The Far West Local Health District (FWLHD) expressed gratitude and appreciation for the work and contributions of its volunteers to various areas. They were recognized and thanked with a morning tea at the Broken Hill Health Service last Friday, coinciding with National Volunteer Week.
The event provided an opportunity for FWLHD to bring together its numerous volunteers who contribute to the organization and community in various ways. This includes hospital kiosk staff and those who visit patients in different care groups. Members of the Broken Hill Health Council, who actively participate in engaging with consumers, were also present and honored during the event.
Jan Pearce, FWLHD Acting Deputy Director of Nursing, praised the incredible dedication of the health service volunteers. She highlighted their amazing efforts, such as the revenue generated by the kiosk, which is used to purchase equipment for patients. Pearce also mentioned the invaluable support provided by palliative care volunteers who engage patients in games and other activities.
“Our palliative care volunteers that help our patients down on the ward, they play games with them, do other activities. They’re just an amazing group”, FWLHD Acting Deputy Director of Nursing, Jan Pearce, told the Barrier Truth.
The range of services provided by each volunteer varies greatly, as does their motivation for joining FWLHD. However, a common sentiment among them is the rewarding nature of their work. Debbie Higgs, a seven-year volunteer with the Dementia, Delirium, and Palliative Care team, emphasized the importance of visiting individuals who may not receive regular visitors. She expressed satisfaction in being able to bring joy to patients, including those from White Cliffs, Menindee, Wilcannia, and locals waiting for nursing home placements.
Vivienne Deguomois, who has been with the Dementia, Delirium, and Palliative Care team for five months, mentioned that she enjoys volunteering because it leaves patients feeling uplifted. She shared her personal motivation for joining palliative care, as her experiences in the outback and family history of cancer compelled her to contribute to the cause.
“I joined up palliative care because I lived in the outback, and I was an ambo volunteer. So, when I moved into town, I sort of didn’t have much to do. And a lot of my family have had cancer, or I’ve lost them through cancer so I thought I would do something, put something back into it”, she told us.
Higgs emphasized the ongoing need for more volunteers and expressed appreciation for their invaluable support. She noted the rewarding experience for both volunteers and patients, with patients’ faces lighting up upon receiving a visit.
If you are interested in volunteering with FWLHD, please contact Corina Kemp, Executive Manager of Aboriginal Health, and Community Relations, at 08 8080 1512 or via email at [email protected].