Gippsland Southern Health Service has a close to 100 volunteers that contribute to the health and wellbeing of our community. During National Volunteer Week 2019 we would like to take the opportunity to offer our many thanks and show our appreciation for the dedication and commitment of each and every one.
Our incredibly skilled and dedicated volunteers contribute thousands of unpaid hours each year to various programs and services at Gippsland Southern Health Service; from Residential Aged Care, Planned Activity Groups, Healthy Aging and Prevention of Injury groups, clients transport to appointments, chemotherapy, gardening and administration.
Laurie Arundle, a retired police officer, has been volunteering with the MATES group on a weekly basis since 2017. The group is for men who live independently in their home, offering recreation, laughter, activity, fun, food and most importantly, new friendships.
“In 2014 I was taken to Korumburra Hospital after suffering a massive heart attack on the side of the road in Korumburra, and the hospital virtually saved my life. I wanted to repay the hospital for their care, so decided to volunteer for them. I really enjoy interacting with clients and the various activities give me the opportunity to do just that”, says Laurie.
A measure cannot be placed on the impact these weekly support groups and the volunteers have on every individual client and our wider community. Laurie recounts, “I was on the bus with a few clients on an outing and a client who lives alone said that the program had changed his life; from one of being house bound to one of getting out again, with new found friends and being active”.
“I am 65 years old now and have worked since I was 17 in many roles, but mainly in supervision and coordinator roles. I spent 30 years as a police officer then my own tourism business. I decided I needed better work/ life balance and volunteering appealed to me. I made a lot of enquiries, but Gippsland Southern Health was my choice and it turned out to be the best one. I enjoy coming to the hospital and helping out with clients. I have always worked in a profession where helping people is the main objective, so helping people is in my makeup. I get a great deal of satisfaction assisting people (of different ages from different walks of life and different ethnic backgrounds) to have an enjoyable time when they are with us, and I get a kick out of seeing them laugh and get involved. My wife says it is the best move I have made as I come home with a smile on my face”.
Thank you and keep up the great work Laurie!
Gippsland Southern Health Service will be celebrating the contributions made by our volunteers on the Tuesday 21 May, at our annual Volunteer Week Morning tea. If you are interested in assisting with one of our programs at Gippsland Southern Health Service, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Jacoba Henning on (03) 5654 2738 or email Jacoba.firstname.lastname@example.org.