Hairdresser with Easter, the Therapy Chicken – Concord Centre for Palliative Care
Jacquie Martinez, Palliative Care Volunteer Coordinator at Concord Hospital tells us about one of her special volunteers:
“Our dedicated volunteer Hairdresser not only brightens patients days by giving them beautiful cuts, styles and blow waves but also by her accompanying Therapy Chicken!
Easter visits our ward weekly with her colourful hair and lovely nature she is happy to sit on patient’s laps or beds whilst they are having their hair done and is always a hit.
Ansia our hairdresser is an animal lover and Easter is her beloved Chicken. The patients and their families now ask “when is the chicken coming back?!” Ansia loves to dress Easter in different outfits from golden coats to colourful skirts.
How wonderful it is when patients and their families are so pleasantly surprised and laughter fills the ambience in our palliative care ward.
Volunteers are priceless…..”
Tracey Dolamore, Volunteer – Broken Hill Community Palliative Care service.
For International Volunteers Day 2019, Volunteer Coordinator Janet Pearce wanted to recognise Tracey’s valuable contribution to her team:
“By arrangement volunteer Tracey met sons Paul and Richard with their 99 year old Mum at the Democratic Club on Tuesday for lunch. The boys and Mum enjoyed their meal with Tracey who assisted their Mum to eat and drink over an hour or so. After Paul and Richard ate they went out of sight to relax and have a break, popping back every 20 mins to check everything was okay. Tracey said their Mum really enjoyed the outing. Richard said “it was the first time they had been out for a meal since Mum had been sick”. They were very appreciative.”