Westmead volunteers back in action and serving Western Sydney

Westmead Hospital volunteers Victor Calandruccio, Marilyn Calandruccio and Ben Westerbrink.

Westmead Hospital volunteers are gradually returning to the hospital after a year’s absence since the COVID-19 outbreak began in 2020.

Buggy drivers and way-finders have been the first groups who have returned to the hospital, providing assistance to people accessing the Central Acute Services Building at Westmead Hospital.

The volunteers will return throughout the year for safety reasons to allow their tasks to be reviewed and to check that COVID-19 safety plans are being followed.

Westmead Hospital corporate services director Renata Melan said the dedicated volunteers have helped patients, visitors and staff for more than 40 years and have been really missed during their absence.

“Their commitment and valuable contributions to the organisation has been unwavering and it’s lovely to welcome them back to Westmead Hospital” Renata said.

Volunteer hospital guide Ben Westerbrink who normally woke up at the crack of dawn for his volunteer duties found himself sleeping in during the COVID pandemic.

Providing directions and escorting people to their destinations is something that Ben really enjoys. When he was away from the hospital he spent his time working on the garden and even treated himself to a holiday once the COVID restrictions eased in November.

“I’m delighted to be back at work because people are really friendly and appreciate what I do to help them,” Ben said.

Westmead Hospital has a volunteer workforce of 80 people who provide more than 20 services to the wards and departments.

Some services include assisting visitors in the Intensive Care Unit, basic administration duties, Justice of the Peace services and fundraising.

If you are interested in volunteering at Westmead Hospital, send an email to WSLHD-WSTM-VOL@health.nsw.gov.au or call 02 8890 9046.