Special salute to the volunteers of Western Sydney Local Health District

Westmead Hospital general manager Janelle Matic, Vijay (volunteer), Westmead Hospital director corporate services Renata Melan, Westmead Hospital volunteer Vera Critchley and Westmead and Auburn hospitals volunteer services manager Catherine Enright.

It’s National Volunteer Week and the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is celebrating more than 200 volunteers who work tirelessly and devote their time and energy to helping others.

At Westmead Hospital, a special morning tea was held to say thank you to their volunteer team.

Volunteer Manager at Westmead and Auburn hospitals, Catherine Enright, delivered a proud message saying, “Volunteer Week is a special opportunity to say thank you to all volunteers for your time, energy and dedication so generously given.

”I always ask volunteers why they want to volunteer and consistently two of the core reasons are to help others and to give back to the community,” said Catherine.

This is so evident in everything you do.”

– Catherine Enright

In the last three months at Westmead Hospital alone, volunteers have collectively contributed:

  • 2008 hours and 30 minutes
  • 3980 buggy runs
  • 5999 buggy passengers.

The fundraising team have also been working hard, cracking the $1000 mark in sales the Friday before Mother’s Day.

This is just some of the incredible work by volunteers at Westmead.

Westmead Hospital director corporate services Renata Melan also shared her appreciation with the group at the morning tea.

“A huge thank you to all of you; not just for all of the work you’ve done in recent times but your commitment and dedication to sticking through the ‘COVID suspension’, as we called it, and coming back to us,” said Renata.

“There were so many people who were just so happy to see you back.”

At Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals (BMDH), staff were also treated to morning teas and were presented with individually personalised magnetic name badges. Name badges make it easier for people to identify the volunteers and address them by name, which builds a special rapport.

Volunteer manager Colin Dent, who looks after 140 active volunteers, expressed his delight to have the volunteers back on board after being “dearly missed” by many staff and patients.

Volunteers at BMDH include kiosk fundraisers and wayfinders/Courtesy Desk volunteers, the Pink Team, buggy transport, auxiliary fundraising groups, dog therapy, palliative care and more.

“It’s been a disruptive couple of years for the volunteers and I’m glad to see so many come back with excitement and enthusiasm,” said Colin.

Pastoral Care volunteer manager Jeannie Smith added to this sentiment saying, “during the pandemic, our pastoral care volunteers were unable to fulfill their passion of supporting patients and staff.”

“I’ve heard of so many volunteers who continued to use their skills in providing care for their family or friends when uncertainty was evident in the community, so thank you to all our pastoral carers for your perseverance,” said Jeannie.

The District also looks forward to welcoming back the Auburn volunteer team in the coming months.

If you’re interested in volunteering at Westmead, Blacktown, Mount Druitt and Auburn hospitals, click here for more information.